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Radio Listenership Stands Strong In the UAE


Radio Listenership Stands Strong In the UAE

In the new age of podcasts and audio streaming, one wonders whether radio still garners any listeners? The answer is yes. According to a new survey conducted by data measurement firm Nielsen, the radio industry is still thriving in the UAE. The new study conducted by Nielsen’s UAE Radio Audience Measurement (RAM)- a service designed to help advertisers understand the listening habits of the diverse population of the country, shows that listenership in the country is still at an all-time high. Below are the key findings from the study-

  • During the first quarter of the year, the study states that 7.82 million people tuned in every week to listen to the radio. These listeners spent an average of 7 hours and 28 minutes each week on the radio.
  • Radio manages to reach a diverse audience; both in terms of nationality and age group. The study found that the youngest listeners range from 10 years and above, and they spend on an average of 6 hours and 12 minutes per week, listening to the radio. People in the age group of 25-34 years, spend 7 hours and 44 minutes weekly.
  • The way people listen to radio has experienced slight changes this quarter. While the majority still preferred listening in the old fashioned way via an AM/FM  (79%); the report recorded an increase from the previous quarter,  in mobile listeners (35%), which accounts for 2.9 million of the weekly listeners.
  • The daily listening peaks recorded high reach, especially during the evening. Between 7-9 PM, radio reached almost 50% of listeners.
  • The UAE radio industry contains a diverse portfolio of radio stations, in a variety of languages and caters to almost every nationality. The first quarter recorded 100% weekly radio reach with Emiratis. The quarter also recorded growth to 100% weekly radio reach with Expat Arabs as well. Among Westerners and Indians, reach was at 93% and 92% respectively.  Filipinos and other East Asian and South Asian nationalities recorded a high reach of 87%.

“Although movement restrictions were originally announced towards the end of March, homeschooling was already in place and many people had already curtailed their time outside. To see that despite the external environment, radio maintains such universal levels of reach and listenership across Emirates and nationalities, is a testament to the strength of radio in the country.  It’s interesting to see that the time of day of listening changed slightly in Q1 compared to the other quarters, suggesting listeners shifted their habits to accommodate their different home-based routine,” said  Sarah Messer, Nielsen Director of Media for MENAP.

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