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Nielsen: Radio Reaches 244.4 Million Weekly

TSL is stable, while radio ‘continues to increase its reach’

U.S. radio now reaches 244.4 million people (age 12+) in an average week, according to research company Nielsen in its RADAR National Radio Listening Report.

That’s an increase of about 1.2 million weekly listeners since at this time last year, and it means radio reaches 92 percent of the population.

This is the first time that Nielsen — which recently absorbed Arbitron and now issues RADAR — reported findings based on the Monday-Sunday midnight-to-midnight daypart. Past announcements were based on Monday-Sunday 6 a.m. to midnight. “This change was made in an effort to present a more complete picture of the total possible audience,” Nielsen states. “As a result of this change, historical comparisons or trends based on past RADAR press releases should not be made.”

Radio World inquired of Nielsen what the listening data would show otherwise. Here are the results exploring the trend both ways, showing total national cume (12+) going back to 2010:

Nielsen also says time spent listening among radio listeners age 12+ was 2 hours 41 minutes a day, holding steady from last year. Average daily TSL for all Americans (with non-radio listeners also taken into account) was 1 hour 49 minutes; a Nielsen spokesman told Radio World that this number too held steady.

The research company highlighted growth in the national audience for the youth demo 18–34: “According to the March 2014 RADAR report, the national audience aged 18 to 34 grew by more than half a million compared to the previous year, reaching 91.9 percent of all 18- to 34-year-olds.” It said national reach also increased among African-American and Hispanic audiences.

The report is based on national network radio ratings and measures 46 networks operated by AdLarge Media, American Urban Radio Networks, Crystal Media Networks, Cumulus Media Networks, Premiere Networks, United Stations Radio Networks and WestwoodOne. Sample size is about 396,000 people; the report includes data from the 48 PPM markets.