Nielsen New 375

Urban AC expanded its lead over urban contemporary as the most listened to format among black radio listeners, according to Nielsen’s “Audio Today 2018” report, which explores the preferences and habits of the nation’s 32.3 million African American listeners. Among blacks 12+, urban AC grew to a 29.6 share in 2017 from 28.5 in 2016 while urban contemporary was solidly in second place with a 20.2 share, down from 21.2 in 2016.

As expected, format preferences fall along demographic lines. Urban AC tops the ranker with black listeners 25-54 (27.1%) and 35-64 (33.5%) while urban contemporary dominates younger demos with a 32.8 share of 18-34 and 28.2 among 18-49. But the formats rank first or second in all demos, with a good amount of audience sharing in each demo. For instance, urban AC attracts an 18.9 share of urban contemporary’s core 18-34 demo while urban contemporary grabs 17.3% of blacks 35-64. And it’s a close race in the coveted 25-54 Money Demo where urban AC notches a 27.1 and urban contemporary is close behind with a 24.5.

The shares are based on the Nielsen Audio National Regional Database, Fall 2017, Mon-Sun, Midnight-Midnight in 128 Black Differential Survey Treatment markets.

Nielsen’s “Audio Today 2018” report shows blacks listen an average of 13 hours and 32 minutes a week—the most of any ethnicity with 92% of blacks tuning in each week.

The new report also ranks the top 20 advertisers on urban and rhythmic radio. Despite a 12% decline, McDonald’s remained the top spender, investing $10.8 million, down from $12.3 million in 2016. It was followed by Comcast Xfinity, which upped its allocation to $9.2 million from $8.0 million in 2016. Rounding out the top five were Optima Tax Relief ($8.5 million, down from $8.8 million), T-Mobile ($7.5 million, down from $8.6 million) and Metro PCS ($7.1 million, up from $6.2 million). The ad spend is based on Media Monitors data from 95 urban AC, urban contemporary and rhythmic CHR stations in PPM markets.