Percentage of adults (over 15s) listening to radio daily
There is no doubt that radio is popular in Ireland but percentages are great at hiding the reality. In 2008 there was a 3% jump upward in a single survey (3 months). What happened. Well hundreds of thousands of people emigrated. These young people are statistically less loyal to radio. Their older parents are more loyal. The population fell by over 250,000 as the financial crisis (which is 10 years old this week) sent our young to Canada and Australia and many places in between.
Back home the Irish Times attributed the rise in listeners to our radio audience loving gloomy talk radio about the economic crash with the troika in town. Nothing could be further from the truth. Younger less loyal radio listeners left Ireland leaving older more loyal listeners at home. The population and total available ears to hear radio fell by a quarter million and radios daily listeners increased 3% but only as a percentage!
The anniversary of the economic crash reminds us that the crash is older than the iPhone. Released June 2007 it went on sale in Ireland in late 2007. The iPhone has probably done more damage to radio audience than the economic crash. Not to the age group that emigrated and now returned and not to their analogue parents but to the next generation. The Gen-Zeds are growing up with mediated musical/audio experiences delivered by internet protocol and not served by radio transmitters. The iPhone has no radio chip enabled in the device. The next generation is gone. No new youth radio (Spin, Beat, iRadio) have come on air since the iPhone arrived and one such station has departed in this decade with the departure of TXFM (nee Phantom FM).
If an industry is in a time warp where the playlists are getting older and older meeting retirement / comeback / reunion tours of the artists they play then radio is in a decline. The percentages will hide it for a while but radio is lost on the young and it need not be so.
A reinvention can show that the old school social media that was radio has a part to play in the one to many style of entertainment so lost on the youth of today.