“Diverse audiences are big with radio. Notably, Black and Hispanic consumers make up a third of American radio listeners.” That’s how Nielsen introduces its latest report with breakdowns on how black and Hispanic audiences in the United States listen to radio and other media.
According to “Audio Today 2018: A Focus on Black and Hispanic Audiences”, radio’s reach among black consumers has increased since 2014, when 31.1 million black persons aged 12 and older listened weekly; as of 2018, it has risen to 32.3 million weekly. A similar trend has happened among Hispanic listeners: In 2014, 40 million aged 12 and older tuned in each week, compared to 42.3 million this year.
Of the approximately 32 million black consumers reached by radio weekly, 47% are male and 53% are female. Out-of-home listening dominates for this demographic, who prefer to tune in during weekday afternoon drive time. This adds up to an average of 13.5 hours of listening per week — the most of any ethnicity, according to Nielsen. The most popular format is urban adult contemporary, favored by about one-third.
And for the 42 million Hispanic listeners, the female to male ratio is flipped; 53% are male and 47% are female. Hispanic listeners favor listening during the workweek at midday, which makes sense in the context that 72% of their listening is down out of the home. Hispanic weekly listening averages 12 hours and 45 minutes. The top format overall is Mexican regional music, but Hispanic teenagers opt for pop contemporary hit radio and rhythmic contemporary before choosing third-ranked Mexican regional stations.
To put that into perspective, black consumers comprise 13.6% of the national radio audience aged 12 and older, and 16.8% are Hispanic. (Note that both English- and Spanish-speaking persons were included in the Hispanic consumer audience for this report.) Both groups combined represent one-third of the national audience.
Compared to other devices, radio also was identified as the number one “reach vehicle” for black (92% listened weekly) and Hispanic (96% weekly) consumers aged 18 and older in Q1 2018. Radio was followed closely by television (90% of black and 88% of Hispanic watched weekly), but the drop was more precipitous for smartphones — 81% and 80%, for black and Hispanic audiences respectively. PCs, TV-connected devices and tablets have weekly reaches hovering around 40-55% for both ethnic groups.
Smart speakers and streaming also have made their mark on black and Hispanic consumers. According to MediaTech Trender Report Q1 2018, slightly more self-identified black and Hispanic households have a smart speaker; 19% of black homes, 21% of Hispanic homes and 18% of white homes use them. This is also consistent with general interest in smart speakers: 61% of black and 58% of Hispanic consumers indicated interest in owning these devices, while only 36% of white consumers said they wanted to have these devices.
Black audiences also lead the way in streaming; 52% indicated they use a streaming service, and 36% were interested in doing so in the future. On the other hand 45% of Hispanic consumers are audio streamers, and 35% indicated interest; but only 40% of white respondents streamed audio, and 24% showed a desire to try it.