Millennials are driving the Surge In U.S. News Radio Listening

kowchmedia consultant Steve KowchFrom where I sit On The Kowch,  President Donald Trump has impacted the U.S. ratings in news and newstalk radio. Nielsen says its latest audience study shows Millennials are driving the Surge In U.S. news radio listening. In fact, so many 18-34-year-olds listened to news and talk radio during the Fall 2016, Winter 2016 and Spring 2017 PPM ratings, that other popular formats among this group of listeners lost share in January.  “Pop Contemporary Hit Radio, a leading format among Millennials, was off nearly a full share point, while Country continued to trend downward with younger audiences. Hot Adult Contemporary (AC) and Mexican Regional were also softer compared with January 2016, while Sports radio was flat,” Nielsen said.

“The News/Talk format typically has lower listenership during the holiday survey than at other times during the year, particularly because it happens in the middle of the strongest ratings periods of the calendar year—the fall and winter. But given the interest in the coverage leading up to the U.S. presidential election, 2016 continued to buck the trend. The holiday book was one of the strongest ever recorded for News/Talk, post our historic election,” the Nielsen report concluded.

News/Talk has dominated the headlines in radio for several months now. The trend continued in January 2017, as U.S. News/Talk radio posted its best numbers since November of 2012 and claimed a new record among listeners 18-to-34.

Nielsen says In looking at News/Talk tune-in over the past seven years, the format has gained a full percent among Millennials, with the biggest jump happening between January 2016 and January 2017.

While Nielsen shows Millennials are driving the Surge In U.S. News  & Talk Radio listening, in Canada, Numeris 18-34 rating results are mixed.

From where I sit On the Kowch, millennials in Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver spent more time listening to talk radio during the Spring 2017 PPM ratings. Toronto and Edmonton millennials – not so much! I took a look at the 18-34 demos in Canada’s five Numeris PPM markets. Comparing the Sping 2017 ratings (post inauguration) to the Winter 2016 ratings (post election win) and here is what I found:

Montreal’s female millennials listened more than men

Lets start with La Belle Province where politics on Montreal radio is a blood sport in French and English. CJAD is English Montreal’s top newstalk radio station. Overall, the 18-34 anglo demo in the spring was up 10% compared to the winter ratings. Female millennial listenership in the spring was up a whopping 31% compared to the winter ratings. Ratings for 18-34 men was down 18% for the same period.

CHMP-FM is Montreal’s #1 francophone talk radio station. Overall, the 18-34 French demo in the spring was down 2% compared to the winter ratings. Female millennial listenership in the spring was up 17% compared to the winter ratings. Ratings for 18-34 men was down 16% for the same period.

Calgary male millennials listened more than women

CHQR is Calgary’s #1 newstalk radio station. Overall, the 18-34 demo in the spring was up 47% compared to the winter ratings. Female millennial listenership in the spring was up 27% compared to the winter ratings. Ratings for 18-34 men was up a whopping 69% for the same period!

Vancouver female millennials listened less than men

CKNW is Vancouver’s #1 newstalk radio station. Overall, the 18-34 demo in the spring was up 11% compared to the winter ratings. Female millennial listenership in the spring was down 42% compared to the winter ratings. Ratings for 18-34 men was up 15% for the same period!

Edmonton millennials listened less to newstalk radio

CHED is Edmonton’s #1 newstalk radio station. Overall, the 18-34 demo in the spring was down 25% compared to the winter ratings. Female millennial listenership in the spring was down 6% compared to the winter ratings. Ratings for 18-34 men was down 36% for the same period!

Toronto millennials listened less to news and talk radio

CFRB is Toronto’s #1 newstalk radio station. Overall, the 18-34 demo in the spring was down 4% compared to the winter ratings. Female millennial listenership in the spring was down 8% compared to the winter ratings. Ratings for 18-34 men was down 6% for the same period!

680NEWS is Toronto’s #1 all news radio station. Overall, the 18-34 demo in the spring was down 4% compared to the winter ratings. Female millennial listenership was the same in the spring as it was in the winter ratings. Ratings for 18-34 men was down 5% for the same period!

kowchmedia consultant Steve KowchSteve Kowch ran two of Canada’s largest newstalk radio stations in Montreal and Toronto for more than 14 years. He was National Director of NewsTalk Radio Programming for Astral Media. He was a professor at two of Toronto’s leading broadcast schools and is the author of   99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Making It BIG In Media   Today Steve is Canada’s leading media coach at kowchmedia helping emerging radio talent chase their dream to become great broadcasters.

Contact Steve at 647-521-6397

To comment on this blog,  email steve@kowchmedia.com