Understanding Trends with MKR’s Julie Rasmussen, VP Media

Our very own VP of Media, Julie Rasmussen, was asked to present at the Saffire Summit in Portland, Oregon last month. One of the main topics she discussed was that if you want media success, you have to understand the media landscape. Here are the media trends according to Julie.

Mass media

While you might assume that the world is moving away from the radio, AM/FM radio continues to reign supreme as America’s number one mass-reach media. In fact, Julie shared that 84% of U.S. adults listen to the radio every week, according to 2023 Nielsen data.

That ekes out a win against social networking on a smartphone (78%). It handily beats TV-internet-connected devices like Roku or Firestick (74%). Radio even wallops live and time-shifted TV (58%). What radio lacks in precision it more than makes up for in reach.


Within the American “earspace,” you can really see how radio has remained so dominant when you look at the data. Edison Research from 2023 shows that, out of all the time Americans 13+ are listening to audio media in a day, 36% of it is spent on radio.

But in the audio category, Julie also points out that streaming music, YouTube, and podcasts all came in with double-digit percentages last year. So while radio still holds the top spot, you can’t ignore the growing power of other audio sources.

Shelf filled with old radios


It probably won’t be surprising to hear that streaming captured the largest share of TV viewing based on 2024 Nielsen data with nearly 38% of viewers watching on streaming sources.

But with the continued fragmentation of the streaming world, some new players are seeing growth. FAST (free ad-supported TV) continues to climb. These are sources like Pluto TV, Tubi, and Roku Channel. All three of these options gained between 8 — 10% viewership.


The social landscape doesn’t show much volatile change. The leader, Facebook, has slightly declined over the past five years. Yet still, 63% of U.S. adults have used the social media platform in the last 30 days.

The only major change was the continued growth of TikTok. The app had 25% usage in the last 30 days. Even in the face of potential government bans, TikTok continues to gain eyes.


While most media sources have shown growth, print continues to decline. In fact, according to Pew Research data from 2021, only 32% of American adults turn to print for their news source. 86% have converted to digital sources for news.

And when you look at the top newspapers in the country, circulation is down almost entirely across the board. Between 2002 and 2020, newspaper revenue dropped 52%. The prognosis doesn’t look good for print.

To find media success, you have to know the numbers and understand the trends. If you’re looking for an agency partner with the tools and know-how to move your media planning forward, Julie (and all the media experts at MKR) can help you out.