Nielsen explores new audience segments

nielsen canvasNielsen Audio released a new study, the Audience Demand Landscape, during its Consumer 360 conference this week. The purpose is to dig beneath standard demographics to reveal adoption and usage characteristics of audio consumers. The result is a slate of newly-defined audience segments that relate less to inborn characteristics, and more to media-use characteristics.

The framework of the Audience Demand Landscape is six defining characteristics, or audience segments, as described below by Nielsen:

  • Music Loving Personalizers are passionate music listeners who are mainly seeking an emotional benefit by listening. They prefer free services and often play music in the background. (23% of the population)
  • Discriminating Audiophiles are highly engaged consumers who listen to and prefer a wide variety of audio, and are willing to pay for specific content. (18% of the population)
  • Convenience Seeking Traditionalists prefer broadcast radio, listening to their favorite stations and hosts; and they routinely listen in the car. (17% of the population)
  • Information Seeking Loyalists are heavy broadcast listeners who usually listen to their favorite talk programs for news, education and to stay informed of current events. (15% of the population)
  • Background Driving Defaulters are less engaged and typically have the radio on in the car for background entertainment or occasionally news and information. (14% of the population)
  • Techie Audio Enthusiasts are avid consumers of many types of audio. These listeners are early adopters of new platforms to satisfy their audio needs. (13% of the population)

Spread across the population, not one group dominates. If there is an important slant to the national profile, it seems to be toward lean-back listening (Music Loving Personalizers). But higher-engagement listening (Discriminating Audiophiles) is a close second. The terrestrial broadcast crowd is right in there, too. Unsurprisingly, early adopters form the smallest group, as percentage of population.

How do these new segments map to audio consumption hours? Some of the correlations hold firm from the population mapping, but Information Seeking Loyalists (15% of the population) consume 25% of audio hours:

nielsen audio demand landscape


Nielsen’s Audio Demand Landscape was surveyed in an online panel of nearly 5,000 American adults, during March.

Brad Hill

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