The study, considering ratings for July through October 2009, from nearly 550 radio stations in 16 PPM markets, showed that Urban Adult Contemporary had the highest listening share, followed by:
The appearance of Urban Adult Contemporary as the top format, and of Regional Mexican as number six, reflects the high concentration of African Americans and Hispanics in the 16 markets covered. The format rankers would be much different after Arbitron completes the rollout of the PPM in the top 50 markets, Research Director Inc. says.
Research Director Inc. president Charlie Sislen says "... all of the top five formats have very close average shares per market." reconfirming the highly-targeted nature of radio, with vast differences in how formats perform in individual demos.
Sports is second in men 18+ with a 7.1 but dead last in women (18+) where AC wins:
Sislen continues, "... individual market dynamics are far more important in PPM and every market is unique."
The report underscores the impact of a market's ethnicity. Urban AC's surprise #1 appearance, along with that of regional Mexican at #6, reflects the high concentration of African Americans and Hispanics in the 16 large markets covered in the study.
Persons 6+ Average Format Share Per Market (Monday-Sunday, 6 am to 12 midnight)
Source: Arbitron, July-October 2009
Despite strong showings in the new Formats Study, urban and Hispanic formats lost significant share in many markets in the conversion from the diary to PPM. A November 2008 Research Director study showed urban AC declined 17.2%, Urban lost 14.4% and Spanish formats declined 10.3% in the eight major markets that had recent diary ratings as well as October 2008 PPM data.
Inner City Broadcasting-New York VP/GM Deon Levingston says, "Even though it appears Urban AC does well in PPM, you have to look at how well it did in the diary to see it actually has lost the most shares among the major formats,"
Apart from CHR, the top five formats in the Research Director/Inside Radio study have at least two stations programming them in the markets where they exist. Although regional Mexican and urban AC performed well, numerous stations are splitting up the ratings pie. The former boasts 27 stations in 11 markets while the latter averages two per market in 11 markets.
"The study shows how many stations specific formats will support," Sislen notes. Sports, for example, is second in men 18+, but has an average of 2.4 stations per market, making for a very fragmented format. Adult hits, on the other hand, has 11 stations in 11 markets.
For additional information about the study, please visit Inside Radio here.