Nielsen Total Audience report (Q4) shows complicated radio picture

nielsen total audience report q4 2014 title pageNielsen released the Total Audience Report for the fourth quarter of 2014. It covers basic consumption metrics across TV, gaming, computer, phone, and AM/FM radio.

“Media pundits will tell you that our industry is in a state of flux. And they’re right,” notes Dounia Turrill, SVP of Insights at Nielsen. In that flux, this report shows AM/FM listening to be fairly stable, with trend signals that move in different directions.

Traditional radio’s Cume (cumulative audience) edged upward in Q4 2014, from 257-million in 2013 to 258-million. Reach is holding steady in absolute numbers. (Nielsen does not break out its Total Audience Report figures as population percentages. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that three-million people have been added to the U.S. population since December 31, 2013.)

Time spent listening (TSL) per month shows a 3% drop from the previous year, down from 60:16 (hours:minutes) to 58:36.

The demographic breakdown of monthly TSL is stark, and possibly revealing of audience change at a generational pace:

  • 12-17, 35:13
  • 18-24, 50:14
  • 25-34, 53:42
  • 35-49, 62:47
  • 50-64, 68:55
  • 65+, 61:16

The clear story there: radio skews older. Millennials do like radio (as we learned recently), but not as much as Boomers do. Digital Natives, the youngest group, drop off sharply in time spent.

nielsen total audience report q4 2014 TSL chartNielsen’s report also shows a slight and gradual TSL reduction over two years (4%), in the snapshot of daily TSL to radio:

  • 2012, 2:50
  • 2013, 2:46
  • 2014, 2:43



Brad Hill

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