by Dennis Wharton
The response from critics to NAB’s support for the inclusion of radio receivers on mobile phone devices sold in the U.S has been predictable and follows a customary Washington tactic: Arguments against this pro-consumer feature have been long on exaggeration, rhetoric and factual inaccuracies.
It’s time to set the record straight:
Radio’s audience is GROWING. According to the most recent report from Arbitron, the ratings company that tracks radio listeners, radio reaches more than 239 million American listeners age 12 and older. That figure represents an INCREASE of seven million listeners in just one year. Any claim that radio is “dying,” “declining” or “losing listeners” is simply not accurate. Indeed, just this weekend, The New York Times called radio “a classic evolutionary survivor” in an article detailing the history of media and technological consumption changes.
When given the choice, consumers like radio-capable cell phones. In fact from a global perspective, it’s expected that there will be roughly 700 million FM-capable cell phones on the market by next year, representing 45 percent of all active cell phones.