Nielsen audio report focuses on radio’s reach

nielsen canvasThe first edition Nielsen‘s quarterly State of the Media: Audio Today 2014 report is out. Although the report’s title refers to the general term “audio,” and the subtitle is “How America Listens,” the study is only about radio’s reach and radio’s listener behavior. As such, it provides an uplift for the radio industry. Here is a wrap-up of highlights:

92% of Americans 12 or older listen to radio each week. The reach is similar across all demographics, ethnicities, and geographies. The report offers this bit of commentary: “Audio consumers are listening for more than 2 ½ hours every day, and one of radio’s best-kept secrets is its ability to reach a highly qualified audience right before they arrive to shop.”

Nielsen cume chart 600w

Gender break-out of weekly cume rating, by age group

Nielsen’s report cycles through demographic groups, all pages looking nearly identical — Millennials, Gen-X’ers, Boomers, Hispanics, African Americans. In all cases except among African Americans, men listen to radio more than women by a handful of percentage points.

Nielsen notes that morning and mid-day listening drives usage, both on weekdays and weekends. The highest spike on weekdays is 7:00am; people sleep in on Saturdays and Sundays, though, with the most reach at noon.

Nielsen - hours of day 600w


Most listening happens away from home, but that doesn’t necessarily mean mobile (phone) listening. The highest away-from-home radio consumption occurs in mid-day, which probably represents office listening. That reach is matched by PM-drive consumption.

Top format? No surprise there. Country. News/Talk is next.



Brad Hill