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MBPT Spotlight: Marketers Looking To Reach Millennials: Why Not Try Network Radio?

Advertisers looking to market to the harder-to-reach millennial demo should consider network radio as a sound route to do so, according to Nielsen’s most recent Audio Today report.

Based on Nielsen RADAR data, which measures listening at 46 national radio networks, 51.1 million millennials (age 18-34, as per the report) listen to network radio each week, which represents approximately 70% of all millennials in the country. Millennial network radio listeners are also affluent, with 70.8% of them having household incomes over $75,000 annually. That is in part explained by 68.4% of millennial network radio listeners being college graduates. And the audience composition is pretty evenly divided between 53% men and 47% women.

The report points out that more millennials listen to national radio network programming than generation X (44 million) and baby boomers (43 million).

“The audio landscape in America today offers more choices for consumers and more types of programming than ever before,” the report states. “Everything from music and sports to talk radio, the variety of personalities and perspectives characterizes not just the diversity of radio content, but also the unique audiences—young and old—that are tuning in each day in markets large and small all across the country.”

Overall, more than 181 million Americans, age 12 and older, listen to network radio each week, the report says. If one is looking at the traditional ad buying demos, there are 95.5 million adults 18-49 and 89.8 million adults 25-54 listening to national radio each week.

The report finds that most of those listeners—of all ages—are being reached by commercials. Overall, based on RADAR data, 68% of all persons 12-plus are reached by at least one national radio commercial each week.

Breaking it down by demo, 72.5% of women 18-24 and 67% of men 18-24 are reached with a network radio commercial each week. Among women 25-34, 70.8% are reached weekly by a commercial, compared to 69.6% of men.

In the 35-44 age group, 71.9% of men and 70.4% of women are reached weekly by a network radio commercial, and in the 45-54 demo, 75.5% of men and 71.6% of women are hearing at least one network radio commercial weekly.

Among persons 55-64, 71.8% of men and 66.3% women are reached weekly by a network radio spot, and among folks 65-plus, 61.5% of men, and 55.5% of women are hearing at least one network radio commercial each week.

Network radio’s biggest reach is in the South, which makes up about 37% of the national audience, or 67.4 million listeners. The next largest audience is in the Midwest, which makes up 23% of the national audience or 41.1 million listeners. The West makes up about 21% of the national audience or 38.3 million, while the East makes up 19% of the total audience, or 34.5 million viewers.

The national networks also reach a large number of listeners in the most populated markets in the country each week. In the Top 10 DMAs, network radio reaches 57.9 million persons 12-plus. In the 18-49 demo it reaches 32 million, and among adults 25-54, it reaches 30.4 million.

In the DMAs ranked 11-25, network radio reaches a weekly audience of 36.5 million; in the DMAs ranked 26-50, it reaches 32.2 million; in DMAs 51-100 it averages 32.4 million each week; and in DMAs over 100, it averages 22.3 million listeners each week.

Network radio is also a solid way to reach both African-American and Hispanic consumers. The report finds that 25.4 million African-Americans listen to network radio each week with 52% of them being women and 48% men. The total audience reached each week makes up about 75% of all African-Americans in the country, with 76.1% of the audience being college graduates and with a household income of over $75,000.

The report also finds 29.9 million Hispanics listen to network radio each week with 53% being men and 47% women. The total audience reached makes up about 63% of all Hispanics in the U.S., with 66.2% of those listeners being college graduates and 70.1% having household incomes over $75,000.

While the Nielsen report didn’t get into specific advertisers who are big national radio spenders, the categories with the biggest spenders have traditionally included national retailers, fast food restaurants, insurance companies, automakers and wireless companies. Based on the demo data in this report, it seems like marketers in several other categories might want to do some experimenting in network radio.