A quarter of the year is now complete for radio measurement in larger U.S. markets—and Nielsen’s March portable people meter (PPM) ratings present the opportunity to take stock of the changes shaping the radio landscape as the middle of the year draws closer.
We have been tracking the impact of surging News/Talk audiences since January, while monitoring changes in listening patterns for other top formats compared with years past. News/Talk held strong in March, drawing 10.2% of the radio listening audience (persons 6+), slightly down from the 10.5% we reported for February.
While tracking the strength of the News/Talk format, we recently found that while commercial stations have a significantly larger share of the overall audience, non-commercial stations are growing at a faster clip. It’s also worth comparing News/Talk listening patterns with listening patterns across the All News format. Found mostly in the larger markets, All News stations typically focus on reporting hard news around their programming clock. Nationwide, there are significantly fewer All News stations than News/Talk stations. However, listening trends for the All News format have not been able to keep pace with the growth that News/Talk has seen over the past year.
This month we’ve also revisited Millennial historical listening patterns among some of the top music formats—a subject we explored in January to reveal some interesting year-over-year changes. Now we’re taking the opportunity to present a longitudinal look at March ratings.
A handful of storylines stand out:
Data used in this article is inclusive of multicultural audiences. Hispanic consumer audiences are composed of both English and Spanish-speaking representative populations.