Statistics on Radio

  • Radios are everywhere, with at least 75% of households in developing countries having access to a radio.
    Source: EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2012, p.248
  • There are about 44,000 radio stations worldwide.
    Source: The World Factbook, 2010. Central Intelligence Agency, USA
  • Along with radios, mobile phones are one of the most accessible forms of technology, covering over 70% of the world’s population. Training via such technology can be particularly beneficial for women who are restricted from attending regularly scheduled classes.
    Source: EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2012, p.290
  • AM/FM radio counts for 86% of the total time adults aged 25-54 spend listening to three main audio platforms. Adults listen to eight times more AM/FM radio than satellite radio and seventeen times more than internet audio streaming.
    Source: "Where Radio Fits: Radio's Strengths in the Media Landscape", Arbitron, 2012
  • AM/FM radio is heard by a variety of decision influencers with 43% of respondents aged 25 to 54 saying they listen with their children, 38 % listen with their spouse or partner. 
    Source: "Where Radio Fits: Radio's Strengths in the Media Landscape", Arbitron, 2012
  • Listening to a foreign radio station is something that declines when local media become freer and provide what local people most want to hear. According to BBC audience research, in most cases the BBC achieved large audiences (20% and more) only where the choice of local services was limited to 5 or fewer stations. As choice grows, BBC audiences fall.
    Source: Audience research at the BBC World Service 1932-2010, Participation, Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 2011, p. 95
  • Farmers engaged in the design and development of farm radio programming were almost 50 % more likely to take up agricultural practices deemed to improve their food security than passive listeners.
    Source: Participatory radio campaigns and food security: how radio can help farmers make informed decisions (Kevin Perkins, Doug Ward, Mark Leclair), Farm Radio International, 2011, p.5
  • Weekly SMS alerts sent to the phones of listeners 30 minutes prior to a broadcast can boost radio campaign listenership by up to 20%.
    Source: The new age of radio: how ICTs are changing rural radio in Africa (Bartholomew Sullivan), Farm Radio International, 2011, p.5
  • The transmission platform used by radio channel is mostly terrestrial, no matter the level of country’s development. 37 out of 51 countries (73%), surveyed by UIS, have radio channels available through this platform, with percentages reaching 100% in 18 of these countries.
    Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)
  • 25 out of 51 countries (49%) have radio channels available on a combined platform, while 13% are available on cable only and 8% on satellite only.
    Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)
  • In 11 countries surveyed across Africa, local commercial radio grew by an average of 360 percent between 2000 and 2006, whereas community radio grew by a striking 1,386 percent, on average, over the same period
    Source: The Growing Pains of Community Radio in Africa (Peter da Costa), Glocal Times, The Communication for Development Journal, 2012, No 17/18, p.4
  • For the majority of listeners in Kenya the most popular thing learned from radio was politics, with 21% indicating it as the thing they learned most.
    Source: International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2012, p.113
  • Radio in Tanzania has become more interactive over time, with more radio call‐in shows to encourage participation. While 76% of radio listeners listen to radio call‐in shows, only 5% had actually called in to a show in the last 12 months.
    Source: Intermedia, 2011. Tanzania Audience Scapes website, p. 24
  • 83% of Tanzanians said they get news and information from radio, making it the leader of both media and non‐media sources.
    Source: Intermedia, 2011. Tanzania Audience Scapes website, p.31
  • Radio is the most accessible and used medium in Zambia. Access to radio and television in urban areas is about equal (85% for radio and 79% for TV) while in the rural area the difference is more significant (68% for radio and 26% for TV).
    Source: Intermedia, 2011. Mass Media in Zambia, p.12
  • A key feature of African mobile phone use is its convergence with radio listening. Among regular mobile users in Zambia, 33% said they listen to the radio via their handset on a weekly basis, and 25% said they listen on a daily basis.  Unlike the use of mobile internet, radio listening is more evenly spread across urban and rural users. However, only 8% of monthly mobile phone users own a mobile phone personally.
    Source: Intermedia, 2010. Mobile Communications in Zambia, p.19
  • The total number of community radio stations in Latin America are around 10,000, with Peru having the largest proportion and Ecuador, Bolivia, and Brazil in second, third, and fourth place. If unlicensed stations are also taken into account, the overall numbers are much higher. Recent surveys by UNESCO, for example, show there are more than 10,000 community radio stations still waiting for licenses in Brazil alone.
    Source: Voices from Villages: Community Radio in the Developing World. CIMA, 2011, p. 9
  • The Brazilian radio market is the second largest in the Americas, being one step behind the United States. According to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) of 2009, radios are present in 88% of homes, 80% of cars in circulation, and in 36% of mobile telephones.
    Source: Digital radio in Brazil: analysis of an unfinished debate (Carlos Eduardo Esch, Nélia del Bianco), Radio evolution: conference proceedings, University of Minho, Communication and Society Research Centre, 2012, p.142
  • In Southeast Asia, Thailand tops the region’s charts with about 5,000 community stations–most of them operating without licenses. In populous Indonesia, community radio has also taken off rapidly, but the number of stations is in the hundreds rather than thousands. The Philippines counts more than 55 community radio stations independent of government and commercial interests operating outside the cities and using low powered transmitters.
    Source: Voices from Villages: Community Radio in the Developing World. CIMA, 2011, p. 10
  • Radio is the most reliable channel for distributing news, information and entertainment in the Philippines’ rural interior, where mountains often get in the way of TV signals. According to the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, radio reaches 85% of households in the country, whereas television reaches just under 60%.
    Source: Philippines: media and telecoms landscape guide. Infoasaid, 2012, p.13
  • The total audience for traditional media offering news content in Russia is steadily decreasing. Even in Moscow, which has a market of print media with an advanced sales and distribution system and a comparatively high number of educated citizens, the average monthly readership for daily newspapers declined from 18% of the adult population in January 2006 to 14.9% in April 2010. The only type of traditional media that has recently grown is radio, for which the average total daily audience has risen from 37.7 million to 39.2 million (a 4% increase) since 2008.
    Source: Mapping digital media: Russia, Open Society Foundations, Open Society Media Program, 2012, p.18
  • In South Sudan, the BBC World Service on short wave radio built up a loyal following during the war of independence and remains very popular. In some areas it is the second most important source of information after community radio stations, with reported listenership levels of between 30 % and 59 % of the audience.
    Source: Support to media where media freedoms and rights are constrained: what works and why? Global synthesis report (Mary Myers), BBC Media Action, 2012, p. 16
  • Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) does not allow private FM stations to produce their own national news or current affairs programming. Typically, Pakistan’s private FM stations play music for 70% of the time. They devote about 10% of air time to talk shows, 10% to advertising and 5% to news.
    Source: Pakistan: media and telecoms landscape guide. Infoasaid, 2012, p.29
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