Friday, February 24, 2006

Katz: Country Is #1, But ...

Compared to 1990's national format shares, teens, 18-24, 55-65 and 65+ shares are up but 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 are off from the previous high water mark for today's #1 12+ format.

What's different today, compared to 15 years ago?
The Classic Hits and Classic Rock formats are the only Rock-based formats to increase this Fall. Adult Alternative Rock, Alternative/Modern Rock and AOR have all seen declines over the past few years.

More and More Stations are Targeting Hispanics
The Hispanic format was one of the biggest winners this Fall, up 6% on a like-to-like basis since last year. In fact, current average market shares for the format are at one of the highest levels ever–ranking it #2 behind Country for the first time.

The Country format has shown continued increases, up now for the fourth consecutive year. The overall popularity of the Country format remains strong as it has led the way as the number one format for more than a decade. For Fall 2005, Country enjoys a 58% share advantage over the next closest competitor among Persons 12+ in the average market. However, a problem looming in our future is the fact that our audience is at best (Media Audit 2005 national data) 8.5% Hispanic, 2.6% black and 1.9% Asian (i.e., 81.9% white). Arbitron places country's ethnic listenership even lower and it will be interesting to see if that gets better or WORSE (my fear!) with ARB's new language-based diary placement treatments for Hispanic households and cell phone households (my hope!).

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