People Are Turning Their TVs Into Radios





Radio is seeing another heyday as more people turn to their televisions to tune in. Households can use their smart TVs to access their favorite streaming audio service to listen to music, catch the latest news, and listen to local radio stations.

It turns out people aren’t just watching shows and movies on their TVs. Hub Entertainment’s Evolution of The TV Set report shows 75% of smart TV owners use their sets to browse the web, access social media, check news and weather via a smart TV app, or even use it as a computer monitor.

“Just as smartphones have evolved well beyond their primary mission of calling and texting, so also we may see smart TVs take on more non-video functions as they evolve – creating new benefits for consumers and new opportunities for OEMs, app developers, and marketers,” said David Tice, senior consultant at Hub Entertainment Research, according to Media Play News.

More people are using their smart TVs to stream music and audio services than any other non-TV feature. This year, 49% of people surveyed reported using their televisions for streaming music, up from 27% in 2020. Hub reports that 90% of people between 16 and 34 use at least one non-TV feature, compared to 55% of people in the 55 to 74 age range.

The report shows people strongly prefer listening to music through their televisions over smartphones or a speaker like Amazon’s Alexa. Usually, televisions have the best speakers or are connected to a home theater system, making them a popular choice. Even adding a soundbar can drastically improve the sound, giving the television a considerable boost above smaller smartphone speakers, which can sound tinny.

Apps for streaming services like Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon Music are easy to download on smart televisions like Roku or Fire TV. Users can listen to live radio by downloading apps like Radio by myTuner, which hosts more than 50,000 radio stations from 200+ countries.

Although 85% of U.S. households are signed up for at least one streaming service, according to Cloudwards, radio only shows a slight decline in listeners. On Radio Day (August 20), the Pew Research Center said 82% of Americans listen to the radio weekly, down from 83% in 2020.

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