The “Public Radio Today – 2013” report examines the make-up of the 32 million Americans who listen to public radio each week. During the Fall ‘12 rating period covered by this year’s study, over 32 million people, about 12% of the 12+ listening population, listened to a public radio station in an average week.
In an environment of increased media choices, time spent listening to public radio has held steady in recent years. Time spent listening in this year’s study either remained the same or improved in 11 of 14 key categories.
The public News/Talk/Information format accounts for more than a third of all rated public stations and now, for the first time, accounts for more than half of all public radio listening. The format is most popular in the PPM markets but it’s the No. 1 format in Diary markets as well.
Public radio’s popularity among younger audiences continues to grow—it reached record numbers of 18-24 Men and 25-34 Men in Spring 2012, and the medium reaches over 17% of older men.
Listeners to this format are better educated and live in a greater number of high income households than the listeners to any other public or commercial radio format. Public radio’s most popular music format, AAA (and News-AAA), continues to capture nearly 10% of all public radio listening. Classical remains the second most popular public radio format.
News/Talk/Information was the top format among Public Radio listeners, with 51.7% tuning in to that format. Classical was 15.3%, followed by News-Classical with 13.8%; Triple A with 6.3% and Jazz at 4%.
News/Talk/Info is the most widely available format among Public Radio options, with 435 stations; 218 for News-Classical stations; 188 for Classical; 151 for AAA and 72 News-AAA. Arbitron examined more than a thousand rated stations that offer public radio programming for the study.