Radio’s demographic reach: Nielsen compiles 2015 data in new report

Nielsen Total Audio Feb 2016 millennials

A new report from Nielsen, State of The Media: Audio Today, compiled listening figures from 2015 and confirmed the strength of radio’s reach. This report generally found a respectable performance for radio among younger generations, showing 66.5 million millennials using radio each week. Of that 18-35 age group, 75% of radio listening happens out of the home, and country was the top genre. They clocked in with just over 11 hours of time spent with radio per week. For ages 35-49, 57.4 million use radio each week, and the out-of-home and genre numbers matched the millennials. But the total weekly time with radio was notably higher at 13 hours, 35 minutes; the figure rose even more to a peak of 15 hours, 6 minutes, for Boomers.

Nielsen Total Audio Feb 2016 hoursIt also broke out popular times for listening based on age. For millennials, the top time was the evening post-work drive, while Generation X had better reach on the morning commute and Boomers prefer midday. The data encouraged stations not to ignore their weekend content, with the morning hours getting 72% reach for millennials and 76% reach for Generation X.

Within the overall weekly reach of 93%, network-affiliated stations had the bulk of listening. More than 90% of radio listeners are tuning in to a network-affiliated station each week. Those stations had the best reach among the 45-54 age group, but from age 25 and up, the reach was still above 14% for all radio and above 15% for network-affiliates.

In a final point, the report shared the top tracks across some of the major consumption formats. Mark Ronson’s catchy “Uptown Funk” was the most popular in radio airplay and digital song sales. The top tunes from on-demand streams were “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap in first and “Watch Me” by Silento in second; neither song cracked the top 10 on the other formats.

Anna Washenko