Black and Hispanic consumers make up a third of all American radio listeners—and access to audio is essential to these two groups, including music and talk entertainment, news and information, podcasts and other platforms that reflect cultural and community importance. Nielsen’s “Audio Today 2018” report explores the preferences and habits of this group comprising 75 million Americans.
Looking at a five-year audience trend, Nielsen’s data reveals that among listeners 12+, the weekly reach of radio by ethnicity—from 2014 to 2018—includes 32.3 million black listeners and 42.3 million Hispanic listeners. Both numbers have escalated over the past five years: In 2014, 31.1 million blacks listened to radio each week, while 40.0 million Hispanics tuned in. Further, the overall ethnic composition of the national radio audience today is 13.6% black, 16.8% Hispanic and 69.6% “other.”
Radio is the leading reach vehicle for both races, with 92% of blacks tuning in each week and 96% of Hispanics accessing AM/FM. TV is second, followed by smartphones, PCs, TV-connected devices and tablets.
In its newly released Audio Today report, Nielsen found that black and Hispanic consumers are leading the way when it comes to interest in and adoption of both smart speakers and audio streaming services. Looking at the percentage of consumers that have a smart speaker in the home, total penetration has reached 19%. Among blacks, the figure is also 19%, while it is 21% for Hispanics and 18% for white users. Audio streaming services are used by a total of 43% of consumers and again, the two groups studied by Nielsen excel: 52% of blacks use streaming platforms and 45% of Hispanics.
Digging deeper into the audio habits of black consumers, 32 million use radio each week, listening an average of 13 hours and 32 minutes a week—the most of any ethnicity. Their top daypart is 2-7p, and their No. 1 radio format is urban adult contemporary, followed by urban contemporary, CHR and AC. Some 66% of listening is out of home, and 34% is in-home.
Looking at Hispanic listeners, 42 million tune in to radio weekly, listening an average of 12 hours and 45 minutes. Their leading daypart is 10a-3p. Mexican Regional is the top format, followed by Spanish Contemporary and Spanish hot AC, CHR, AC and rhythmic. Out of home listening accounts for 72% of radio usage and in-home 28%.
Nielsen’s Audio Today 2018 report focusing on blacks and Hispanics is part of the company’s quarterly consumer tracking studies from Nielsen Media Analytics. The online survey is offered in both English and Spanish to a U.S. 13+ general population sample, using Nielsen Portable People Meter technology survey respondents in the top 48 radio metros in the U.S. and Nielsen Diary service survey respondents in the remaining 220 radio metros.