Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Country and Urban Radio May Help Elect the Next President

Stations in these formats have strong appeal to Millennial listeners

Political campaigns need to reach out to young voters in order to be successful. Nielsen’s “State of The Media: Audio Today” report may offer guidance for ways broadcast radio can help presidential candidates reach key voter demographics and get out the vote.

According to Nielsen, the study combined PPM data and Experian’s Political Voting Behavior to determine which radio formats resonate with specific voter segments across four major political groups. The study looked at listening and voting behavior of more than 70,000 panelists, 18-plus, in 45 major U.S. markets.

On a weekly basis, 92% of Millennials listen to radio, and certain formats are correlated with certain political affiliations.

Country stations currently rank as the favorite format among U.S. listeners aged 18-34, and Urban (hip-hop, rap, R&B) radio is also popular with a subset of that group — 25-to-34 year-olds.

Because of its broad popularity, Country listeners’ political leanings are in line with those other larger U.S. radio audiences. However, this group comprises more “Mild Republicans” and fewer Independents. But — perhaps surprisingly — in the top radio markets, an equal percentage of Democratic and Republican voters listen to Country radio.

Breaking down these preferences further, New Country (current hits stations) usually attracts younger listeners, and 31% of the New Country audience are unregistered, which is six points higher than the U.S. average.

On the other hand, Classic Country stations have an audience that is 39% registered Republican and two-thirds self-identified as “Ultra Conservatives.” Also interesting, among the 36% of the Dems who like Classic Country, most self-identify as “Conservative Democrats.”

Urban-formatted stations, including Urban Adult Contemporary and Urban Oldies, skew left. “Super Democrat,” “Left-Out Democrat” and “Conservative Democrat” voters comprise 44% of Urban station audiences; in fact, Left-Out Democrats comprise the largest portion of the Urban formats’ audience.

Both Urban and Contemprary Hits Radio stations offer opportunities to reach undecided voters, in part because 38.2% of listeners to these stations are Millennials aged 18-34. Unregistered voters also make up more than one third of the Urban and CHR audiences.