Format Report Card: Hot AC, Classic Hits Up Across The Board, News/Talk Rebounds.


For 2021 so far, Hot Adult Contemporary and Classic Hits are the only two formats showing notable share growth among persons 6+, 18-34 and 25-54 from January through September. In two of these three demos, there are also healthy gains for CHR and Adult R&B. On the non-music side, News/Talk continues its resurgence following its post-insurrection downtrend, and Sports is experiencing its usual summer-fall uptrend. There are key trends for other formats as well in Inside Radio's analysis of Nielsen PPM cross-market average quarter-hour share data for Monday-Sunday 6am-midnight, for the year to date.


Hot AC is the year's biggest gainer to date, since January up 0.7 (4.7-5.4) for adults 25-54 and 0.5 (5.4-5.9) for 18-34, where shares hit the 6-mark in June and July. Classic Hits' story is the strongest among 25-54, where share is up 0.5 (4.8-5.3) from January. Additional up-trending music formats include CHR, up 0.4 (6.2-6.6) 25-54 and 0.3 (5.0-5.3) 6+, and Adult R&B, up 0.5 (4.4-4.9) 25-54 and 0.4 (4.8-5.2) 6+.


Several other formats either show growth from mid-year, or are gaining significantly among 18-34 listeners. Adult Contemporary, which had declined from January to April in 6+ and 25-54, has bounced back in both demos, up 0.4 (7.1-7.5) 25-54 and 0.3 (7.4-7.7) 6+. Both Adult Hits and Rhythmic AC have grown in 18-34, from January up 0.4 (2.1-2.5) and 0.6 (1.0-1.6) respectively, while Rhythmic CHR is up 0.4 (3.5-3.9) from June to September.


News/Talk, which reached higher-than-normal levels in January during the Capitol insurrection, has seen rising shares after hitting lows in July. It's up 0.8 for both 6+ (10.3-11.1) and 25-54 (6.8-7.6) from July to September, and up 0.5 (4.8-5.3) in 18-34 over that same period. Sports-formatted stations are showing a regular season uptick since July, up 0.6 (3.6-4.2) 25-54, 0.5 (3.7-4.2) 6+ and 0.3 (2.3-2.6) 18-34.

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