First published on www.nielsen.com
In recent weeks, the radio industry has been buzzing about a wave of format flips that is bringing classic hip-hop (think Notorious B.I.G. and Snoop Dogg) to the airwaves in major markets. Branded the ‘Boom’ format in several places, this new style of radio is taking off at a time when Urban Contemporary stations—which have traditionally been modern hip-hop’s main outlet—are hitting all-time highs for audience numbers in Nielsen’s portable people meter (PPM) markets.
This nationwide trend stretches back several years, long before the recent wave of station launches that have been in the headlines. In fact, all but one of the new classic hip-hop stations flipped before the November survey. Across all three of the listener groups we monitor each month, Urban Contemporary radio has seen sustained growth. As we’ve reported in preceding months, 2014 will close as the best year the format has ever had in PPM measurement.