Youths Still Listening to Radio

New Nielsen survey covers 51 markets; first to include cell-phone-only households.

Last Updated: September 23, 2009 @ 11:51 AM

A newly launched radio measurement service by Nielsen has found strong radio usage, particularly among the young.
 
The service, which covered 51 markets and 119,000 consumers, representing a population of 14 million, found that 18-34 year olds listen to the radio 21.5 hours each week — in line with all people age 12 and older.
 
It is the widest survey done of the radio market. Previously, cell-phone-only households have been left out of audience measurement — a group that skews toward younger, tech-savvy consumers. Nielsen found that this group, which made up 15 percent of Nielsen’s sample, tunes in even more than 18-34 year olds, listening to the radio 23 hours per week, with a 17.1 percent rating.
 
"By measuring the listening habits of 98 percent of the population instead of the 65 percent that we have been getting, Nielsen has dispelled many of the harmful untruths that have plagued our medium among the ad buying community,” said Lew Dickey, COO of Cumulus Radio, in a statement. “Most notable is the notion that radio has lost its hipness and relevance among younger audiences. Nielsen’s data proves that this is
clearly not the case.”
 
Other findings in the Nielsen study include:
 
· The 12+ listener on average tunes to 2.5 stations each week. Cell-phone-only listeners 12+ listen to 2.8 stations per week
 
· Persons 12+ have a total Average Quarter Hour rating of 15.7 and listen for 21 hours
and 57 minutes per week
 
· African-Americans and Hispanics in the 51 markets tune in more than the average population at 26.5 hours and 25 hours per week respectively. These growing demographics also have higher quarter hour ratings (18.9 percent and 18.2 percent) than the average population
 
· Radio listeners age 18- 34, which account for 27 percent of the measured population, have a total AQH rating of 15.6 percent, which is in line with the entire market.