Commissioned Nielsen Study Finds On-Demand Listening Skews More Female and Younger Than AM/FM

New York, NY – August 28, 2017 – On-demand audio — portions of AM/FM shows that are repurposed for post consumption via online platforms — are growing in popularity, but the question is, who’s listening?

Westwood One collaborated with Nielsen on a custom study using the Nielsen Total Audience measurement framework to measure the audiences for local on-demand content from the Cumulus Media owned-and-operated stations, as well as national on-demand content from Westwood One shows. The findings were surprising.

“It’s hard to believe, but this is the first ever study of the demographic profile of on-demand radio content,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Corporate Marketing, Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “Our biggest learning is that on-demand content skews more female than AM/FM radio content across all genres. This is an incredible insight for brands and content creators, as it opens up new opportunities to connect with women.”

Additional key findings of the study include*:

  • Information-based on-demand shows (News/Talk, Sports) skew younger than the AM/FM audience, while entertainment-based on-demand shows attract a similar audience to AM/FM
  • The median age of News/Talk on demand listeners is 8 years younger than the AM/FM audience, and the sports audience is 7 years younger
  • The concentration of women listening to on demand content is higher than AM/FM, and on demand content skews more female than AM/FM content across all formats
  • Among adults 25-54, more than 40% of on demand News/Talk listeners are women, compared to 30% of AM/FM listeners
  • On-demand content delivers engaged listeners – listening occasions for on-demand content nearly twice as long as AM/FM
  • Listening via computers accounts for a larger proportion of on-demand listening than Mobile
  • The younger the listener, the more likely they are to consume on-demand content on a mobile device
  • For the first time ever, Nielsen has provided demographic estimates for Westwood One on-demand audio content consumed on their properties leveraging their Nielsen Total Audience measurement framework.
    Seventy-five on-demand programs over three genres – News/Talk, Sports, and Entertainment –were examined and measured via listening on the audioBoom content platform.

    The on-demand content originally aired on Cumulus Media radio stations or via Westwood One’s nationwide radio network. Programs included Westwood One’s The Mark Levin Show, NBC Sports Radio’s Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio, WNNX/Atlanta’s Bailey and Southside, KRBE/Houston’s The Roula & Ryan Show, KABC/Los Angeles’ Dr. Drew Midday Live, and more.

    Find out more here on the Westwood One Everyone’s Listening blog.


    AM/FM audience: Fall 2016 Nielsen Audio, average quarter hour audience by program, Metro Survey Area.

    On-demand audience: Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, May 2017.

    On-demand data: Reflects listening to 75 on-demand programs from Cumulus owned stations and Westwood One shows, content streamed via audioBoom.

    About Westwood One

    Westwood One, the national-facing arm of Cumulus Media, offers audio products to reach listeners whenever, wherever they are. Westwood One is a trusted connection between audio companies, advertisers, and audience — with 8,000 broadcast radio stations and media partners who reach 245 million weekly listeners. The company’s portfolio features premium content with iconic, nationally syndicated media, sports and entertainment brands including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, the Olympics, Westwood One Backstage, the GRAMMYs, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards. For more information please visit


    Jana Polsky

    Director, Communications