Skip to content
Insights > Media

No Second Fiddle: Small and Medium Markets Are Vibrant Radio Marketplaces

2 minute read | August 2015

It’s no secret, radio’s reach is unprecedented. According to the recent Q2 2015 Audio Today Report, 245 million Americans aged 12 years old and older tuned to radio during an average week across more than 250 markets. However, while the bigger markets often grab the headlines, small and medium markets are still viable and vibrant ways to reach consumers.

According to a special edition of the Audio Today Report series focused on small and medium markets, 65 million Americans (12+) are using radio every week in America’s small and medium cities. That’s over a quarter of all listeners nationwide reached in those markets!

The report also noted that the majority of consumers in these markets are connecting to the radio and spending a lot of time listening as well. More than 86% of consumers tune in during the week and spend more than 15 hours of their media time with radio.

So who are the listeners in the 215 local markets that are covered in this report?

Small and medium market radio listeners are evenly split when it comes to gender. Radio also reaches across the generations—86.8% of Boomers (aged 50-74), 86.5% of Millennials (12-34) and 89.9% of Gen Xers (35-49) are reached by radio in these markets each week.

Among multicultural listeners, 88.4% of all Hispanics in these small and medium markets are tuning in, spending over 16 hours of time listening each week. Working Hispanic adults spend over 18 hours with the radio—the largest amount of time of any full-time employed age group or demographic. In addition, over 87% of African American consumers in these markets are reached weekly by the radio—listening for 17-and-a-half hours.

“The power of radio in small and medium markets should not be overlooked,” says Jon Miller, Vice President, Research, Nielsen. “In fact, a majority of radio usage in these markets come from employed consumers who are out of their home and one step closer to the point of purchase. That’s a solid foundation for both programmers and marketers to build on.”

While these markets are smaller than big city players, the value opportunity they represent to agencies and marketer is not. 

For more information on state of radio today in small and medium markets, download our Q2 2015 Audio Today Report. To learn more about the power of local radio advertising, check out our American Family Insurance case study.