Nielsen: Radio Is Essential To Reach Black Audiences


On December 12, Nielsen released its latest 2023 Audio Today report, focusing on the Black community. This report underscores radio’s enduring relevance and effectiveness as a medium in accessing and engaging Black consumers in the US, with unmatchable reach.

89% of Black adults 25-54 are reached by AM/FM each month, with male listenership at 95% as opposed to 94% with women. Surprisingly, Black teen listening finishes higher than the 18-34 demographic, at 87% reach versus 86%, respectively. Apply these numbers to monthly reach percentages across all audio services, including ad-free platforms, and AM/FM still finishes number one by a mile.

For Black adults, YouTube Music reach finished a very distant second at 31%, followed by Pandora at 20% and Spotify and satellite radio tied for third at 16%. Limit the list to only ad-supported audio platforms and those numbers decrease even more. Unsurprisingly, Nielsen finds radio also leads Black time spent listening, with a 44% share of ear.

Where are Black audiences listening to radio? Like most other demographics, in their cars. Nielsen reveals that 75% of Black radio listenership during morning and afternoon drive times occurs in cars, with this figure rising to 79% on weekends. Radio maintains the highest share of total media engagement during weekday mornings and mid-day. Notably, overall radio listening reaches its peak in the afternoon, particularly between 3 and 5p.

Urban AC, Urban Contemporary, AC, Rhythmic CHR, and Pop CHR are the top five formats among different age groups of Black listeners, ranked by reach. There is a wide disparity from the top to fifth, will Urban AC’s monthly audience at 11.16 million and Pop CHR at 3.6 million listeners. Alternative and Jazz are the least listened-to formats for Black audiences.

Podcast listening is on the rise in Black households, with approximately 50% tuning in from home. Additionally, a third of these listeners engage with podcasts while mobile. Alongside this is an upward trend in more dedicated podcast listening, with over five hours of weekly engagement, while less frequent listening – under an hour per week – is on the decline.

For more detailed insights, review the full Nielsen 2023 Audio Today report.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here