Radio’s Female Audience Has Made a Comeback

Nielsen has released its Spring 2021 “Nationwide” report which is its roll up of all AM/FM radio listening from all U.S. markets and counties produced twice a year. As Cumulus’ Pierre Bouvard points out, the Nielsen data indicates that female listeners have returned to pre-COVID levels.

Compared to Spring 2020, the just-released Spring 2021 Nationwide survey reveals AQH listening jumped 11% among women 18-49 and grew 13% among women 25-54.

AM/FM radio’s share of listening among women (47%) has returned to pre-COVID norms: During the Spring 2020 lockdown, female listening dropped to 45% of persons 25-54 time spent. In the just-released Spring 2021 Nationwide, the share of female listening has returned back to its normal 47%.

Bouvard says marketers who target women with a mass reach national AM/FM radio media plan mistakenly seek a 55% female audience composition. “Given that women represent 47% of all American AM/FM radio listening, a mass reach buy with a 55% female audience composition is simply unattainable. Achieving a 50/50 male female ratio is a more realistic objective. The vast majority of AM/FM radio listening occurs on stations with similar amounts of men and women listening. There are some AM/FM radio programming formats that lean more male or a little more female. The only way to have a buy with a 55% female skew is to have a small buy with low reach.”

In addition to the strong female numbers, Bouvard says the data also shows that all of the major buying demographics made gains of 7% versus Spring 2020. “Versus the Fall 2020 Nationwide survey, AQH listening among all major buying demographics is virtually identical. Only persons 18-34 saw a small -1% drop from Fall 2020 to Spring 2021.”


First published by RadioInk. Read original here




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