On July 12th 2018, Pew Research Center published their Audio and Podcasting Fact Sheet, which analyzed the audio news sector in the United States. They looked at trends and listenership for traditional terrestrial radio (AM/FM), online radio and podcasting. Pew found that terrestrial radio reaches almost all of the U.S population and that online radio and podcasts are growing dramatically.
Pew reported that in 2017, 90% of Americans ages twelve and older listen to terrestrial radio at least once a week. Their data demonstrates little change in that percentage since 2009, however, the amount of online radio listenership has grown. In 2018, 57% of Americans have listened to online radio at least once a week, compared to only 12% in 2007.
Podcast listenership has risen as well. Pew reported that users who download NPR Podcast, a very popular news outlet and podcast producer, rose from 3.5 million in 2016 to 5.4 million in 2017. Additionally, Pew found that the average radio revenue remained steady in 2017 for all-news format stations, hovering between $21 million and $23 million per year. As of 2018, there were 26 AM or FM stations listed as all-news in the BIA Advisory Services database of radio stations. The biggest of those stations is Entercom, who merged with CBS in 2017.
The steady growth of radio, whether online or in the form of podcast, shows promising signs for the future of the industry.