Study: 20 Percent Of Young Listeners Are Heavy Radio Users
December 6, 2012

A new study from Scarborough Research shows that 90 percent of Heavy Radio Listeners in the U.S. are between the ages of 18 and 64, but there are noteworthy generational differences. The study breaks down those listeners into three categories: Generation Y (ages 18 to 29, 20 percent of which are heavy radio listeners); Generation X (ages 30 to 44, 32 percent of which are heavy listeners); and Baby Boomers (ages 45 to 64, 38 percent of which are heavy listeners). As for the Millennials (or Gen Y), 61 percent are heavy listeners of the Pop/CHR format, followed in popularity by Country, Rhythmic/CHR, AC and Hot AC. Gen X listeners are also big on Pop/CHR, AC, Country and Hot AC, followed by Classic Rock. And Baby Boomers are listening to AC the most, followed by News/Talk, Country, Classic Hits and Classic Rock. 

Forty percent of Millennials said they have listened to radio online in the past 30 days, while 33 percent of Gen Xers listened online and 23 percent of Boomers did so. Podcasts are lagging a bit in popularity, as only seven percent of Gen Xers have listened to one in the past 30 days, followed by six percent of millennials and five percent of boomers.

Scarborough also offered a complimentary study on millennials alone, examining their behavior and attitudes regarding modern media. The study showed that radio listening among American adults age 21-34 has remained steady over the past 10 years. In 2001, 15 percent said they listened to news/talk/personality radio in the past week, and in 2011, the number was 14 percent. Millennials also are twice as likely as all adults to have used the Internet to download music in the past 30 days. Twenty-six percent of them visited a radio station website in the past month, and 17 percent listened to a local radio station online.

The Scarborough study was presented as part of the Arbitron Client Conference yesterday.
More data from the study on Millennials can be seen here.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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