As 2016 is winding down and we count down the final days until we ring in the new year, we took a closer look at the radio industry this past year and its ever-evolving growth and listening trends. As we know, radio’s reach is larger than any other format and only continues to grow year-over-year. Nielsen’s latest Comparable Metrics Report reported that radio reaches 93% of U.S. each week.
With 2016 being a presidential election year, we saw exactly what we had expected, the News/Talk format topped the list as the number one ranked format among persons aged 6 and older. The format continues to grow every year, and this year was no different. The growth in audience shares rose from 8.9% in 2015 to 9.6% in 2016, the largest increase in shares among the top 10 radio formats.
Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) followed not so far behind. With an 8.1% share, it ranked second as the top radio format for listeners 6-plus. But, for listeners 18-34 and 25-54, CHR tops the list, ranking number one for the third year in a row.
One other format deserves a call out for its performance this year—Classic Rock. Although the format ranked number seven overall this year, it was named the “radio format of the summer,” overthrowing Classic Hits, which had won that title in the two previous years.
The charts below break down the national listening landscape for the 10 most popular radio formats of 2016 in Nielsen’s PPM Markets.