Millennials listen to less radio than older generations

Millennials listen to less radio than older generations
Nielsen data shows that Millennials listen to less radio than older generations. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Radio may still reach more than 90% of Americans, but younger generation listeners aren't tuning in as much as their elders.

According to a new report from Nielsen Audio, the millennials so desired by advertisers (specifically, people in the 18-34 age group) listen to an average of 11.5 hours of radio a week. That's less than people in Generation X (those aged 35-49) and baby boomer (50-64) categories, who average 14 hours and 14.5 hours a week, respectively.

While nine out of 10 millennials still listen to at least five minutes of traditional radio a week, young adults are splitting their time with other audio options such as streaming services (including Spotify, Rdio and now Beats Music) and their personal music collections.

Also, young people are less likely to work full-time than some other demos. Employment tends to be linked to radio listening.

However, the generational trend generally holds for employed Americans, who are more coveted by commercial brands. Among those with full-time jobs, millennials listen to 13 weekly hours, while employed Gen-Xers notch 14.5 hours and working Boomers register 15.7 hours.

For millennials and Gen X-ers, country music radio was the most popular format. The boomers had the highest radio engagement of any demo, but leaned toward news and talk as their genre of choice.

Country was the the most popular format in general, with a 14.8% share of all radio listening. News and talk came in second with 11.3%, followed by pop contemporary hits with 8%.

Twitter: @rfaughnder