Long commutes help keep radio strong in the UAE

A vast majority of UAE residents listen to the radio, particularly during commutes to and from work
Long commutes help keep radio strong in the UAE
According to Nielsen’s UAE Radio Audience Measurement 9RAM), much of the UAE’s radio consumption happens during commutes to and from work – which averages at 96 minutes throughout the country.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Sat 17 Feb 2018 04:34 PM

Radio remains exceptionally strong in the UAE’s media market, with as many as 93 percent of residents above the age of 10 listening to nine hours a week listening, according to new statistics from Nielsen.

According to Nielsen’s UAE Radio Audience Measurement 9RAM), much of the UAE’s radio consumption happens during commutes to and from work – which averages at 96 minutes throughout the country.

The study found that radio usage peaks between 7am and 9am, 2pm and 4pm and 6pm and 8pm during weekdays, with consumption dropping by 50 percent on weekends.

Contrary to popular belief, radio listening activity was found to be high even at night, with 27 percent of radio consumption occurring between 8pm and midnight. Additionally, the study found that radio engagement at home starts picking up from 8pm onwards.

“Not surprisingly, long drive times in the country has been identified as the foremost driver of the medium’s growth as listening to the radio while on the move tops the list of places radio is consumed,” said Sarah Messer, director media - Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, Nielsen.

"Specialised content like real-time traffic updates has made radio even more attractive to people who commute daily to work and back.”

'Heavy listeners'

Additionally, the study found that the UAE has 1.9 million “heavy” listeners who tune in for over 18 hours a week, compared to 3.4 million people who listen to 8 hours per week.

Western expats and Emiratis were found to listen to the most radio of all the national groups represented in UAE, with 100 percent and 97 percent listening to 9 hours a week, on average.

Radio was also found to be broadly popular among all age groups, with 98 percent of listeners aged 10 to 14 and between 15 and 24 listening to an average of 6 and 8 hours a week, respectively, compared to 93 percent of those aged between 25 and 34 years and 92 percent of those between 35 and 44. Notably, 94 percent of those aged 55 and above were found to still spend 9 hours listening to radio each week, on average.

Radio reach and time spent listening were found to vary by location, with 95 percent of people in Sharjah and 92 percent of listeners in Dubai spending 10 hours each week listening, compared to 95 percent of people in the Northern Emirates who listen to 6.5 hours a week.

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