Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Yesterday we looked at three-year market penetration trends for 21
NPR News stations in PPM markets. Eighteen of the stations (86%) increased their penetration between May 2014 and May 2017. Today we have the three-year trends for Classical, Triple A and Jazz music stations.

Nielsen Audio data is provided by RRC
Of the three music formats, Triple A had the largest percentage of stations gaining market penetration (64%), followed by Jazz (50%) and Classical (42%)

Market penetration is Nielsen Audio’s Average Weekly Cumulative Rating, referred to as “Weekly Cume Rating.” Nielsen creates this metric by taking the population in the metro (over the age of 6) and dividing it by a station’s estimated Weekly Cume Listeners (also over the age of 6).  This yields a percentage called “Weekly Cume Rating” or market penetration.

For example, if a metro has 100,000 people over the age of 6 and a station has 10,000 weekly cumulative listeners, the Weekly Cume Rating 10.0%.  In other words, Nielsen estimates that the station has a 10.0% penetration into the market.


The three-year trends for Classical music stations are a mixed bag. Of the 25 stations in PPM markets, ten (42%) were up and 12 (50%) were down and 2 stayed the same. One station (WQED, Pittsburgh, did not subscribe to the Nielsen ratings in 2014. Data for the 25 stations is in the two charts below.

Classical music stations that had the largest gains in estimated Weekly Cume Rating were WFCL, Nashville, up 29% in three years; KXPR, Sacramento, was up 27% and KBAQ, Phoenix increased market penetration 21%.

KCNV, Las Vegas, had the biggest loss of estimated Weekly Cume Rating of all of the stations, down 44% between May 2014 and May 2017. KING, Seattle, and WBJC both declined 27%.


We tracked the PPM estimates for 11 stations. Seven (64%) increased their market penetration during the three-year period. 

Four stations (36%) declined.

KUTX, Austin, had the largest increase in market penetration, 18%, followed closely by both WYMS, Milwaukee and KRCL, Salt Lake City at 17%.

WFUV, New York had the largest decline in estimated Weekly Cume Rating, 21%. These figures do not include the Long Island market where WFUV has a considerable number of listeners.


We tracked 11 Jazz music stations in May 2017. One station (KTSU, Houston) did not subscribe to Nielsen in 2014, so our analysis includes 10 Jazz music stations. 

Of the ten, five (50%) increased their market penetration between 2014 and 2017.

The station with the biggest gain in estimated Weekly Cume Rating with KBEM, Minneapolis. KSDS, San Diego was up 21%. WUCF, Orlando, had the largest decline in market penetration, down 42%.

1 comment:

  1. With all due respect, since we are in the aftermath of an election year and Pub Radio News-Talk stations tend to see an increase in audience in an election year, I think I would have compared 2015 to 2017, not 2014. News Talk stations should also take into consideration the unique post election and political environment which are having an impact on listenership and, therefore, ratings.