Radio Format Report Card: Classic Hits, Adult R&B, Sports Up Year-Over-Year.


With one month of PPM data in the books for 2022, there are noticeable share growth trends from a year ago and from the November 2021 survey period, the last monthly unaffected by Christmas music-formatted stations and their impact on most other formats.


Based on Inside Radio's analysis of Nielsen PPM cross-market average quarter-hour share data for Monday-Sunday 6am-midnight, three formats show significant growth in persons 6+ from January 2021 to January 2022: classic hits (5.4-5.7), adult R&B (4.8-5.1) and sports (3.9-4.6). Of those three, the only to have gained from January 2020 as well is adult R&B (4.5-4.8-5.1). While it has a smaller base of stations in the format, rhythmic AC is also up year-over-year (0.9-1.3) with its highest measured share in more than three years, powered by success stories like Communicación XERSA's “Magic 92.5” XHRM in San Diego.


From November 2021 to January 2022, there's one key growth trend: news/talk (10.8-11.5), where the format hits its highest share level since February 2021's post-insurrection 12.4. All-news, also up from November (2.2-2.7) delivers its highest share since the first full COVID lockdown measurement period of April 2020.


Looking at PPM trends among persons 25-54, seven formats are up three-tenths of a share point or more year-over-year: adult contemporary (7.4-7.7), CHR (6.2-6.5), hot AC (4.7-5.2), classic hits (4.8-5.1), regional Mexican (4.2-4.5), hip-hop/R&B (3.6-3.9) and rhythmic AC (0.9-1.5). For regional Mexican, the trend represents a continual growth story from January 2020 (3.8-4.2-4.5). For AC, discounting the survey periods during its flip to holiday music, January 2022's 7.7 marks its highest 25-54 share since February 2020.


As is the case for 6+, the only notable uptrend in the 25-54 demo from November 2021 is news/talk (7.2-7.7) and all-news (1.3-1.6), where the former's share was its highest since April 2021, the latter at its highest mark in more than three years.


Among 18-34s, four formats gain 0.3 or more from January to January: classic hits (4.5-4.8), classic rock (4.3-4.6), sports (2.8-3.1) and rhythmic AC (1.0-1.8). Up notably from November are AC (7.5-8.1), classic rock (4.2-4.6) and rhythmic AC (1.5-1.8).

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