On-demand audio audience trends younger and listens longer

Listeners for on-demand audio display some distinct demographic trends compared with AM/FM radio. That’s the key takeaway from a Nielsen study commissioned by Westwood One and Cumulus Media to investigate the audience for local on-demand audio content.

The results showed that news and talk content on demand is more likely to be younger than the typical AM/FM radio audience. The median age for AM/FM listeners is 62, compared with 54 for on-demand. Both Millennials and Generation X listeners had a larger share of time spent with that on-demand segment than with AM/FM radio.

A similar trend emerged for sports content, where the 18-34 and 35-54 age groups both spent more time with on-demand than with AM/FM radio. For that topic, the average AM/FM radio age is 51 compared with 44 in on-demand. Entertainment content posted closer numbers between on-demand and AM/FM, but Millennials in particular helped bring the median age lower with their preferences.

This study also pointed to two broader trends in on-demand. First, the overall audience is more likely to be women, with female respondents posting higher percentages of time spent with on-demand content than with AM/FM content in all topics. Second, the listening sessions for on-demand were longer. Over-the-air AM/FM had an average duration of 12 minutes, while mobile on-demand clocked in with 17.2 minutes and desktop on-demand reached 22.5 minutes.

Anna Washenko