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UAE radio listenership closes on a high note for 2018

While 93% of the UAE population listened to radio in Q4 of 2018, it was listeners of Filipino and South Asian nationalities that spurred the overall radio listenership figures in the region.

93% of the total UAE population aged 10 and above tuned into radio every week in Q4 of 2018. This is 4% than Q3, according to the latest survey by Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company. UAE residents and nationals listened to 61.5 million hours of radio during this period. The Q4 measurement covers all radio listening from 1 October to December 31, 2018.

Nielsen’s ‘UAE Radio Audience Measurement’ measured listenership of 53 radio stations across the country among all individuals aged 10+. While Q3 results showed that for the hot summer months with residents traveling out of the country, listening in Dubai and Northern Emirates saw a significant decline, in Q4, the growth in listening bounced back. Abu Dhabi registered almost universal reach – with 99.9% of residents listening to radio in an average week while 90% of Dubai residents listened in an average week, and 85% in Northern Emirates. Sharjah continued to maintain levels similar to that of Q3 with an increase of just 1% (Sharjah has a reach of 92%).

Listenership among Emirati and Expat Arab nationality groups remained at levels similar to that of Q3, but it’s the Filipino (10% growth Q on Q) and South Asian (5% growth Q on Q) nationality groups that had a significant positive impact on the reach of radio in Q4 of 2018.

Speaking about the latest statistics, Sarah Messer, Director Media – Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan, Nielsen said: “We expect the last quarter of the year to be a busy period for all categories and industries as people return to the region after the long summer months and school holidays. UAE radio has a significant boost in listenership in Q4, in-line with that expectation. With residents enjoying a long weekend holiday for UAE National Day, and arguably the best weather the UAE has to offer in these months, residents are staycationing and welcoming family and friends visiting from overseas.

“With such a focus on enjoying life in the UAE, it’s not surprising we see radio listening levels jump back up to pre-summer levels, as people are out and about, and taking their favourite radio stations and music with them on their travels. We have consistently seen continuous levels of listening throughout the day and weekend, as well as unexpected high levels of listening in the late evening over the last five quarters we have covered. We see again in these results, listening between 8 p.m.-12 a.m. is higher than at any of the other peak times during the day, giving radio advertisers many more opportunities to reach their target audience through smart radio planning. It is the first time for Nielsen UAE RAM that the industry can look at year on year comparisons, Q4’17 vs Q4’18. Interestingly, the top five radio stations in Q4’17 continue to be in the top 5 for Q4’18 as well. Overall comparison shows that listenership levels between Q4’17 and Q4’18 remain similar (90% reach in Q4 18 vs 93% reach in Q4 17). There is a slight decline in time spent listening to radio; the average listener in Q4 18 is tuned into radio for nine minutes less per week.”