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Country or Contemporary? Forecasting Summer Listener Trends


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First  published on www.nielsen.com


Summertime weather can be unpredictable—from clear sunny days to heat and humidity or sudden thunderstorms. And this summer has also presented some surprises on the airwaves, based on the ratings results pouring in from the release of the July portable people meter (PPM) radio listener shares.

While Country seemed poised to see the biggest increase in summertime listening as of the June rankings, its lead has cooled slightly this month; this could be just one of those quick passing showers that bring the mercury down for an hour on a hot day or the start of a shift in this summer’s listening habits. Why the shift? Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) logged a second consecutive month of steady growth, turning what could have been a runaway race by Country for ‘format of the summer’ into a neck-and-neck affair down the stretch.

Elsewhere in the pack of formats competing for shares of ears this summer, we saw other trends continue from previous months. The record-setting ways of both Hot Adult Contemporary (AC) and Classic Rock showed no signs of slowing down in July; meanwhile, in the spoken word arena, the heart of summer has once again proven to be a cool period for news and sports listening.

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