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MBPT Spotlight: Nielsen Makes Case for Radio as Way to Target Black, Hispanic Consumers

Marketers wanting to reach Black and Hispanic consumers should make sure they are focusing on radio, where the latest Nielsen audio study finds a record 71.7 million folks nationally were radio listeners in second quarter. That is almost 30% of the record total of 235 Americans who listened to radio on a weekly basis during that period.

Within that 30%, Black and Hispanic consumers spend more time with radio than any other group, are younger, and have significant buying power. Hispanic radio listeners have an average age of 39, an average yearly household income of $58,600 and spend an average 18 hours and 45 minutes each week listening to radio. Black radio listeners have an average age of 44, an average yearly household income of $56,800 and spend an average 18 hours and 30 minutes each week listening to radio.

One interesting finding is that heavy black and Hispanic radio listeners are relatively light TV watchers. Black heavy radio Listeners watch 35 hours and 30 minutes of TV each week and Hispanic heavy radio listeners watch 26 hours of TV each week.

At the same time, heavy TV watchers spend less time with radio than with other media. With so little overlap advertisers who buy only TV will miss a significant segment of consumers.

As far as who’s listening within the black and Hispanic communities, radio reaches more than 90% of all age groups, ranging from teens 12-17 through persons 55-64.

For Hispanics, among the 40 million who listen to radio each week, the most listened-to music format is Mexican Regional, the top daypart of from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the composition of the audience nationally is 54% men and 46% women. Most, 69%, listen outside the home. Pop contemporary hit radio stations are also popular among Hispanic Millennials and all English-dominant Hispanics.

The largest amount of Hispanic radio listening obviously takes place where more Hispanics live. Those states include Texas, California, Nevada, Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Colorado.

For blacks, among the 31 million who listen to radio each week, the most listened to music format is urban adult contemporary, the top daypart is 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the composition of the audience nationally is 52% women and 48% men. Some 63% listen outside the home. Urban contemporary is the next most popular format.

The largest amount of black consumer radio listening occurs in many states where Hispanic listening is lowest – in the deep southeast. States with the most black listeners include Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

As for specific markets, those with the largest Hispanic populations include Los Angeles (4.8 million Hispanics), New York (3.8 million), Miami-Fort Lauderdale (1.9 million), Houston-Galveston (1.8 million), Chicago (1.6 million), Dallas-Fort Worth (1.5 million), San Francisco (1.4 million), Riverside-San Bernardino (1 million), San Antonio (1 million) and Phoenix (937,000).

The largest markets with black populations include New York (2.7 million), Atlanta (1.5 million), Chicago (1.4 million), Washington, D.C. (1.3 million), Philadelphia (932,000), Houston-Galveston (928,000), Dallas-Fort Worth (886,000), Detroit (841,000), Los Angeles (810,000) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale (800,000).

The Nielsen report tells marketers that with a majority of listening taking place outside the home, it is easy to reach Hispanic and black consumers outside the traditional car radio – via smartphones and other electronic devices.

Some 75% of heavy Hispanic radio listeners and 72% of heavy black radio listeners also use social media on a regular basis so ad-supported streaming music platforms are also a good way to reach them with consumer messages.