Twice each year, Nielsen, the leading broadcast measurement company, updates their numbers of how and where Americans listen to the radio. Keeping up with these numbers and radio trends is critical to the work we do so that we can best help you reach your audiences in effective, targeted ways over the airwaves.

“The original mass medium, radio today reaches more than 90 percent of everyone in the U.S. on a weekly basis. This enormous reach stretches across demographics, ethnicities and geographies as listeners engage every day with stations in their local markets on matters important to them,” Nielsen reports.Satellite Dish

There are more than 16,000 radio stations across the country, covering 50 different formats. Radio is a great way to reach national audiences as well as hyper-local communities, enabling you to tailor your message uniquely to your audiences.

According to Nielsen’s “State of the Media: Audio Today 2014” report, 242 million people listen to the radio each week. And audio consumers have money to spend on causes important to them – more than two-thirds of the weekly audience works full-time. Specifically, 74% of Generation Xer radio listeners (ages 35 to 49) work full time.

Another important aspect of Nielsen’s new data are shifts in the top-100 media markets. The rankings this time around remained relatively similar from the last time Nielsen produced the data in early 2013.

The changes to order of the Top-20 markets are: Phoenix (Prescott) moved up a spot, knocking Seattle-Tacoma down one into the 13th spot. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne also moved up one spot, taking that of Cleveland-Akron (Canton), making them now the 19th ranked market.

Radio is a great medium through which to target your message to specific audiences. Six of the ten most highly Hispanic-populated markets are in the Top-10 media markets; and 94% of all Hispanics use radio each week, according to the Nielsen report.

The report indicates that the most listened to station formats are country and news/talk; which is not too much of a surprise. This follows trend with years past, as we also discussed in a blog post from June 2013.

While there is plenty of new data coming out of Nielsen lately, it is also important to note how much isn’t changing. Radio is a tried-and-true medium. It’s reliable and consistent. It is something that you and I can count on to be a constant, but will never fail to excite us in new and interesting ways.

Stay tuned…