Finally: young demos boost radio listening


ArbitronArbitron’s September 2012 RADAR 114 report shows radio’s audience increased slightly year over year by 249,000 persons aged 12+, representing nearly 93% of the population.

Young radio listeners were largely responsible for the YOY increase, with Adults aged 18-34 showing the largest gain in weekly listeners, adding more than 800,000. Persons aged 12-17 increased slightly also. Radio continues to reach 91% of this demo.  Adults 18-49 and 25-54 showed YOY declines in weekly radio listening, largely due to shifts in the composition of the population versus last year. Radio attracts 126 million adults aged 18-49 and 119.6 million adults 25-54 on a weekly basis.

Radio’s diverse listener base saw a big jump in the September 2012 RADAR study compared to the September 2011 study. The number of Hispanic weekly radio listeners saw impressive increases across most demographic segments.

Radio’s Hispanic audience aged 12+ grew by more than 2.5 million versus the September 2011 report.  Radio reaches nearly 95% of Hispanics aged 12+. Hispanic Teens aged 12-17 showed an impressive increase over the past year, rising by more than 300,000 weekly listeners.

The Black (non-Hispanic) audience also show significant gains.  Radio among Black (non-Hispanic) listeners aged 12+ grew by more than 975,000 versus September 2011. Radio reaches 93% of the Black (non-Hispanic) population. Black (non-Hispanic) adults aged 18-34 showed the most gains, adding nearly half a million average weekly listeners versus last year.

The adult 25 to 54 Black (non-Hispanic) demo also showed impressive gains with an increase of more than 280,000 weekly listeners.

More than 95% of adults aged 25-54 with a household income of $75K or more and a college degree tune in to radio on a weekly basis, that’s 25.6 million listeners in this demographic.  Also, nearly 69.7 million, or 94%, of Adults 18-49 with a household income of $75K or more tune into radio on a weekly basis.

RBR-TVBR observation: It’s good news and bad news. It’s great to see a little bump in listening in the 12-17 demo (thanks to all of the new CHR-formatted stations); it’s great to see a significant bump in 18-34 listeners. However, the drop in 18-49 and 25-54 is a bit disconcerting. It would seem these are the folks flocking to Pandora, iHeart (you’re getting what you asked for with all the non-stop promos across your stations) and other sites that offer music discovery (remember, the in-car numbers are shooting up too, as well as SiriusXM subscriptions). The loss of Classic Rock and music stations in general to spoken word may have helped push music listeners in these demos away.