More than one in ten Australians are tuning in to commercial radio between midnight and dawn each week  and they're younger and listening for longer than ever before.

In the latest, annual Midnight to Dawn survey conducted by Nielsen Media for Commercial Radio Australia, the fastest growth area for listeners was the 10 -17 age group  up from six per cent last year to nine per cent. On average, this age group listened to commercial radio for four and a half hours between midnight and dawn each week  over an hour longer than the average across all groups.

The other group to record an increase was the 18-24 years group with almost one in five in this age bracket tuning into commercial radio between midnight and dawn, for an average of almost three hours a week, up half an hour on last year's survey.

Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner, said the notion that only the elderly and the lonely listened to radio between midnight and 5.30am was being turned on its head.

'This latest survey shows that radio has increased its relevancy to young people despite the presence of other media and technology such as the internet, iPods and interactive television,' Ms Warner said.

'This is good news for radio stations across Australia and reflects the general trend of young people listening more to radio and for longer periods of time,' Ms Warner said.

Ms Warner said analysis of the research shows that time spent listening for both age groups (10-17 years and 18-24 years) between midnight to dawn is at it highest level in three years.

The largest listening group between midnight and dawn remains the 55+ age group, with 522,000 people tuning in each week, accounting for 31 per cent of the audience. The next largest group of listeners in this timeslot is the 25-39 years old who account for 25 per cent of the audience and 422,000 people.

Overall, the midnight to dawn shift attracts more than 1.7 million people per week with the average time spent listening of three hours and 22 minutes. Of those people listening to radio at this time 62 per cent listen at home, 20 per cent at work, 16 per cent in their car and two per cent elsewhere. (source cra)