February 26, 2010

Arbitron Promotes the Value of Black Radio

The latest report from Arbitron dispels stereotypes of African American radio listenership. About time...

COLUMBIA, Md., PRNewswire-FirstCall Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) announced that the "Black Radio Today 2009, How America Listens to Radio" and "Hispanic Radio Today 2009, How America Listens to Radio" have been released and are available on Arbitron.com. Both of these studies feature Portable People Meter™ (PPM™) data information for the first time.

"Ethnic formatted stations reach millions of listeners everyday," said Alton Adams. "These studies show the strength of radio as a media companion to ethnic consumers. Radio's relationship with ethnic listeners has been consistent over time; year over year, more than 90 percent of black and Hispanic listeners tune in to radio for news, culture and sounds of the community."

Black Radio Today 2009, How America Listens to Radio shows:

For the first time, Urban Contemporary formatted stations had higher weekend ratings in Fall 08 than in weekday afternoons.

African-American Urban Adult Contemporary listeners spent more time each week with the format (8 hours, 30 minutes) than any other format in the study.

More than half of Urban Contemporary's 18+ consumers attended or graduated from college, and one in seven had advanced degrees or beyond.

News/Talk/Information has 2,634 stations and attracts 2.7 million African-American listeners weekly. In our opinion: This figure is vastly under reported when considering Arbitron's measuring method. Syndicated urban radio (i.e. Tom Joyner, occasionally Michael Baisden and rarely Steve Harvey) does provide informational programming at times. Which makes urban radio different from other mainstream formats that are more segmented in their music playlists and programming choices. It would be interesting to find out if Arbitron makes that distinction in their report.

The report is available for viewing here from Arbitron.com

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