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Nielsen PPM Format Trends: Contemporary Christian, AC Remain Star Performers.


With one-third of 2024 in the books, the 10th-ranked format among persons 6+ — and 14th for 18-34s, 18-49s and 25-54s — continues to show solid share growth year-over-year, with monthly trending steady as they go.


That’s the story of contemporary Christian, based on Inside Radio’s monthly analysis of Nielsen PPM cross-market average quarter-hour share data, covering Monday-Sunday 6am-midnight. Going back to Jan.-April 2022, compared to the first four months of 2023 and 2024, the format is up steadily in all four demographics, including nearly a share point among persons 18-34 (2.3-2.8-3.2), 0.7 for 25-54 (2.7-3.1-3.4), and matching 6+’s 0.6 rise in 18-49 (2.7-3.0-3.3).


Adult contemporary’s story is nearly as good, as the format also shows steady year-over-year gains in all these demos, including a full share point lift among 18-49s (7.7-8.6.-8.7). There’s just one downtrend of note, which is a gradual decline in 6+ share since January of this year (8.8-8.7-8.5-8.4).


Two additional formats on the rise in every demo are sports and Spanish regional Mexican. For the former, shares are up from 0.3-0.4 from two years ago, with February-April gains across the demos. While the latter has only grown year-over-year among 18-34s, its January-April numbers are up everywhere else.


Then there’s modern/alternative rock, where except for 18-34s, January-April shares are up 0.7 and 0.8 since 2022 for 18-49 and 25-54, respectively. As for urban AC and urban contemporary, the former has steadily gained 0.4 since January among 18-34s and 18-49s, while the latter is up 0.3 since February for 18-34s, and the same since January for 18-49s and 25-54s.


It’s worth noting that among persons 6+’s top five, and the other demos’ top six or seven, AC is the only across-the-board growth format. The reverse is the case for news/talk, CHR, country, hot AC, and classic hits.


News/talk’s drops are the most dramatic, with 6+’s steady 1.2-point decline since January-April 2022 magnified in other demos, with decreases ranging from 1.7 to 1.9. CHR is also down steadily over the same period, with the largest slide among 18-34s (8.4-7.9-7.1).


While country shows a 0.3-0.6 slip from a year ago, depending on the demo, there’s also been a share decline from January to April among 18-34s and February to April for 18-49s. Hot AC has lost 0.4-0.5 across all demos, and classic hits is off 0.3 for 18-49s and 25-54s.


Finally, there’s Spanish contemporary, which is primarily trending in the opposite direction of Spanish regional Mexican, with shares down in 18-34, 18-49 and 25-49 from the beginning of 2024.

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