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Study Documents Country Format’s Reach

The Media Audit places it at second behind contemporary hit

Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Because singing about it is a much more lucrative career.

In a study released by The Media Audit titled “The Media Audit 2010 National Radio Format Report,” the format placed second overall behind Contemporary Hit Radio.

Conducted between January 2010 and March 2011 among 100,000 adults across 80 markets, the results revealed the participants’ listening as well as purchasing habits.

Among respondents, 11.4% reported listening to country music at least once in the past week, and of those who do listen, nearly half listen to country more than any other format.

One outcome to consider with this data is the conclusion of this season’s “American Idol,” which featured country music singers as the show’s top two finalists. Contestant placement on Idol is determined by popular vote following live performances.

The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area showed the greatest number of country music listeners overall with 743,000 adults, though Columbia-Jefferson City, Mo. reported the highest concentration, with 179,924, 28.5% of the market.

The study also touched upon purchasing habits and economic data. A newsletter from The Media Audit claimed that country music listeners remain faithful to American-made automobiles and are 31% more likely to purchase one. The numbers even went into ownership of specific brands, claiming these listeners are 56% more likely to own a Chevrolet, and a 65% more likely to own a Hummer, among other brands.

Concerning earning potential, the report claimed the typical country music listener has an average $67,757 household income, with one in five listeners earning more than $100,000 in household income.