With streaming content taking over traditional television, and more cloud-based services becoming available, the way consumers absorb media has dramatically changed. However, according to a new report from Nielsen, one good old-fashioned source of media is still the most popularly used per month.

The company published its Total Audience Report today focusing on the types of media used on a monthly basis. According to the findings, the number one pick actually has nothing to do with internet connectivity or streaming—it’s AM/FM radio.

The report, compiled by Glenn Enoch, senior vice president of Audience Insights for Nielsen, indicates that 240 million adults use an AM/FM radio on a monthly basis. Coming up in a close second is the usage of Live/DVR/time-shifted television, with 226 million. That’s followed by app/web on a smartphone (191 million), internet on a PC (162 million) and Time-Shifted TV’s regular DVR services (158 million). Meanwhile, game consoles and multimedia devices are on the lower part of the list, but still manage to attain at least 60 million adult users monthly.

It’s probably no surprise that AM/FM radio is in the top spot, since it’s still fairly easy to use with being able to turn it on and find a station within a matter of seconds.


This secondary breakdown looks at how this time is divided depending on age groups. Those in the 18-plus and 50-plus age ranges show the most interest in live TV, ranging from 42 percent to 53 percent, while digital means (including PC, smartphone and tablet usage) are close behind in the 30 percentile range across all age groups. TV-connected devices seem to get the short end of the stick—between eight and 15 percent—but still make up a decent amount of time spent.

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Another part of the report looks at the comparison between DVR and subscription-based video services, and while DVR had a steady lead back in the fourth quarter of 2014 (49 percent compared to SVOD’s 41 percent), it looks like the two are breaking even, with both sitting at 50 percent for the start of 2016. This could be a key opportunity for SVOD services to take over, with DVR services trying to keep up with new features.

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The report is lengthy, and even goes into details regarding percentiles and time spent on each individual service, but it appears that both older technology (AM/FM radio) and newer technology (SVOD) are both quite popular with the demographic.

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