Radio is one of the most popular media in Indonesia, and is broadcasted everywhere in the country. A survey conducted by Nielsen Media Research in 2012 revealed that the penetration of radio was still relatively high. A more recent research by Price Waterhouse Coopers forecasts a 4.5 percent growth of radio between 2016 and 2021, compared to a global average of 2.1 percent. In Jakarta, Bandung, Medan and Surabaya cities, the range of people who listened to radio was 50 percent. Meanwhile, in other cities such as Denpasar and Palembang, the percentage of people listening to radio was above 80 percent.
The presence of digital media doesn’t make radio vanish because the latter can easily adapt to them. Actually, Internet is for radio a platform allowing to reach a larger audience. In 2016 a study of Nielsen Radio Audience Measurement revealed the endurance of radio in facing the development of Internet. The study revealed that 4 of 10 people listened to radio via a mobile phones and that radio is no longer listened to via tape only. Recently, the behavior of listeners has changed into prioritising technology and flexibility.
Radio listening time per week grows from year to year. In 2014 Indonesians spent 16 hours per week listening to radio, a figure which continued to increase in 2015 (16 hours and 14 minutes per week) and in 2016 (16 hours and 18 minutes). The assumption that radio is only listened by the older generations is contradicted by the findings of Nielsen Radio Audience Measurement. The result of the survey revealed that 57 percent of radio listeners were relatively young future consumers.
There are two kinds of radio in Indonesia: private/commercial radio and community radio. Till 2012, according to data from the Ministry of Communication and Information, there were a total of 1,368 radios. As many as 1,305 were private radios and 63 were community radios. In the same year the calculation by Persatuan Radio Siaran Swasta National (Association of National Private Broadcasting Radios - PRSSNI) gave a lower figure of 845 radios. This difference can be explained because the data from the Ministry of Communication and Information calculated the permits issued for radio broadcasting. Meanwhile, PRSSNI calculated the radios that really conducted broadcasting (really operational).
Similar to the printed media, a concentration of radio ownership occurred in Indonesia. In 2012, referring to the data from PRSSNI, as many as 222 radios (26.3 percent) were owned by 26 radio network groups. Radio ownership networks tend to consist of a small number of radios. The biggest radio networks are CPP Radionet (40 radios), Bonsita Group (24 radios), Masima Media Investama (14 radios), Volare Group (14 radios) and Suzanna Radionet (12 radios). All other groups only have less than 10 radios. Also, while the ownership groups of the printed media are centralised in Java, the ownership groups of radios are widespread in many regions. One must also quote Kantor Berita Radio 68H (KBR68H), a news agency and network serving several local radio stations.
The high number of frequencies issued, both analog and digital, has resulted in over-saturation of the market and in cases of corruption.