Four months into 2022, clear radio format trends emerge when comparing Nielsen PPM shares to both the January-April period a year ago and two years ago – the latter including the start of the COVID lockdown – and comparing the PPM shares of April 2022 to those of a year and a month ago.
Indoor RadioPPM’s analysis of quarter-hour average share data in cross-markets Monday through Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to midnight, averaging each format’s AQH shares for January-April in 2020, 2021 and 2022, still shows that news/talk and adult contemporary are the most popular. formats between people 6+. News/Talk’s 11.3 share is equal to where it was two years ago, when it was down year-over-year given the format’s ratings surge during of the Capitol insurgency in January 2021. AC, meanwhile, has broken through the 8-stock barrier in 2022 so far, up a tenth of a point from two years ago and 0, 3 year-on-year.
Four formats consistently gained 6+ share year-over-year, Jan-April 2020 through Jan-April 2022: Classic Hits (5.4-5.5-5.8), Adult Urban Contemporary (4.6-4.9-5.1), sports (3.7 -3.8-4.1) and adult shots (2.2-2.4-2.6). Adult hits also increased steadily from January to April 2022 (2.4-2.5-2.6-2.7).
In terms of key demographics, classic hits, city air conditioning, and adult hits are all up from 2020-2022 among 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54 year olds. AC (7.4-7.5-8.0) and adult alternative (0.8-0.9-1.2) listeners are also steadily rising among 18-34 year olds, while it’s also the case for the Spanish format of adult hits among 25-54 year olds.
Meanwhile, Country (6.4-6.2-5.8), Classic Rock (5.2-5.1-5.0), CHR (5.7-5.1-5, 0), modern/alternative rock (2.7-2.6-2.3) and rhythmic-CHR (2.2-1.9-1.8). While the country ranked third among all formats for the January-April 2020 and January-April 2021 periods, comfortably ahead of classic hits, the two are now tied for third for 2022 so far. The encouraging news for three of these formats is that they have been in rebound mode since the first of the year, with the country’s monthly share increasing steadily since January (5.6-5.7-5.9-6.1) and the shares have risen for the two classic formats. rock (4.7-4.7-5.2-5.2) and modern/alternative rock (2.2-2.3-2.4-2.4).
In other monthly trends, April-April 6+ gainers of 0.3 or more include adult contemporary (7.4-7.9), sports (4.0-4.4) , classic hits (5.7-6.0), urban contemporary (2.7-3.0) and news (2.2-2.5). AC and Urban Contemporary also show year-over-year growth in all three key demos, while among 18-34 year olds, Classic Rock and Urban AC are also on the rise.
In terms of format growth from March to April, Classic Hits (5.7-6.0) and Sports (3.9-4.4) increase by 0.3 or more 6+, with Sports up in all demos while classic hits win among 18-49 and 25-54 year olds. It should also be noted an increase in warm alternating current (5.2-5.5) 18-34.