A fifth of commercial radio listeners say there are too many ads

By | Published on Tuesday 28 August 2012


In a new listener survey by media regulator OfCom, over 20% said that they felt there was now too much advertising and sponsorship activity on most commercial radio stations, while 59% said that they thought any more ad-based output would be a bad thing.

Which possibly isn’t surprising, radio listeners have always complained about the ads, but in most cases that doesn’t actually stop them from tuning in to their commercial station of choice. Though whether the growth of online music services that offer an ad-free option, albeit in return for a subscription fee, will change that, especially as such services reach the kitchen and car dashboard (and especially if any such services attempt to more closely replicate the radio experience), remains to be seen.

Elsewhere in the same OfCom listener poll, it was revealed that only 10% of those surveyed said radio was their main source of local news, with TV the main source (53%), while newspapers and the web were cited by 15% and 6% respectively. Which is interesting, given that radio and newspaper services are generally more local than TV services, where local news is more regional than truly local.

Though of those that did look to radio for local news and information (including weather and travel news, and information about extreme weather conditions or other emergencies), in the main local commercial services were relied on more than BBC services. And while the differences were in the main only nominal – 4-10% – that’s still possibly surprising.