Nielsen measures radio reach by generation; results are nuanced

Nielsen measured the generational reach of radio in a recently released report, calling out a “Millennial majority.” Millennials are the 18-34 cohort, and Nielsen determined that 66.million of them listen to radio each week. Generation X (35-49) and Boomers (50-64) each clocked 57.9-million listeners.

All three generations are exhibiting strong radio listening habits in this study, no question about that. The clamor that you might be reading about over the Millennials result (young people love radio more than older people) could be slightly misleading.

Millennials are the largest of the demographic generations, passing the Boomers as of this year, according to the Pew Research Center:

pew generations

So it makes sense that the group would pour more people into a listening category than smaller generations.

Nielsen’s number report on generational percentages, too, which slants the study’s outcome differently. Through that lens, 91.3% of Millennials listen to radio weekly, compared to higher percentages for Generation X (94%) and Boomers (93.5%):

nielsen millennials 400w

Time spent with radio is also significantly less for Millennials (11:26) than for Gen X’ers (13:45) and Boomers (15:06).

Looking at all three metrics indicates that Millennials are less involved in radio than the other two groups, both as a generational percentage, and significantly in time spent. At the same time, any credibly measured 90+% weekly reach is a very strong result.


Brad Hill

One Comment

  1. Boomers will always be the most radio listeners, “What A Surprise” Want results advertise on radio to Boomers with Generational Radio. The Boomers unlike their senior parents will never be newspaper readers for the most part.

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