Network Radio Attracts Educated Audience, Majority Listen ‘On the Go’

November 6, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Hispanic | Household Income | Media & Entertainment | Men | Radio | Women | Youth & Gen X

Network radio in the US attracts a highly educated and affluent audience, as well as a large percentage of Black Americans, working women, Hispanic teens and metropolitan listeners, according to the 2008 Network Radio Today (pdf) report from Arbitron.

The report, an annual national profile that analyzes network-radio listening behavior for various socioeconomic groups, also finds that network radio remains an on-the-go medium, with 60% of listening reported out of home and 40% reported at home.

Key research findings:

  • Network radio reaches nearly three-fourths of Americans age 12+ each week and performs particularly well in the 25-54 demographic, reaching 74% of those in this age range. People age 25-54 compose 50% of the 12+ audience.
  • Network radio reaches 69% of teens (age 12-17) weekly.
  • A nearly equal percentage of adult men (73%) and women (72 %) listen to network radio each week. However, because of population differentials between the sexes, more women 18+ (84.9 million) listen to network radio than men (81.5 million).
  • 70% of college graduates tune into network radio weekly. College-educated listeners make up nearly two-thirds of the total 18+ audience.
  • Each week, network radio reaches 75% of those earning between $50K-$75K per year, and 74% of those earning more than $75K.


  • 85% of Black Americans between ages 18-49, and 86% of those 25-54, listen to network radio. Those between ages 35 and 44 account for almost 22% of network radio’s Black 18+ audience.


  • Hispanic teens ages 12-17 will have the highest percentage (74%) of network radio listening among all Hispanic age groups. Those age 12-24 make up 28% of all of network radio’s Hispanic audience.
  • Network radio reaches 77% of full-time working women, 79% of full-time working women with children under age 12, and 73% of working women college graduates. Fully 27% of network radio’s adult female listeners work full time and make more than $50K annually.


  • 77% of the people 12+ who reside in the most populous US counties listen to network radio. These listeners account for about 42% of network radio’s 12+ audience. 31% of network radio’s 12+ audience reside in the nation’s least populous counties.

About the report: 2008’s Network Radio Today contains updated information for radio broadcasters and advertisers on age, sex, race/ethnicity, education and income for radio audiences, as well as listening trends. Data come from Arbitron’s 250,000-person sample for RADAR 97, June 2008, Volume 2, Network Audience Estimates to All Commercials. All data are based on network schedules tabulated through the PARTS application of PC 2010.


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