With 2017 drawing to a close, radio remains a fan favorite for millions of Americans across the country. Nearly 90% of all radio listening involves consumers’ three favorite stations. So while the importance of just a few outlets in a listener’s daily life remains unchanged, which radio format you prefer depends on a lot of factors, including your age.
Nielsen’s portable people meter (PPM) market data show some distinct differences when assessing the top 10 radio formats of the year, particularly when we look at preferences across different generations. Overall in 2017, News/Talk improved on its success from last year, as did Adult Contemporary (AC) and Country. Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) had a down year compared with 2016, but it remained the top-ranked format in terms of audience share among kids 6-11, teens 12-17, Millennials aged 18-34 and persons 25-to-54. And listening to Urban Contemporary stations (also known as hip-hop) was much more prevalent among younger audiences, whereas News/Talk radio (the No. 1 overall format each year in PPM markets) rises dramatically as we age.
The charts below break down the national listening landscape for the 10 most popular radio formats of 2017 in Nielsen’s PPM markets.
Data used in this article is inclusive of multicultural audiences. Hispanic consumer audiences are composed of both English and Spanish-speaking representative populations.