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Country music rules (even more) in new Nielsen radio report

NielsenNielsen released the news that around 242 million Americans listen to radio each week in December. Now its State of the Media Audio Report is out, with formats ranked by share of total listening. Not only is Country Music the top format, but it is the #1 choice for Nielsen’s “Generation X” (35 to 49) and “Millennial” (18-34) demographic groups.

Here are the rankings:

Country: 14.8
News/talk: 11.3
Pop Contemporary Hit Radio: 8.0
Adult Contemporary: 7.3
Classic Hits: 5.5
Classic Rock: 5.2
Hot Adult Contemporary: 4.8
Urban Adult Contemporary: 4.0
Rhythmic Contemporary: 3.3
Active Rock: 1.9
Alternative: 1.9
Album Oriented Rock + Mainstream Rock
All News: 1.5
Classical: 1.4
Oldies: 1.4
Spanish Contemporary: 1.4

This hierarchy is almost identical to an Arbitron Radio Today chart for Fall 2011 that I pulled out of a old file folder (Nielsen bought Arbitron last September). The even better news for Country is that it has jumped seven tenths of a percentile—14.1 percent in 2011. News/talk stood at 12.1 percent back then, so its share has declined a bit. But it is still the preferred format for Nielsen’s “Boomer” category (50 to 64), and Boomers are, in Nielsen’s words, “radio’s most engaged demo[graphic],” with more than 14 hours a week spent near the AM/FM dial, as opposed to Millennials (11.5 hours).

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One Response to Country music rules (even more) in new Nielsen radio report

  1. Tomas (NW7US) February 19, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Radio! It is red hot! I believe in the power of radio. The medium can be leveraged, it just takes great market research… and guts.

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