Nielsen: Country, AC Continue To Drive Adult Listening.


Nielsen's “Audio Today” report, covering nearly every angle of broadcast radio, includes an overall ranking of AM/FM's top formats based on monthly reach, along with top formats by audience share among 17 key demographic groups.


The biggest takeaway is country's continued dominance with adults overall, as it's the top choice among 18+, 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, women or men. In fact, for all groups except 18+, it's not even close: country leads the second-ranked format by at least 2.7 share points (among women 18-49) and by a maximum of 4.8 (for men 18-49 and adults 25-54). For 18+, the gap between country and second-ranked news/talk is just 0.3. For other adult demos, that second-ranked format is either pop CHR (for adults 18-34, and adults or women 18-49), adult contemporary (adults or women 25-54) or news/talk (men 18-49 or 25-54).


Looking at teens 12-17, pop CHR leads country by 2.6 points, while among Hispanic teens it's ahead by just 0.9 over Mexican regional. In other Hispanic demo groups, Mexican regional is the leader over either pop CHR (among adult 18-34) or Spanish contemporary + Spanish hot AC (18+ and 25-54). For Black demo groups, Urban contemporary leads among teens and adults 18-34, while urban AC is on top for 18+ and 25-54.


In Nielsen's ranking of the 20 top formats among adults 18+ ranked by monthly reach, AC, country and news/talk rank 1-2-3, with AC stations showing a monthly reach of 56.7 million vs. country's 51.7 million and news/talk's 46.6 million. Ranked by median age, rhythmic CHR skews youngest at 35 followed by pop CHR at 36 and alternative and urban contemporary tied at 38.

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