Nielsen recently released its Comparable Metrics Report, which measures radio-listening trends for the year. Compared to other media formats, radio has always had an expansive reach and continues to grow. In this year’s Metrics Report, Nielsen reports that radio reaches 93% of Americans each week.
With this year’s presidential election, it should be no surprise that news/talk radio was the most listened to radio format. Compared to 2015 when news/talk radio represented 8.9% of all radio listening, this year the format represented a 9.6% share of all radio listening, making it the biggest increase among the other top ten formats. According to Nielsen, one of the reasons for news/talk radio’s strong performance was the “high level of interest in the election compared to past elections.”
Interestingly, news/talk radio is an increasingly effective way to reach millennial listeners. The format posted its highest-ever ratings among Millennial listeners aged 18-34 since Nielsen’s portable people meter measurement was introduced. Looking across the top ten formats, Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) was the second most listened to format. Rounding out the top ten were Adult Contemporary, Country, Hot Adult Contemporary, Classic Hits, Classic Rock, Urban Adult Contemporary, All Sports, Mexican Regional and Urban Contemporary.
As we look to 2017, it will be interesting to see if news/talk radio maintains its hold as the most listened to radio format following this year’s election craze. One thing remains certain, radio will always be one of the most effective ways to reach an audience.