25-to-54-Yr-Olds Like Radio

July 22, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Hispanic | Media & Entertainment | Radio | Telecom | Youth & Gen X

Listeners age 25 to 54 continue to thrive as the “sweet spot” for radio, while consumers in cell phone only (CPO) households continue to listen at a higher rate than the 12+ population, according to an analysis of the spring 2010 ratings in 51 US markets from The Nielsen Company.

25-to-54 Listen More than Other Age Groups
Persons age 25-54 listened to the radio an average of 24 hours and 23 minutes each week during spring 2010, 7.4% higher than the population older than the age of 12 (22 hours and 42 minutes). The findings are consistent with the 2009 spring ratings, which found that average weekly listening within the 25-54 demographic was 7.5% higher than the 12-plus population.


In addition, 25-to-54-year-olds listen to the radio 8.7% more than 18-to-34-year-olds (22 hours and 29 minutes). This is a slightly narrower listening gap than the 9.8% difference measured in spring 2009.

25-to-54 Have Highest Reach, Rating
The 25-to-54 demographic also beat the 12-plus and 18-to-34 brackets in reach and rating. In spring 2010, radio reached 95% of 25-to-54-year olds on a weekly basis, 2.4% more than 18-to-34-year-olds (92.8%) and 1.9% more than 12-plus (93.2%).

In terms of weekly rating, in spring 2010 25-to-54-year-olds had an 18.4% weekly radio rating, 10.8% more than 18-to-34-year-olds (16.6%) and 7.6% more than 12-plus (17.1%).

Cell Phone Only Listeners Grow
An estimated 16.3% of households in the spring 2010 sample are cell phone only (CPO), up 8.7% from spring 2009. The increase is in line with the 2009 first half vs. second half rise of 8% in CPO households nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Nielsen found that ratings for listeners from CPO households are 8.5% higher than those of the general population age 12-plus in the 51 markets, and they listen 5.4% longer, on average, each week.

Other Findings

  • Listening among persons age 18 to 34 remains consistent with their counterparts age 12 and up in the 51 measured markets, with average ratings for each group hovering around 16.5%.
  • Black listeners age 12-plus spent 21% more time listening to the radio each week than all persons 12-plus, while Hispanic listeners 12-plus spent 13% more time on the radio each week.
  • An estimated 40% of radio listening among persons 12-plus takes place in the car, while 34% takes place at home and 23% at work.

Radio Ends Long Ad Drought
After a three-year slump, radio ad expenditures finally had a turnaround in Q1 2010, according to data from Kantar Media. National Spot Radio advanced 19% and was paced by higher spending from the telecom, financial service and auto categories. Local Radio (+4.6%) and Network Radio (+3%) were also up.

About the Data: This survey measured radio listening in March and April 2010 among 115,672 consumers representing a population of 14 million.

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