It has been an interesting year in Philly radio thus far. The B is now MORE, News ratings are down, music intense stations are holding steady, and online listening is on the rise. Here’s a look at the state of radio ratings from January through July 2014.
No surprise here, but in morning drive WMMR-FM (Rock) still holds the top position across male demos and with younger adults (A18-34 and A18-49). However, when looking at a broader daypart, M-F 6A-7P against Adults 18-49, the margin narrows considerably, and WMMR is followed closely by WBEB-FM (the new MORE FM, Adult Contemporary), WXTU-FM (Country), WRFF-FM (Modern Rock), and WBEN-FM (Ben FM/Adult Hits). Also with men (25-54), Sports talk WIP-FM continues to out-rank WPEN-FM (averaging a .9 compared with WPEN’s .7, for the first seven months of 2014).
With younger women (W18-49), the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show on WIOQ-FM (Contemporary Hits) has a slight lead followed by WMMR, and then WBEB. Across the broader M-F 6a-7p time period, the last two books show a virtual four-way tie between WBEB, WIOQ , WXTU, and WBEN. With Women 25-54, WBEB averaged a 1.1 rating M-F 6a-7p, January through May, but in June and July they tied WBEN with a .75, followed closely by WOGL (Classic Hits), WIOQ, and WXTU. MORE’s ratings are still noteworthy, but they look more like those generated under their old B101 moniker.
On an upwards rise, WBEN has come up considerably in key Women demos, with an increase of over 35% for the past three months, above the first four (.73 over .53, W25-54). Trending downward appears to be KYW-AM (News radio) which has been showing rating declines with their core audiences. Though we are not seeing as dramatic of a decline that The Inquirer reported in its May 14th article, Jan-July 2014 vs. 2013, they are still down 23% with Adults 25-54, and 28% with Adults 35+. Some listeners are going away from the news radio format, consuming news via digital alternatives. One of these may be the highly viewed cbs philly.com, KYW-AM’s digital channel. Also, in a Pew Research study entitled the 2013 State of the News Media, it was determined that “one of the biggest threats to AM/FM news is web-based listening”. And in a first of its kind “share of ear” measurement study (Edison Research, May 2014), 32% of Internet radio listeners indicated that “they are listening to a ‘lot more’ of the medium than they were one year ago”. The study says that Americans’ share of time spent listening to audio sources is 52.1% for AM/FM radio. That means almost 50% comes from other places.
Stay tuned in the near future to hear about “the other half”.