Nielsen reports the October listening trends for several major formats were consistent with those in September. News/Talk posted another solid month of gains, while both Country and Classic Hits continued to cool from their summertime highs.
But Sports was the headline story, as it gained nearly a full share point, increasing from a 4.5 to 5.4-share (5.4% of the listening audience) among all listeners aged 6+ and from a 5.1 to a 6.0-share among audiences 25 to 54.
News/Talk also saw a rise in audience share for the second straight month, keeping with a similar annual cycle of increased ratings during the fall. The audience share for News/Talk grew to 9.1%, the first time News/Talk has been above a 9-share since March. October also marked the format’s second-best book of the year, falling just behind January (9.3%), a month that brought a heavy doses of winter weather across many parts of the country.
Below are some additional highlights from Nielsen’s October PPM data:
- October was a good month for several of the most-popular Spanish-language formats in PPM markets. Mexican Regional, the No. 1 format among Hispanic radio listeners nationwide, saw growth with listeners aged 6+ (going 3.6%-3.7%), 18-34 (increasing from 4.9% to 5.2%) and 25-54 (growing from 4.4% to 4.6%). Elsewhere, Spanish Contemporary had its best month of the year with listeners 25-54, hitting a 2.6-share in October.
- The Country downtrend has now extended into a third consecutive month. Listening trends in August and September marked the first time in recent memory that Country’s growth slowed significantly after growing on a sustained basis for several years. October marks the third consecutive month of declining shares. Among listeners 6+, the trend has tracked 8.4%-8.3%-8.2%; among audiences 18-34, 10.1%-9.8%-9.5%; and for 25-54 year-olds, 8.2%-8.2%-8.0%.
- Listening trends in October suggest that the highs that Classic Hits experienced over the summer was likely tied to seasonality more than anything else. Overall, listening for the format dipped below a 5-share for the first time since January, posting a 4.9-share in October. And, more tellingly, among listeners 18-34, Classic Hits has trended 3.8%-3.7%-3.3% over the past three months, falling back to pre-summertime levels.