Sep 22, 2016 by Media Solutions Category: Blog 0 comments

The Power Of Radio, And The Rise In Hispanic Listeners

Released this week, Nielsen’s “State of the Media: Audio Today Q3” focuses on African American and Hispanic listeners, highlighting what we have known for a while: Americans, regardless of background or ethnicity, love radio. What makes radio unique, from the largest to smallest markets, is that it is live and inherently local, and there isn’t another medium that has been able to match it.

(I will admit that I am inherently biased towards radio. Prior to joining Media Solutions, I spent over seven years at iHeartMedia working in radio markets both large and small across California.)

I’m not alone as a radio listener: over 247 million Americans, aged 12 and up, listen to the radio each week. Hispanic people account for 41.3 million weekly listeners and African American persons account for 31.8 million weekly listeners. According to Nielsen, the Ethnic Composition of the National Radio Audience is 13.3% Black, 16.6% Hispanic and 70.1% Other.

What does a Hispanic Radio Listener look like? Here are some interesting details based on National data for persons age 12 and up:

  • 54% Male, 46% Female
  • Spends an average of 12 hours and 50 minutes with radio each week
  • Top Daypart is 10 am – 3 pm
  • Mexican Regional is the #1 Format by share of total listening
  • 70% are listening OOH and 30% are listening at home
  • 56% are employed full time, 14% part-time and 30% are either unemployed, retired, or in school

Most striking 97% of Hispanics, age 18 or older, are reached weekly, making radio the leading platform.

Released quarterly, the Nielsen “Total Audience Report” for Q2 2016 highlights the increasing fragmentation of the media landscape. As we know, digital has provided people with more options for TV, Movies, and Music, making the time spent with traditional mediums fluctuate greatly over the last few years. For radio, the average adult listens to 7 AM/FM stations (and 20 TV Channels), and, accounting for digital devices, account for the most time spent per month. Hispanic adults listen to an average of 8 radio stations per month, with some fluctuations based on Demo:

Persons 18-34: 8.2 stations
Persons 25-49: 8.9 stations
Persons 50+: 8.2 stations


Weekly time spent with AM/FM radio amongst Hispanics has also grown year over year

Q2 2016: 13:08
Q2 2015: 12:46

As has monthly time spent with AM/FM radio:

Q2 2016: 55:27
Q1 2016: 54:10

*For Persons Age 12+, time shown in HH:MM

Even though the listening data is on a National level, Radio’s reach should not be underestimated. California’s population is 39% Hispanic and growing, making it the largest non-white minority group in the state. Also, the median age of Hispanics in California is 28 years, 7 years younger than the population as a whole. (ACS,

Even though car manufacturers continue to add many entertainment options to vehicles, the AM/FM radio still comes as standard. Since Californians continue to drive to work, the grocery store, park and everywhere in general, Radio is the number one method to reach consumers.

Have you considered adding radio to your media plan? If you’re curious, get in touch with us

Share this:

Leave a Comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *