Is country radio disenfranchising its 35-44 year-old core? Country is No. 1 in so many advertiser-coveted demos that it’s become the music format to beat. But, according to InsideRadio, there could be trouble on the horizon for the white-hot format, smack-dab in the middle of the Money Demo.
While still No. 1 among 35-44 year-olds, country is at its lowest national share in the demo in 15 years, while its 18-24 audience is at a modern-era high.
According to InsideRadio, some programmers worry the smaller Gen X audience could get further elbowed aside if stations focus too much on the larger Millennial audience.
“Country is targeting where the biggest demos are — Millennials and Boomers — and thus not hitting the center of the target,” Albright & O’Malley & Brenner partner Jaye Albright says. “If country focuses too much under 35, it will lose its heavy user core and its ratings will go down.”
Country’s nearly even male-female gender spilt could also be at risk, she says, because men typically aren’t attracted to the format until they reach their late twenties.
Country programmers agree the music coming out of
has never been better and say it has
brought a healthy infusion of younger listeners to the format. But there are
worries that the rock-based, slightly
rebellious sound that currently dominates the format is diluting the variety it has long been known
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