News consumption was at an all-time high in 2016. Insideradio is reporting that according to Nielsen, Americans watched and listened to a whopping 11.2 billion more minutes of news in 2016 than 2015. Television and radio remained the staples for Americans to get their news fix. News viewership in 2016 was up 18% compared to the year before.
National cable television dominated most of the viewership, but news intake on radio jumped from 10.5 billion to 11.5 billion weekly gross minutes. Surprisingly, news intake on smartphones went down, suggesting consumers occupied themselves in the news on larger screens and over the radio airwaves with more in-depth coverage.
The 2016 presidential election was unprecedented, but 2016’s news cycle overflowed with other major stories about Syria, refugees, Brexit, Zika, terror attacks, celebrity deaths and more, according to the article. With so much talk of, “fake news,” trust is seen as a major key behind radio’s strong performance as a news source. Stacey Lynn Schulman, Katz Media Group executive VP of Strategy, Analytics and Research says, “Local stations, whether radio or television, consistently show up in the top among most trusted news sources.”
The influence, power and importance of radio isn’t going anywhere. Radio has longer weekly time spent by news consumers than any platform besides national cable TV. If you’re trying to reach people with money, radio is also a great way to do that. Just over half of radio news consumers, 51%, are affluent, reporting household incomes of $75,000 or greater. Thanks to people taking in more news than ever before, the future of radio looks bright.