There’s no denying the growing influence of multicultural consumers in the U.S. Hispanic consumers are of particular relevance, given their growing numbers and spending prowess. Their influence on the media landscape is equally noteworthy, including radio. In fact radio is the top platform for reaching both African-Americans and Hispanics each week; 97% of all Hispanics are reached by radio every week, the highest penetration that we measure across demographics, ethnicities and platforms.
And while the results of August’s portable people meter (PPM) survey had us singing the praise of Classic Rock and Classic Hits, which battled it out for “format of the summer” supremacy, the two most popular Spanish-language formats saw an upswing in September: Mexican Regional and Spanish Contemporary. Combined, these two formats account for nearly one quarter of all Hispanic radio listening across the U.S., and their popularity is a clear indication of the strength of Spanish-language radio on the airwaves.
Of that quarter of all radio listening done by Hispanics, Mexican Regional has for the lion’s share; accounting for 16.3% of Hispanic radio usage nationally. And in looking at September’s PPM results, we see that this format is up from each of the previous two years.
Spanish Contemporary also had a good September and set a few new records for share of audience in PPM measurement as well. In particular, the format secured more than 3% of the tune in from all adults 25 to 54. This is only the fourth time since the beginning of 2011 that the format has secured more than 3% of this demographic, but each of the three other times occurred earlier this year.
On the spoken word front, a few interesting results also emerged in September based on seasonality. First, after tune-in for the News/Talk format rose to historical levels in recent months (buoyed by the increasing interest in the race for the White House), its share of audience dipped in September. News/Talk declined slightly in share of audience among all listeners age 6 and older, falling from 9.6% in August to 9.3% in September. It’s worth noting that the September PPM survey extended through Sept. 7, and therefore, didn’t include the first Presidential debate, which drew 84 million TV viewers. Big picture, News/Talk is still well ahead of its pace last year. And when the October results are out, we’ll finally get to see the impact of the debate on audience tune-in.
Lastly, Sports radio was on the rise this month, another expected development. Sports formats are cyclical and see their highest shares of audience around the changeover of the year when football returns and baseball concludes. What stood out in September, however, is that format posted its best September results since the beginning of PPM measurement: 4.7% share among all listeners 6+, 3.7% in the 18-34 demographic, and 5.3% with consumers aged 25 to 54.
*Nielsen Audio officially has 48 measured PPM Markets, but three of them (Nassau-Suffolk, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, and San Jose) are included in the larger New York and San Francisco metro areas. Therefore, the listening data from those Markets are included in these results even though we did not break them out separately.
Data used in this report is inclusive of multicultural audiences. Hispanic consumer audiences are composed of both English and Spanish speaking representative populations.