Arbitron Format Trends of the 94 continuous measurement markets reports showed Country radio with a 9.7 share in spring 2007, which was the highest share since the ﬁrst published Format Trends tracking began in 1998. The Fall ARB national shares just came out this week and country’s 12+ share dipped back to 2005 levels to a 9.0.
Meanwhile, Katz Media Group’s EVP Gerry Boehme and VP/Dir. Of Research Lisa Chiljean analyze all rated Fall 2007 Country Arbitron markets and even when you include the smaller metros in the averages country still shows a dip.
KRG’s Fall 2007 Average Market Format Shares show Country declining from a Fall ‘06 14.9 to 14.3 in Fall ‘07, the lowest ﬁgure since 2003. Fall is often country’s weakest book of the year. For example, the 17-year low was a 13.5 in Fall 2000.
But, outside the top 94 markets in the Fall of 2007, Country is still number one, topping Rock (14.1), AC (13.1), Urban (12.6) and News/Talk/Info (10.9). Next in Katz’s national rankers: Hispanic at 8.1, Urban Contemporary at 7.0, Top 40 with 6.8, News/Talk with 6.5 and AC at 6.4.
Average Age of the Country listener has reached 45 years old, following eight straight years of being either 43 or 44. The lowest mean ages in the history of the country format came in 1993 and 1994 when we hit a low of 38 years old.
Country’s average time spent listening hit new lows, declining in Men (down 16 minutes to 7:21 and Women (off 24 minutes in the last year to 6:33), 25-54. TSL was also off in both genders 25-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64.
However, even more frighteningly, the number of persons using radio is also down from summer to fall .. and that's not something that just a few more hit country songs will solve.
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