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Radio Airplay 101 - How Many Listeners Do Radio Stations Have?:

To see how many listeners top radio stations have in the U.S., select a city from here:

...and look at its "Metro 12+ Population"; for example, the population for New York is 15,730,000. Now multiply this number by .01 to get the number of listeners that are listening in one second to the top station. So for New York... 15,730,000 X .01 = 157,000 listeners. So this is about how many people are listening to the top New York station in one second, which means at this very moment.

For another example, go to the last city on the list, Casper WY. It has a "Metro 12+ Population" of 63,500. If you multiply this by .01 you get 635. This means that roughly 635 people are listening to the top station in one second.

To see roughly how many people are listening to the number one station in an entire week, multiply the "one second" number by 10. For example, for Casper WY the number one station has 635 people listening in one second, so it has 6,350 people listening in one week. For New York, the number one station has 157,000 people listening in one second, so it has 1,157,000 people listening in one week.

To get even more listener information, go here:

...and select a city and click go. (If a particular city is empty and says "Data are not available for this station/survey", then wait a few months and check back again.)

Look at the numbers on the right-hand column of that city; they are the percent of radio listeners that each station has in that city. For example, if the number is 7.6, it means that 7.6 percent of all radio listeners in that city listen to that station.

You won't find many internet radio stations, or podcasts, or satellite stations on these lists, because they have almost no listeners compared to traditional AM/FM stations. This is why Apple has partnered with radio, to reach more people. And, every popular music star is promoted to these stations too. Every one. If a performer is not promoted to these stations, they do not become music "stars", because they do not reach enough listeners. After listeners hear the performer on traditional radio, THEN listeners seek out the artists on Youtube, Pandora, etc. Not the other way around.

Next topic: Radio Compared To YouTube and MySpace, part 1

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