Westwood One 2018

Looking at the differences between those who listen to AM/FM radio traditionally and those who listen via streaming shows the latter attracts more females and skews younger than the over-the-air audience.

Using data from 88,000 registered listeners to the streams of Cumulus Media radio stations, Westwood One examined the age, gender and location data from these users over a four-month period (April to July 2019). While the over-the-air gender spread is equal across the Cumulus Radio Station Group, 62% of the music streaming audience is made up of women.

“Given AM/FM radio streaming is strongest during the workday (between the hours of 9am and 5pm) and women dominate office environments, it makes sense that streaming of music formats leans more female,” Senior Director, National and Local Insights Doug Hyde writes in a blog post.

The data shows a higher composition of women for all music formats compared to the on-air audience. A look at the country format shows the 53% over-the-air female audience composition jumps to 72% for the online stream. AC increases from 61% female over-the-air composition to 71% online, while CHR sees a 16-percentage point increase – from the 60% of females who listen via good, old fashioned radio to 76% who pull up a station stream. The classic hits female composition is much higher for the stream (62%) compared to over-the-air (47%).

Not surprisingly, the Millennial audience composition is higher for streaming (37%) than for traditional broadcasts (27%). “The median age of the Cumulus Radio Station Group music streams is 40, five years younger than the on-air audience,” Hyde reveals. The money demo (25-54) also has a higher streaming audience composition (67%) than the over-the-air audience, which is at 52%.

Local advertisers to streaming radio stations, as well as those heard on stations that fully simulcast their over-the-air programming, have their message heard within the station’s DMA. Hyde says 81% of the Cumulus Radio Station Group streaming audience listens in the home market of the station they stream.

Overall, spoken word formats have relatively the same male audience composition on-air and online: 86% male for streaming sports talk stations compared to 85% on-air and 70% male for streaming news/talk compared to 65% on-air. The 25-54 audience composition for sports talk stations grows from 54% of the on-air listeners to 65% who stream. Similar results were found for the news/talk format – 40% of the streaming audience is in the money demo versus 26% who listen over-the-air.

Westwood One also looked at streaming audience growth due to the influx of smart speakers. In September 2017, 2% of Cumulus Radio Station Group’s streaming audience came from smart speakers. As of July 2019, smart speakers increased to 18% of the group’s streaming audience.