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Nielsen Reveals 2016 Trends in Audio

News/talk and contemporary hits radio formats retain popularity

Not only did the news/talk format top the list of Nielsen’s format rankings for 2016 among persons aged 6 and older, its growth in audience shares rose from 8.9% in 2015 to 9.6% this year; that was the largest increase in shares among the top 10 radio formats. (This was perhaps a predictable result with the presidential election.)

Contemporary hits radio ranked number one for the third consecutive year for the 18-34 and 25-54 demographics.

Pop Contemporary Hit Radio had an 8.1% audience share, ranking second as the top radio format for listeners 6-plus.

And the year’s “radio format of the summer” was classic rock, which replaced recent winner (classic hits), despite its ranked number seven overall ranking.

Persons 6+ Share 2016

News Talk Information (9.6%), Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (8.1%), Adult Contemporary (7.5%), Country/New Country (7.4%), Hot Adult Contemporary (6.4%), Classic Hits (5.3%), Classic Rock (5.1%), Urban Adult Contemporary (4.8%), All Sports (4.7%), Mexican Regional (3.7%), Urban Contemporary (3.7%)

Persons 18-34 Share 2016

Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (12.2%), Country/New Country (8.6%), Hot Adult Contemporary (7.3%), Urban Contemporary (6.6%), Adult Contemporary (6.5%), Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio (5.1%), Mexican Regional (5%) Alternative (5%), Classic Rock (4.5%), News Talk Information (4.1%)

Persons 25-54 Share 2016

Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (8.8%), Country/New Country (7.3%), Adult Contemporary, (7.1%), Hot Adult Contemporary (7%), News Talk Information (6.9%), Classic Rock (5.4%), All Sports (5.3%), Classic Hits (4.7%), Urban Adult Contemporary (4.6%), Mexican Regional (4.5%)