KISU-FM Studio

Public Radio Today

How America Listens to Public Radio

2009 Edition

Public Radio Audience Rises 5%
The percentage of the U.S. population that depends on public radio each week increased from 11% in Fall 2006 to 12% in 2008—a growth rate of 5% (and 12% above public radio’s 10.5% cume rating in Fall 2005). Thanks to a unique mix of news, music and cultural programming, public radio stations are frequently among the most-listened-to stations in markets around the country. The percentage of Americans listening to public radio grew for almost everyone regardless of time of day, age or gender. Public radio’s weekly reach increased in 14 of the 15 main demographic categories in this report, especially among Women 18-24 and 35-44, with both up 11% from Fall 2006 to 2008.

Older Men and Women Pace Adult Growth
Most other demographics also posted major growth across various dayparts: During weekdays, cume ratings among Men 25-34 rose 19% in afternoons, while those for Men 35-44 improved 13% in middays and 12% in evenings. Cume ratings among Men 55-64 were up 12% in middays and 13% in evenings. Women 35-44 registered ratings growth of 9% in mornings, 13% in middays, 14% in afternoons and 28% in evenings. Both Men and Women 65+ delivered 9% ratings growth in afternoons.

Public Radio Listeners Take Care of Their Homes
A significantly higher percentage of public radio listeners are homeowners than the general public, and they are protective of their investment. Whether it’s sprucing up the landscaping, launching a remodeling project or making an addition, public radio consumers spend more—and sometimes much more—than the average person on their homes. That’s good news for a wide variety of underwriting or sponsoring retailers seeking to grow their businesses.

Public Radio Consumers Are Active Online Shoppers
The pattern has been consistent for years: public radio listeners are comfortable buying products and services online, much more so than the general population. And when it comes to high-end or discretionary purchases, public radio listeners are particularly ready to embrace the Internet. For the many public radio stations that stream online, their sponsors and underwriters can be one click away.

Listeners to Public Radio Seek Healthy Foods
Organic foods, nuts, energy bars, yogurts and other nutritious products score big with public radio listeners compared to the typical American consumer. These food choices—attributable to public radio’s listeners’ interest in a quality lifestyle, emphasis on education and advantage of affluence—suggest that they are receptive to messages and opportunities for self-improvement, fitness and improved overall health.

© 2009 Arbitron Inc. RSS-09-04053 7/09


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