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Survey: Devoted Fanbase Of Black Listeners Are Invested In Their Favorite Stations.

With Black History Month underway, a new Katz Radio Group survey shows the deep, long-term bonds Black Americans have with their favorite radio station. Just under 7 in 10 Black American listeners (69%) have a favorite radio station. In a finding that shows remarkable long-term loyalty, that radio station has been their favorite for a staggering 18 years.

“Considering the ages of respondents in this study, the typical listener has held onto their favorite station from their 20s into their 40s – close to half their lives,” Katz says in a Sound Answers blog post about the survey results. “Favorite stations truly bridge the gap between life stages, delivering relevant and appealing content at any age.”

Katz surveyed over 500 Black adults from across the country to learn more about radio fans and explore the connection between listeners and their favorite local stations. It found that 7 in 10 have a favorite radio station, the vast majority of which are music-formatted stations. Listeners are drawn to “engaging content that makes them feel good, both personally, and as part of a community,” Katz concludes. Eight in 10 say that their favorite station improves their mood, and 69% feel that the station cares about their local community. These stations are so ingrained in listener lives that 83% say they would truly miss theirs if it were gone.

These loyal relationships between listeners and their favorite stations go well beyond just passive listening. Nearly 78% of Black American radio fans have interacted with their favorite station beyond just tuning in. More than half have gone to a station-sponsored event, such as a concert, charity fundraiser, or store remote. And more than 4 in 10 have connected in other ways, including following their favorite station or personalities on social media, or contacting the station by email, phone, or text.

“They are habitual, long-term listeners who are emotionally invested when tuned-in to their favorite stations,” Katz says. “They are active on stations' social media platforms and at station-sponsored events, giving brands even more opportunity to engage with them.”

Offering evidence of their receptivity and responsiveness to ads, 57% of Black Americans are more likely to buy or use brands they hear advertised on their favorite stations. 

“The opportunities and benefits are endless for brands that advertise on radio, reaching Black Americans on their favorite stations,” Katz concludes. “While connecting with these actively engaged and responsive listeners, brands are also gaining a level of authenticity and local clout with them by having a presence on stations that listeners relate to personally and as part of their community.”

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