August 12, 2022

Aspect Ratio: Classic, AC and adult hits thrive no matter how you watch them. | Story

If you look closely, you will find a positive audience history for almost all radio formats. It is a rare format, however, which shows growth in three ways: from the period January-May 2020, including the initial impact of COVID on viewing habits, to January-May 2022; month by month from January to May 2022; and year-on-year from May 2021 to May 2022.

Indoor RadioNielsen’s analysis of PPM market quarter-hour average share data for Monday-Sunday 6am-midnight – which includes the average AQH share of each format to calculate January-May delivery in 2020, 2021 and 2022 – shows two of the top four formats among ages 6+, adult contemporary and classic hits, showing this three-way growth. For the former, it’s an impressive story given that these numbers exclude AC’s holiday music period.

While news/debate is still not only number one, but the only format with consistently double-digit shares, it does not deliver shares at the same level among 18-34, 18-49, or 25-year-olds. -54, nor the top-ranked format in either demo. Its only growth story is actually in the 18-34 age group, where the share is up 0.3 from the January-May period of 2020 to 2022 to date. Moreover, CHR ranks first, second or third respectively among these three demos, but by no means on the rise.

What’s on the rise is AC, with population gains across the board based on both the five-month average from 2020 to 2002 and the year from May 2021 to May 2022, while also increasing from January to May 2022 among 25-54 year olds. The classic success story is equally powerful, also from January to May 2020 to 2022, and from January to May 2022, in these four demos.

For 6+, there is a steady 20-21-22 growth for four formats: classic hits (5.4-5.6-5.8), adult urban contemporary (4.6-5.0-5 ,1), sports (3.6-3.9-4.2) and adult strokes (2.2-2.4-2.6). Urban AC shows the same growth in the other three demos, although there are no appreciable month-over-month gains. The adult hits, however, are both a year-to-year and month-to-month story, as they show consistent gains from January to May 2022 among people aged 18-49 and 25-54.

For several formats, share growth is only happening this year, in some cases also noticeable from last May to that. This is the story of the country which, although the shares have been declining over the past two years, has shown fairly stable gains since January 6 (5.6-5.7-5.9-6.1-6, 1) with a similar growth pattern in 18-49 year olds and 25-54 year olds. This is also the case for modern/alternative rock, where several star PPM artists are helping to steadily increase market share from January for 6+ (2.2-2.3-2.4-2.4 -2.6) and similarly among the other three demos. Another format with this steady 6+ share growth in 2022 is Urban Contemporary (2.8-2.9-3.0-3.0-3.1), also up from May to May in every demo .

Also of note are the January-May gains in classic rock at 6+, 18-34 and 18-49. and the similar performance of hot AC among these last two groups.

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