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AC and News/Talk Are Off to Strong Start in 2018

But Nielsen says millennials are moving away from hot AC and urban contemporary stations

In a recent Insights, audience measurement specialist Nielsen says the adult contemporary format is off to a “strong start in 2018” and in February was trending at a higher level than since PPM measurement for radio was rolled out in 2010.

Another format trending up in February was news/talk, which Nielsen in part attributes to winter storms as well as the rapid news cycle driven by the Trump administration. Also, compared to February 2014 — during President Obama’s second term but before the election season was in full swing — the format has “the format has increased its share of audience significantly across the board in 2018,” Nielsen observes.

[Read: Nielsen Rolls Out the Diary Monthly Insights Reports]

The company also uses changes in January/February listening habits of those aged 18–34 to track millennials’ taste in music. CHR/pop contemporary still reigns supreme, however Nielsen says “but tune-in has declined nearly a full share point in the past year.” AC, alternative and classic hits stations are trending up in 2018, but hot AC and urban contemporary music are on the downswing according to this data.