Listeners Favor Adult Urban Format

February 3, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Hispanic | Radio

Urban Adult Contemporary radio formats have the highest share of listening per market, according to [pdf] a recent study by Research Director Inc. and Inside Radio.

Urban Adult Contemporary has an average 7.8 share among persons 6 and older based on Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings. The study looked at ratings for July through October 2009, from nearly 550 radio stations in 16 PPM markets. Results showed that Urban Adult Contemporary had the highest listening share, followed by News/Talk, with a 6.7 share, Country (6.4), Contemporary Hit Radio (6.0) and Regional Mexican (5.3).


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.

Some Claim Racial Bias in PPM Service

According to MediaBuyerPlanner, Arbitron’s PPM has come under fire by minority-focused radio groups who say the relatively new service undercounts minority listeners.

Arbitron recently announced that the Media Rating Council accredited the use of the PPM service in Minneapolis-St. Paul – but denied accreditation in 18 markets, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa-St. Petersburg, and Washington, DC.

Currently, the PPM is accredited only in three of its 33 PPM markets.

Last month, Arbitron’s CEO, Michael Skarzynski, was forced to resign after the board of directors found that he had made a “misstatement” in his testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about the PPM.

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