Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Is The Country Format's Share Of Hispanic Listening Shrinking?

Is country radio's share of Hispanic listening in 2010 going to be down to merely a two share? That's what I heard last week at the annual ARB Programming Fly-In.

Even with numerous media alternatives through which consumers can entertain and inform themselves, radio’s overall reach among Hispanic listeners has remained between 94% and 96% ever since Arbitron's annual "Hispanic Radio Today" studies began in Spring 2001.

2010's update is coming soon and I hear that it continues to validate that Hispanics remain the fastest growing population group, America's heaviest radio users (those figures have decreased less than 1% over the last decade).

Among Spanish-dominant Hispanics, radio’s reach in 2008, for example, was 95%, and it was more than 93% with English-dominant Hispanics.

Last year's report showed growth in country radio's share of Hispanic listening to a 2.9, but whispers coming out of ARB hint that the news is not so good (if you want to call less than a three share 'good') for country radio in this year's update.

Whether Spanish-dominant or English-dominant, radio reached at least 91% of Hispanic men in every age group, and attracted more than 91% of Hispanic women in every demographic cell 12-64. Country's reach among that group is in the very low single digits.

In addition to the first-time use of PPM data in this edition, Hispanic Radio Today 2009 highlighted language preference among Hispanic consumers. Arbitron asked Hispanic respondents about the language they prefer to use.

The options are:

•All Spanish
•Mostly Spanish
•Mostly English
•All English

Country radio's tiny share of all Hispanic listening, of course, comes primarily from those last two groups.

Their social values are conservative. They are family-oriented, religious, and most importantly growing at a time when the non-ethnic U.S. population is getting smaller and older as a percentage of the total population as the 2010 census data is showing.

We first "studied" the problem at CRS four years ago. Little has happened to take action on the findings since then.

Country must find a way to welcome more of these folks.

1 comment:

Bob McNeill said...

There are many shared values between Hispanics and country life groups. Unfortunately, country music isn't about those core values anymore so it's not going to resonate with the Hispanic audience. There is a strong link to family values in the Hispanic audience and that could be exploited to attract them. But I don't hear much of that in the music and even less of that in the imaging on country radio today. It's hard to differentiate from country imaging and CHR imaging these days.