However, the format faded slightly in August, bucking expectations, allowing Classic Rock to take the lead and emerge as the winner. While Classic Rock’s winning number (up 5.1% this summer) was a smaller uplift than previous winners, it was enough to snatch the crown of “format of the summer” away from Classic Hits.
Classic Rock has been on an upward trajectory for several years now in Nielsen’s portable people meter (PPM) markets, and when you consider the “summer” results for both Classic Hits and Classic Rock, it’s obvious that the latter is in growth mode. Whereas Classic Hits (which is generally identified by playing more pop music than Classic Rock) has seen a consistent share of audience during the summer for several years now, Classic Rock’s summer audience has grown by nearly a full share-point over the past four years.
Nielsen notes that the winning summer format going back to 2011 has emerged as follows: Hot Adult Contemporary (AC), Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR), Country, Classic Hits twice, and now Classic Rock.
August 2016's Top Formats: