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Despite Intense Competition From New Tech, Radio Listenership Up 4.9% In Last Five Years

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WGBF East Tower/John Story

You’d think that with MP3 players, the internet, cell phones, satellite radio, Pandora and God-knows-what-else, good ol’ radio stations would be having a tough time hanging on to listeners these days.

You would be wrong.
Arbitron released the results of a new study yesterday that shows more than 241 million people ages 12 and up tuned in to terrestrial radio stations last year, USA Today reports.
That’s up more than 2 million from 2009 and an increase of 4.9% from 2005.
“Radio is much stronger than the general perception of it has been,” Carol Hanley, Arbitron’s executive VP of sales and marketing, told the newspaper.
Analysts say that the ability of radio station owners to tailor their programming to their listeners’ tastes has helped. Owners “can shift their programming very quickly,” says Howard Bass, senior media and entertainment partner with consulting firm Ernst & Young. “That’s why they’re so resilient.”
Here in the Tri-State, it’s encouraging that many radio stations have embraced new technology. Enhanced websites and the use of social media like Facebook and Twitter have helped them reach out in ways they couldn’t just a few short years ago, and it’s working. Listeners are not only listening, they’re connecting.

And that’s good news.

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