Press Room

Nielsen’s First Year-Over-Year Comparison of Spring Radio Ratings Shows Stability of Overall Listening Habits

NEW YORK, NY – July 21, 2010 – Radio consumption shows impressive year-over-year stability, according to an analysis of key listening metrics included in Nielsen’s spring 2010 ratings within 51 U.S. markets. The survey – which measured radio listening in March and April among 115,672 consumers representing a population of 14 million – is the most inclusive sample available in the radio measurement marketplace.

Data for the reach, ratings, and time spent listening (TSL) in Nielsen’s latest survey are consistent with the findings from just one year ago. Listeners age 25 to 54 continue to thrive as the “sweet spot” for radio, while consumers in cell phone only (CPO) households continue to listen at a higher rate than the 12+ population. Meanwhile, listening among persons age 18 to 34 remains consistent with their counterparts age 12 and over in the 51 measured markets.

“The remarkable consistency of Nielsen’s spring 2010 surveys indicates that there’s no bounce from last year’s results,” said Lorraine Hadfield, Nielsen’s director of global radio measurement. “Nielsen’s address-based sampling (ABS) method – which captures all listeners regardless of whether they have a landline phone, cell phone only, or no phone at all – ensures that our ratings are based on the most reliable representation of the population in the 51 local radio metros.”

An estimated 16.3% of households in the spring 2010 sample are cell phone only, up 8.7% from 2009. The increase is in line with the 2009 first half vs. second half rise of 8% in CPO households nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nielsen found that ratings for listeners from CPO households are 8.5% higher than those of the general population age 12+ in the 51 markets, and they listen 5.4% longer, on average, each week.

Ratings Shaped by the Largest and Most Inclusive Sample in 51 Measured Markets