New data from Scarborough paints a convincing picture of radio as the leading reach vehicle for persons 25-54.

After declining from 94% reach in the Money Demo in 2008 to about 91% in 2010, 2011, and 2012, radio’s reach bounced back to 94.3% in the newly published 2013 Scarborough USA+ report. That puts it ahead of broadcast TV, non-premium cable, internet and newspapers. The six-year trend shows slow but consistent erosion for broadcast TV, which declined from 91.1% reach in 2008 to 86.6% in 2013. While non-premium cable has gained ground on broadcast TV, it began a slight downward creep in 2011.

The two clearest trends lines in the data are for the internet and newspapers, though they’re heading in opposite directions. The internet’s reach continues to rise steadily, growing from 73.9% in 2008 to 85.1% in 2013. Newspapers, on the other hand, are heading south, sliding from 56.87% in 2008 to 44.8% in 2013. The 12-month Scarborough USA+ survey uses a sample of 85,000 adults 25-54.

All this is not to say abandon ship on TV and newspaper. It is merely to draw people’s attention to the power of radio. When you think about it, we are spending more time in our cars and trucks than ever before and not everyone can afford satellite radio. Radio in an important part of a overall strong media strategy and should not be ignored.

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