Email Alerts

Email *
Mailing Lists *

Enter the code shown above.

Contact IR

Nielsen Holdings plc
675 6th Avenue, 3rd Fl.
New York, NY 10010

Nielsen Investor Relations

Press Release Details

Radio Reaches More than 90 Percent of All Consumers Over the Age of 12 Each Week


COLUMBIA, Md., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) released today its annual radio industry study, Radio Today 2009 Edition. This is the first annual report that includes Portable People Meter(TM) (PPM(TM)) data from several major markets as well as Diary data.

The Study confirmed again that more than 90 percent of all consumers aged 12 and older listen to the radio each week -- a higher penetration than television, magazines, newspapers or the Internet.

For more than a decade -- between Spring 1997 and Fall 2008 -- radio's overall cumulative audience rating has been consistently strong. Also noted in the report is that despite availability of numerous media alternatives, radio's weekly reach declined only modestly in the past several years, from 94.9 percent in Spring 2001 (when the iPod(R) was introduced) to 91 percent in Fall 2008. 

Highlights of Radio Today 2009 Edition

News/Talk/Information is America's No. 1 Format. Thanks in part to an historic presidential election and important congressional campaigns, News/Talk/Information (N/T/I) ranked as the No. 1 format in Fall 2008 with a 12.6 percent share of people over the age of 12 -- far above its 10.7 percent share of Spring 2007. With 30 more AM and FM stations than in Spring 2007, and more than 1,000 HD channels and Internet streams, the N/T/I format boasts more broadcast signals by far than any other format according to the Radio Today 2009 study.

In Fall 2008, N/T/I stations were among the five leaders in the PPM Metros of Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Atlanta; Washington, DC; and Detroit. The format was No. 1 in Fall 2008 in the Diary markets of Boston, Phoenix, San Diego, St. Louis and Denver-Boulder. 

Classic Hits Continues to Grow. Oldies stations continue to reposition themselves toward a younger image, making Classic Hits the fastest growing music format. Between Spring 2007 and Fall 2008, Classic Hits' share rank of the national radio audience jumped from No. 11 to sixth, reaching 3.9 percent of the U.S. population -- the most since the format has been tracked by Arbitron. Between Spring 2007 and Fall 2008, the number of AM and FM stations programming Classic Hits increased from 288 to 364. There are also now more than 200 HD and streaming Classic Hits stations.

Contemporary Christian Reaches A New Ratings High. With more than 14.5 million listeners each week (up from 14.3 million in Spring 2007), Contemporary Christian earned a 2.5 share in Fall '08, the most in the seven years the format has been studied in Radio Today. The number of AM and FM stations carrying the format rose from 724 to 781 during that time period. There are more Internet simulcasts of FM Contemporary Christian stations than of any other format; nearly 12 percent of all FM simulcasts online are Contemporary Christian outlets. It is one of two English-language music formats that is a Top 5 time-spent-listening performer across all demographics. 

Active Rock is on Solid Ground. With 15.5 million listeners per week, the Active Rock format earned 2.4 percent of the national radio audience in Fall 2008, a higher figure than during six previously measured Spring ratings periods. The number of FM stations carrying Active Rock grew from 149 in Spring 2007 to 166 in Fall 2008. In addition, there are 138 streaming and HD signals. Active Rock stations were among the leaders in the then Diary markets of Seattle-Tacoma and Minneapolis-St. Paul, and the PPM market of Detroit.

Mexican Regional Remains the Top Music Format for Time Spent Listening (TSL). After years of steady growth and more stations carrying the format, Mexican Regional's overall national share in Fall 2008 was 2.9 percent. In terms of TSL, Mexican Regional is tied for No. 1 overall and is the leader outright among music formats. Ranking No. 2 with 12- to 24-year-olds, Mexican Regional's TSL is far and away No. 1 with adults 18-34 and 25-54. Even though the format skews somewhat younger, it is even No. 2 in TSL with adults 35-64.

How the Study was conducted

Radio Today 2009 is produced by Arbitron and contains radio listening and consumer behavior statistics for listeners to radio stations in the United States. Data for the charts and graphs in this edition come from the following sources:

    --  Arbitron's TAPSCAN Web National Regional Database, Fall 2008, which
        includes quantitative radio audience information from every market
        surveyed by Arbitron in the United States.

    --  Scarborough USA+, Release 2, 2008, which was gathered from more than
        220,000 interviews with adults, aged 18 and over in 81 of the
        country's largest markets. Scarborough's reports examine a
        variety of characteristics, including demographics, socioeconomic
        characteristics, lifestyle activities, online and offline consumer
        habits, local market shopping patterns and product usage, as well as
        media behavior.

About Arbitron

Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is a media and marketing research firm serving the media - radio, television, cable, online radio and out-of-home - as well as advertisers and advertising agencies. Arbitron's core businesses are measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of local market consumers; and providing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. The company has developed the Portable People Meter(TM), a new technology for media and marketing research.

Portable People Meter(TM) and PPM(TM) are marks of Arbitron Inc.

iPod(R) is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

PPM ratings are based on audience estimates and are the opinion of Arbitron and should not be relied on for precise accuracy or precise representativeness of a demographic or radio market.

Arbitron Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this release that are not strictly historical, including the statements regarding expectations for 2009 and any other statements regarding events or developments that we believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future, may be "forward-looking" statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those suggested or indicated by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, among other things, the current global economic recession and the upheaval in the credit markets and financial services industry, competition, our ability to develop and successfully market new products and technologies, our ability to successfully commercialize our Portable People Meter(TM) service, the growth rates and cyclicality of markets we serve, our ability to expand our business in new markets, our ability to successfully identify, consummate and integrate appropriate acquisitions, the impact of increased costs of data collection including a trend toward increasing incidence of cell phone-only households, litigation and other contingent liabilities including intellectual property matters, our compliance with applicable laws and regulations and changes in applicable laws and regulations, our ability to achieve projected efficiencies, cost reductions, sales growth and earnings, and international economic, political, legal and business factors. Additional information regarding the factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements is available in our SEC filings, including our 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release and the Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

SOURCE Arbitron Inc.

Contact: Jessica Benbow, Arbitron Inc., +1-410-312-8363,