The amount of audio consumed by black listeners is growing, with most of the growth coming from streaming audio and listening to podcasts. According to data from Scarborough USA+, this is incremental growth and not at the expense of radio play.
According to Scarborough, 18.7 million African Americans aged 18 and older listened to streaming audio from July 2020 to May 2021. This represents a 57% increase from 11.9 million from February 2014 to March 2015. Audience figures include online streams of broadcast radio.
While impressive, this expansion pales in comparison to the meteoric rise in podcast listening among black people during the same period. Audiences for African-American podcasts have grown from 2.6 million to 6.7 million, an astonishing 158% increase in six years.
Broadcast radio remains, by far, the largest audio platform for Black Americans at 26.2 million, mostly consistent with 26.5 million six years earlier. Satellite radio grew by 44%, from 3.2 million to 4.6 million, but came in last of the four media monitored.
The numbers are from “The influence of the black American consumer”, a new report from Katz Multicultural, part of the representation firm Katz Media Group. Released to coincide with Black History Month, the report features radio as a way to reach the growing black population, which grew 18.7% from 2005 to 2020 and now totals 47 million. Based on US Census data, the largest increases over the past 10 years have occurred in the Mountains, New England and Central Northwest region. This population growth is accompanied by a considerable increase in the purchasing power of African Americans, which rose from $971 billion to $1.6 trillion between 2010 and 2020 and is on track to reach 1.8 trillion dollars by 2024.
Significantly, there has been a 46% increase among Black Americans 18 and older who have household incomes of $100,000 or more over the past seven years, per Scarborough.
As advertisers seek to tap into this market after years of underinvestment, the Katz Multicultural report makes the case for radio as a trusted medium in the black community. Black American consumers are 29% more likely than the average American consumer to believe that radio is a very reliable medium. Citing research from MRI-Simmons and Nielsen, the Katz report shows that African Americans are 41% more likely to agree that they like radio ads, 28% more likely to say that radio advertising the radio gives me useful information about bargains and 27% more likely to say it gives me useful information about new products and services.
Focusing on black heavy radio listeners, MRI-Simmons data shows they have a 20% better household financial outlook than the average consumer. It also shows that heavy radio listeners aged 18 and older have changed many of their shopping habits during the COVID pandemic, such as buying more gadgets and accessories, home, beauty products and automotive accessories.
Download the report “The influence of the black American consumer” HERE.