Radio Reaches a $1.3 Trillion
Consumer Segment

Previous posts have focused on radio’s diversity – its diversity of music, formats and ability to reach different age groups. Radio also reaches a diverse audience – general market, Hispanic and Blacks/African-Americans.

According to African-Americans: Demographic and Consumer Spending Trends, a report released by Packaged Facts, African-American buying power grew 27% to $1.3 trillion – from 2010-2015. That buying power is forecast to grow 16% from 2015-2020.

While many pieces focused on Blacks/African-Americans’ rise during Black History Month, it’s important to note that this is a powerful consumer segment that should be reached for more than just that period of time. Read on to learn about some of the powerful ways that radio reaches this target audience.

Based upon the same report, African-American household spending grew faster (26%) than other households (23%). Spending in restaurants/dining out was higher when compared to other households. Additional areas where spending was higher were: clothing, personal care products (including fragrances/perfumes), home furnishings and appliances, and home improvement and remodeling.

So, where does radio fit in? According to the Nielsen Comparable Metrics Report Q4 2016, Black adults spend 13 hours and 43 minutes weekly with radio – 41 minutes more than their general market cohorts. In fact, radio reaches more Blacks than any other medium – 93% (or 28.8MM Blacks 18+). That’s more than TV at 91% (or 28.1MM) and even Smartphones at 18% (or 25.2MM).

As it pertains to specific consumer categories, radio’s reach among Black adults 18+ is just as strong:
• Ate at any steakhouse, Asian or Chinese restaurant (past month) – 93%
• Remodeled kitchen (past year) – 93%
• Installed pool, hot tub, or spa (past year) – 94%
• Bought any men’s business clothing or shoes (past year) – 93%
• Bought any women’s business clothing (past year) – 94%
• Household plans to buy/lease any luxury, hybrid, or full-size car (next 12 months) – 95%
• Household used a financial planner (past year) – 93%

Radio is also an important source for music discovery. For those African-Americans who believe that it is “very” or “somewhat” important to keep up with music, 60% attribute radio as their source, according to The Infinite Dial 2017. When it comes to the audio source used most often in the primary car, it’s radio (43%) over CDs/music collection (23%), online radio (18%), satellite radio (14%) or any other source (2%).

With an incredible buying power of over $1.3 trillion, this is a consumer segment that should be focused with targeted product messaging year-round. What medium should be used – radio, of course.  It reaches more Blacks than any other medium.


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