In the media industry, trends constantly change with the introduction of new technologies. However, radio is one outlet that has stood the test of time and is flourishing. Today, 92 percent of all Americans (about 244 million) ages 12 and older listen to the radio in an average week. Older generations used radio newscasts as their eyes and ears around the world before television became popular. Now, radio is an essential part of many people’s rush-hour drives and background throughout their work days. Whether it’s news and talk or contemporary and urban music, radio shows no signs of silencing its sound waves.
According to the Nielsen report State of the Media: Audio Today, as the U.S population continues to change, radio audiences reflect that. The growing minority population in the U.S. is mirrored by Hispanic and African American radio listenership, which is at an all-time high. Seventy-one percent of the total Hispanic and African American populations in the U.S. listen each week. Together, they make up nearly one-third of the national radio audience.
Here at News Generation, we have seen an increase in the amount of clients requesting Spanish-language projects or combination Spanish and English-language projects. An earlier Nielsen report stated that U.S. Hispanics in 2012 alone accounted for half of the nation’s media growth between 2000 and 2012. News Generation’s own Martin Diaz said, “I believe that today the Hispanic media is focused on covering news that affects their Spanish-speaking audience. They are looking for anything related to the community.”
Radio’s hyper-local nature makes it uniquely tie to our daily lives. It provides the luxury of personalizing news reports or music to what’s popular in specific markets. Radio is a great method of publicity for public relations professionals because it allows us to target listeners based on demography. Not only is radio outreach more cost effective than advertising, it spans across a wide range of cultures and lets you more easily change your content from station to station to best resonate with listeners.
The Nielsen report also says that while both Hispanic and African American minority women typically dominate the younger listenership, Hispanic men older than 35 listen to the radio more than their female counterparts, and African American men older than 45 do the same. Knowing the race, age and gender of your audience can make a huge difference in your publicity strategy.
There are more than 3,000 Hispanic and African American-specific stations in the U.S. that target these minority listeners. Forty million Hispanics and 31 million African Americans tune in to the radio each week and have the potential to be reached by your content. Because minority radio listenership is on the rise, radio is a great resource to reach these listeners. The minority market is also not pitched as much as others, thus not nearly as saturated. This creates the perfect opportunity to get your message/content heard during peak rush-hour time slots.
“Staying in tune with [minority] media trends, and any targeted media for that matter, is an important aspect of our jobs as communicators – and like most things about media, it is continually evolving.”
– “Evolution in the Hispanic Media Market”, April 2014 News Generation Blog Post
Where does your local market rank with African American and Hispanic listeners? See the chart below to find out.