Boom Format Fueling New Radio Station Growth

For all of the media hype about music streaming services, consumers are still tuning into traditional radio. Nielsen is out with its summary of what was hot in 2014 and what we should watch for this year.  Can you guess which radio style is leading the way in growth?

Nielsen reports that the Boom format, part of the urban contemporary format, is fueling growth in the number of new stations opening around the country. These stations generally play classic hip-​hop music made famous by artists like Notorious B.I.G and Snoop Dogg.  Nielsen’s analysts note that the number of listeners for this format is growing in the age 6 and up group, the 18–34 year-​old group, and the 25–54 year old group. The Urban Contemporary format now has 6.3% of the total radio audience.

Despite the growth in the Urban Contemporary format, the following audio formats are the biggest in terms of total listeners:

  • News talk information 8.8%
  • Pop contemporary hit radio (CHR) 8.2%
  • Country 8.2%

However, these numbers shift when Nielsen focuses on the younger listeners who use its personal people meters (PPM) in core markets. In the 18–34 year old age group, the Pop Contemporary Hit Radio format is tops with 12.3% of the market. Country comes in second with 9.8% and the Hot Adult Contemporary Format is third with 7.1%. In the 25–54 year old age group, Pop Contemporary Hit Radio is in first place with 9.0% and Country is second with 8.0%.

Marketers may want to use any of these formats to connect with Heavy Radio Listeners. AudienceSCAN research indicates that nearly 13% of U.S. adults listen to the radio at least 3 hours a day. And, 33% of these audience members say they’ve taken action as the result of a radio ad they’ve heard in the past 30 days, which is 44% higher than average. These folks are also far more likely than average to start an online search because of a radio ad they’ve heard.

16.7% of heavy radio listeners go to the grocery store or supermarket more than 5 times a week.  25% of these folks also eat fast food 2–3 times a week. This activity makes them a great audience to target with daily specials announced on the radio. In the next year, 34% of heavy radio listeners intend to purchase a high-​definition TV and 25% plan to purchase a new car or truck.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.