While “deflate-gate” ruled the headlines last month and pushed the All Sports format to new highs, tune-in fell back earth in February. And while the onslaught of winter weather spiked January listenership among the News/Talk and All News formats in January, particularly in Northeast markets, February listening to these formats remained robust.
According to figures release by Nielsen, Sports radio as a whole fell a full share point to 4.1% among audiences 6 and older as the NFL season moved into the rearview mirror. Meanwhile on the news front, both News/Talk (9.2% in February, up from 9.0% the month prior) and All News (3.0%, flat from January) remained at high levels as the winter-that-wouldn’t leave continues to linger.
Rock radio also had something to write home about in February. Classic Rock set a new all-time high with a 5.1% share among audiences 6+. The format also broke records for 18-34 share (4.4%) and matched the record for listeners 25-54 (5.6%), which was first set in July of 2014. The format has seen steady growth among 18-34 year-old listeners over the past year, and is now consistently the second-most popular rock format with that audience behind Alternative, which also had a good February. Alternative tied its own all-time best mark for audiences 6+ (3.0%). This is worth noting because the format hasn’t been at this level in four years. February 2011 was the last time Alternative hit a 3-share.
The table below trends the PPM-market results for more than a dozen major formats among audiences 6 and older since the Holiday 2014 book. Four formats (Hot AC, Classic Rock, Urban Contemporary and Alternative) all set or tied records for their best results in PPM measurement this month, as noted by the (*) symbol.
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