Mapping radio’s reach with Hispanic consumers

Nov 2, 2015

Radio Listening
In each of the past two years, the national weekly radio audience has reached all-time highs according to Nielsen's Audio Today report. In the second quarter of 2015, it found that 245 million Americans aged 12 and older are tuning to radio during an average week across more than 250 local markets large and small.

This growth trend is also evident when examining Black and Hispanic audiences—the weekly reach of radio among Blacks and Hispanics has been growing steadily over the past five years. Since 2011, the weekly national Black radio audience has grown 5% (from 29.8 million to 31.3 million) while the Hispanic audience has grown 11% (from 36.5 million to 40.4 million). Combined, these groups account for almost a third (29.3%) of the national audience, representing 71.7 million audio consumers.

And because radio reaches more than 90% of both of these audiences, the footprint of where that listening is highest mirrors the larger population trends taking place in the U.S. today. When looking at the markets and states with the highest penetration of listening to urban or Spanish language formats—the formats most popular with Black and Hispanic listeners, respectively—geography and market size play a large role in scoring which parts of the map index above or below the national average for audience share to those formats.

The states with the highest share of Black consumers listening to urban radio formats are centered in the East, specifically the mid-Atlantic and the South. There are only two states west of the Mississippi (Arkansas and Louisiana) that index above the national average.

Conversely, the Hispanic map looks a bit different, where western states and states with large urban areas (New York and Chicago) lead the way for listening to Spanish language radio.

Audio is everywhere these days in America - available on multiple platforms from our smart cars to our smartphones, reaching consumers from all walks of life in more than 250 local markets. This quarter we find that the national radio audience has hit an all-time high for the second year in a row: 245 million Americans, more than 91% of those 12 or older, are using radio in a given week.

The power of radio is evident not just as a whole, but also within the diverse communities of listeners stretching from coast to coast. In this quarter's report, we focus on the record 71.7 million blacks and Hispanics who combine to account for almost a third (29.3%) of the national average quarter hour (AQH) audience.

These black and Hispanic consumers spend more time with radio each week than any other group, and possess enormous buying power for advertisers looking to reach a qualified audience when they are away from home and in the marketplace ready to purchase.

Hispanic consumers and music

Music is a key component of Hispanic life and Hispanics are among the most enthusiastic consumers of music across a variety of genres regardless of acculturation level. Having roots in Mexico and various countries across Central America, South America and the Caribbean, Hispanics are diverse, speak multiple languages, and straddle multiple cultures. There is no single narrative that applies to those who identify themselves as Hispanic. Some are recent immigrants who speak only Spanish, some are descendants of families who immigrated generations ago and speak only English, and some speak Spanish and English with equal ease.

One thing that binds Hispanics together is a passion for music.

A Love For Music

The average Hispanic spends $135 per year on music, considerably more than the average consumer, who spends $105 per year. Much of this difference is explained by Hispanics' love of live music and a cultural tradition that values communal celebration.

Source: Published originally on as Mapping Radio's Reach with Black and Hispanic Consumers, August 4, 2015. 


Author - Administrative Assistant III