Here are 3 Stats About Traditional Media Audiences to Keep in Mind in 2020

December 30, 2019

MRI Simmons Terrestrial Radio Listeners by Age 2019Although digital media is all the rage and heavy on the minds of advertisers who are trying to keep customers engaged across the variety of digital channels available, traditional channels have not been abandoned by either consumers or advertisers. In this article, we highlight 3 key stats about traditional media audiences from our latest Media Audience Demographics study.

1. 44% of the US national newspaper audience is affluent

Although print newspaper advertising has experienced a decline in ad spend that’s expected to continue into the future, our ad influence research indicates that a sizable proportion of adults still attribute purchases to ads they see in print.

In our analysis of MRI-Simmons data (based on a continuously fielded survey of roughly 25,000 US adults) for the 6th edition of our Media Audience Demographics study, we found that the audience for the average issue of a US national newspaper leans quite affluent. Specifically, 44.2% of adult readers of the average national newspaper issue have a household income (HHI) of at least $100,000, and 55.9% of the audience has an HHI of at least $75,000.

Of the six traditional media audiences we examined, national newspapers had the biggest skew towards affluent adults.

2. 45-54-year-olds are 14% more likely than the average adult to listen to terrestrial radio weekly

While traditional TV (both broadcast and cable) veers more towards older viewers (aligning with Nielsen figures on traditional TV consumption), terrestrial radio appears to hold its greatest appeal with middle-aged adults, with the 45-54, 55-64 and 35-44 brackets being the highest-indexing relative to the average, in that order.

As such, terrestrial radio has the strongest skew towards middle-aged adults of the various traditional media channels we analyzed.

As for traditional TV, cable’s audience clearly isn’t as “grey” as broadcast – although it is trending in that direction. For example, while 18-24-year-olds are 33% less likely to watch broadcast TV as the average adult, they’re only 16% less likely to watch cable TV.

To be sure, there’s a fairly linear age-related trend in viewership for both cable and broadcast. But the trend is far more pronounced for the broadcast than cable audience.

3. Hispanics are 35% less likely than average to read local newspapers

Local newspapers and monthly magazines have the least diverse audiences, at least when measuring Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black representation. While we found non-Hispanic Blacks to be a little closer to the average this year than last in local newspaper readership, Hispanics trended further away from the average, with an index of just 65 relative to the average adult. As a result, despite Hispanics comprising a larger share of the adult population than non-Hispanic Blacks, these two groups make up about the same share of the local newspaper readership (10.6% and 10.5%, respectively).

In fact, while non-Hispanic Blacks over-index in national newspaper readership and cable TV viewership, Hispanics don’t seem to gravitate towards traditional media channels, under-indexing in all media analyzed.

To reach Hispanics, online media might be a safer bet, per our study’s analysis. In particular, they gravitate to online TV programs and internet radio at above-average rates.

So there you have it. If you’re interested in more detailed stats about traditional, online and social media audiences, head on over here to get your copy of our report, which breaks down the reach and demographic composition of several major media audiences. The 54-page report, packed with 45 charts and tables, also provides a series of cheat sheets that compare traditional, online and social channels across demographic variables so you can quickly see which are the most likely to attract the different groups.

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