Public Radio: 26 Million Americans Per Week

Public Radio: 26 Million Americans Per Week
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Public radio listeners are more likely to lean Democratic or identify themselves as Democratic than commercial radio listeners.
That’s one of the findings from Arbitron, which issued a study about public radio.
About 26 million Americans tune in to public radio weekly and they are spending an average of eight hours listening to noncom stations, the company finds.
Last year, the estimated number of people who tuned per week was 26.9 million, and they spent 8 hours listening as well.
“While people of all ages listen to public radio each week, the majority of public radio listening comes from adults, age 35 or older, with slightly more men listening than women,” it states.
News/talk is the leading format, as it is in commercial radio. Classical, jazz and album adult alternative are the leading music formats, compared to AC, CHR and urban for commercial outlets.
Arbitron quotes Scarborough Research saying public radio listeners are 18 percent more likely to lean Democratic or identify themselves as Democrats than the population at large. “Among public radio listeners who tune into the news/talk format, 44 percent are Democrats or are independents who lean Democratic, while 36 percent are Republicans or independents who lean Republican.” The numbers are reversed among commercial news/talk listeners who don’t listen to public radio.
Scarborough is a joint venture of Arbitron and VNU Media Measurement & Information.
Other findings:

- During the workweek, listening is strongest in morning drive, remains high through midday and resurges in afternoon drive. “A significant number of people do their public radio listening between midnight and 6 a.m.,” Arbitron stated.

- During the week, most early-morning listening to public radio is at the home. “Beginning around 7 a.m., as commuters hit the road, the out-of-home share of public radio listening grows and overtakes in-home listening until things even out in the early evening.”

- People in different age demos listen to public radio at different times. “Peak listening times for most men and women occur weekday mornings between 6–10 a.m. and in the afternoons from 3–7 p.m. Older demos tend to listen most during the midday daypart. Older listeners tend to listen to public radio the most on weekends.”

- “Listeners to public news/talk tend to be younger than listeners to most other public formats, and they’re also younger than listeners to commercial news/talk stations.”

- Public classical listeners are more likely to be at home when tuned to their favorite station than listeners to other public formats. Listening is strongest during midday and evenings.

- “Due to the popularity of the news-music public radio format in some of the South Central and Mountain regions, this format has the greatest appeal among Hispanic listeners than any other public radio format.”

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