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What it Means to be a Favorite Station

Katz surveyed 900 radio listeners from across the country earlier this year to take a deeper look at the human connection between radio fans and their favorite station. Listeners invest a lot of time, energy, and interest into their favorite stations – which translates to some good benefits for advertisers!


Katz found that 7 in 10 listeners have a favorite station – from all across the dial, spanning music, news, talk, and sports stations. The connection to their favorite station is emotional, as 77% of listeners say that their favorite station improves their mood, and 60% feel that their favorite station cares about their local community. The feelings run deep as well, as 82% would truly miss their station if it were gone (85% among younger adults 18-34). 


9 in 10 listeners have programmed their favorite station as a preset in their car – but loyalty goes way beyond a dedicated dashboard button. Katz found that favorite radio stations are part of some serious long term relationships. Fans have been listening to their favorite station for an incredible average of 18 years! Among younger adult listeners, that number is still high at 12 years. And it balloons to a whopping 23 years among older adults. Listeners’ emotional investments keep consumers of all ages coming back for more!


Radio fans are not only loyal, they are engaged as well. 7 in 10 fans have actively engaged with their favorite station in some manner – online, offline, or in person. The most engaged age bracket overall is younger adults at – 43% of P 18-34s have entered a contest, 56% follow their favorite station on some form of social media, and 44% have gone to a station event (including concerts, charity events, and store remotes). 


Brands advertising on radio have the chance to tap into invested, loyal, and engaged fans. Brands can gain local clout and acceptance by becoming a presence on stations that listeners feel connected to, and care about, their community. Brands can extend their radio campaigns online by engaging the avid fan bases on stations’ social media platforms. They can extend offline as well by engaging consumers at station remotes at store locations. And last, but certainly not least, brands utilizing radio will be reaching station fans, who respond well to advertisers they hear on their favorite stations.

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