Nielsen Media Research recently unveiled its annual Audio Today report centering around the usage of audio-based platforms by American consumers, including streaming, podcasts and both broadcast and satellite radio. The study affirmed that radio reaches a larger share of the American population than any other media platform, including 91% of adults 18 or older. When narrowing down the demographic to adults ages 18-34, radio reaches 85% of the population, a figure 5% higher than live and time-shifted television. Year-over-year, the monthly reach of radio declined by approximately 2% both for adults 18 and older and adults ages 18-34. Nonetheless, radio still proves dominant over other devices able to access media, including tablets and smartphones.
While the impact of radio is undeniable, the precipitous rise of podcasts has been taking place over the course of several years and further saturating the content marketplace. Podcast listeners typically consume their programming during rush hours; that is, the early morning and the late afternoon and evening. American consumers spend an average of one to four hours consuming podcasts on a weekly basis, although consumers listening to podcasts for 5-7 hours per day increased from 12 to 15% annually.
As it pertains to podcast genres, comedy and news remained the top genres despite declines in listenership. Moreover, sports podcasts experienced a 10% decrease in listenership, one of the more pronounced decreases over the last year. Society and culture-based podcasts received the largest positive gain, with total listeners augmenting by 12%.
All-sports formatted radio stations, however, jumped in terms of monthly reach (000), moving from 10th to eighth among the top 20 AM/FM radio formats. The rise in cume is consistent with the reasoning behind increased advertising spending and investment into quality content.
The median age of sports radio listeners moved from 51 to 52, consistent with the existing audience. Moreover, the percentage of listeners employed either on a full-time or part-time basis remained at 69%, along with the average household size of 2.9 persons.
Audio-based services, specifically those rooted in terrestrial radio, reach more listeners than any other platform. According to the study, ad-supported audio on radio reaches 91% of the U.S. population, nearly two times the number of listeners on streaming music services. The figure is down 2% year over year, but still strong compared to others comparable. Ninety-three percent of adults in the U.S. population between the ages of 35 and 49 are exposed to these advertisements on a monthly basis, and 92% age 50 or older. Analyzing the reach of audio in marketing campaigns, the study attained similar figures – 91% of adults over the age of 18; and 92% of adults age 50 or older.
Radio also dominates other platforms when it comes to the time spent listening, responsible for 38% of daily listening time among all audio sources. By refining the measurement to ad-supported audio sources – essentially eliminating owned music and paid audio streaming services without advertisements – radio is responsible for 68% of daily audio consumption.
Streaming is also on the rise, with 20% of listeners tuning into their favorite stations through digital streams. The number is up by 5% year over year and has steadily increased since the first quarter of 2022, quantifiable evidence of the conspicuous effect of technological innovation and development on the industry.
As has historically been the case, larger shares of listening take place when consumers are out of their homes, primarily in the car. The study concluded that 68% of listeners consume radio in the car outside of the home during a full week, with more car-based radio listening taking place on the weekends than the weekdays. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of AM radio listening takes place in the car, justifying the reasoning of keeping the platform accessible to drivers as a standard feature of vehicles. Ford had plans to eliminate AM radio from its new car models, but quickly reversed course after government leaders voiced concerns about the dissemination of notifications via the emergency alert system.
NOTE: An original version of this story expressed that sports radio more than doubled its monthly reach in the last year. Nielsen Media Research contacted Barrett Sports Media and expressed that there was an error in the 2022 Audio Today report, mistakenly listing the cume as 8,827 rather than 18,827 (000).
92.9 The Game Enjoys Ratings Growth in Atlanta Summer Book
In weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p), the station finished 2nd overall with a 6.8 share.
The summer ratings book is out in Atlanta, and 92.9 The Game once again turned in a strong quarterly performance with Men 25-54.
In weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p), the station finished 2nd overall with a 6.8 share for the book. For the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid), the station remained 2nd with a 5.6 share.
Looking at the weekday shows, in mornings, the summer book represented the second ratings period for the station’s show helmed by Tiffany Blackmon, Mike Johnson, and Beau Morgan. The Morning Shift saw a slight drop from its first book, finishing with a 7.1 share for the quarter. That figure was an 8.4 share in the spring book. Nonetheless, the program remained in a strong position, 2nd overall in the market.
In middays, the station had a pair of shows finish 2nd, with The Steakhouse — featuring Steak Shapiro and Sandra Golden –enjoying an uptick from a 6.9 in the spring to an 8.1 in the summer. Shapiro and Golden are heard weekdays on the station from 9a-11a.
Additionally, middays with Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael generated a 7.1 share, which was one tenth of a point off from its spring book. Similar to The Morning Shift and The Steakhouse, Bunker and McMichael secured 2nd place in their time slow.
The venerable 92.9 The Game afternoon duo of Carl Dukes and Mike Bell, which airs from 2p-7p, saw a slight dip this quarter to finish with a 6.6 share, good for 3rd in the market. In the spring book, Dukes & Bell were 2nd with a 6.9 share.
Ratings information for 680 The Fan was not made available for the summer book.
Jon Ritchie: Joe DeCamara Deserves Credit from ESPN For Idea That Turned Phillies Season Around
Earlier this year, 94 WIP producer Jack Fritz received acclaim for sharing an idea that Philadelphia fans should give struggling shortstop Trea Turner a standing ovation. Morning host Jon Ritchie believes his partner, Joe DeCamara isn’t getting the credit he deserves.
During DeCamara and Ritchie Wednesday morning, the former NFL star argued that ESPN’s Karl Ravech got the story wrong in its retelling during the Phillies National League Wild Card Game Tuesday.
“This is good stuff. Last night during the during the broadcast, I started getting texts and tweets about this, but didn’t hear it live because I was at the game,” DeCamara said. “But during the broadcast, Karl Ravech and David Cone talked about what Fritz did and the Trea Turner thing.”
The show then played the clip of Ravech and Cone talking about Fritz’s idea of giving the standing ovation and how it helped turn Turner’s season around. Ritchie jokingly took issue with the fact that it was actually DeCamara’s idea.
“I guess (Fritz) did do the organizing, that is true, but the idea was hatched by Joe DeCamara on our show,” said Ritchie. “This was Joe’s idea. He hatched it. Let’s give him some credit here, and if Jack Fritz is gonna get a ring, why doesn’t Joe DeCamara?”
DeCarama joked Jon Ritchie just “wants to cause trouble”, before his co-host pushed him to say it was his idea.
“If I say yes, I seem like a bad guy. If I say no, I’m lying. So I will say no,” DeCamara said slyly.
Last week, during an appearance on the station, Turner thanked afternoon hosts Jon Marks and Ike Reese for helping turn around his year.
“Obviously, the whole thing happened and the rest is kind of history. Started playing a lot better and it was thanks to you guys and the crowd,” the Phillies star said.
98.5 The Sports Hub Delivers Strong Summer Ratings But WEEI’s ‘Greg Hill Show’ Closes The Gap in Mornings
“98.5 The Sports Hub remained the top overall station in the summer book but WEEI’s Greg Hill Show made up significant ground in morning drive.”
Boston has long been one of the hottest sports radio markets in America. With the latest summer ratings period now closed, we know it is also one of the most competitive between 98.5 The Sports Hub and WEEI.
In morning drive, Toucher & Rich still topped the market with an impressive 15.1 share. That rating is one that most shows would gladly take but after producing a massive 24.3 share last Summer, maintaining that performance was going to be a tall order. Though the show was 1st with a strong number, a decline of more than 9 shares year over year has to get the attention of the morning show and the management team. If anyone can rebound though and regain that past performance, T&R have shown they can.
Scott Zolak and Marc “Beetle” Bertrand continued to earn the number one spot in middays, garnering a 14.6 share for The Hub. That number was also down year-over-year but not as much as mornings. Zo and Bertrand turned in an 18.1 share in the 2022 Summer book.
Felger & Mazz — hosted by Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti — remains the best-performing show in Boston. The afternoon show held a 17.2 share to finish 1st in their time slot. The show did drop from a 19.7 share last summer but remains comfortably ahead of any market competition.
In weekday prime ratings, 98.5 The Sports Hub remained the top overall station with a 15.3 share. That number was down 25% year-over-year when it held a 20.4 share.
Meanwhile, WEEI rose more than 34% in weekday prime to a 7.4 share, up from a 5.5 in the same book a year ago. That placed them 3rd for the book.
WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show was the station’s biggest winner, more than doubling its share year over year. Hill’s program ranked 2nd with an 11.6 share this summer compared to a 5.2, 7th place finish last year. Only 3.5 shares now separate Hill from Toucher & Rich.
The midday pairing of Andy Gresh and Christian Fauria saw a slight increase for WEEI this quarter, moving to a 7.0 share. That figure was up from 6.3 last year. They were ranked 4th overall this quarter.
The afternoon pairing of Adam Jones, Meghan Ottolini, and Christian Arcand saw a noticeable drop, garnering a 3.9 share during the summer book. That put them in an 8th place tie during the summer book. Last year, WEEI’s afternoon show of Lou Merloni, Fauria, and Ottolini saw a 6.0 share in afternoon drive.
All numbers reported above are for sports radio’s target demographic of Men 25-54. The Hub did also have strong stories with Men 18-34 (1st for the full week, 2nd in prime), Persons 25-54 (1st for the full week, 3rd in prime), and Men 18-49 (1st for the full week, 1st in prime).