Nielsen: Country Listeners Lean Conservative


The ratings firm released new data Wednesday regarding Millenials and how their listening habits differ by political view. Nielsen is releasing the data to try to help the radio industry get the point across to politicians that radio is an important medium to include in their media mix. Country radio is America’s top format among listeners 18-34 years old, with more than 66 million tuning in to these stations each week.

Nielsen says Country radio listeners largely mirror the total U.S. radio audience, though they represent a larger share of Mild Republicans and a smaller share of Independent voters. Still, just as many Democratic voters listen to Country radio as Republican voters in the country’s top markets.

Digger deeper into the Country format Nielsen found that two other kinds of Country radio—New Country and Classic Country—reach “slightly more nuanced listener groups.” New Country stations tend to skew younger since their playlist is made up of more current hits, while Classic Country tends to skew older since their playlist is made up of more familiar Country songs from the past.

Nielsen says given that young voters are much less likely to be affiliated with a specific party than older voters, it’s not surprising that roughly 31% of the New Country audience are Unregistered, which is six points higher than the U.S. average. Meanwhile, Classic Country listeners lean heavily conservative: 39% of the audience is registered Republican, and more than two-thirds of this group classify themselves as Ultra Conservatives—13 points higher than the U.S. average. In addition, of the 36% of the audience registered Democrat, the majority identify as Conservative Democrat.

political affiliations

Read more about formats and politics from Nielsen HERE


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