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It’s a New (Hispanic) Millennial: Radio Plays a Large Role in the Lives of Gen Y Hispanics

1 minute read | May 2014

As part of Nielsen’s ongoing focus on the young adults who constitute Generation Y, we’ve learned that radio consistently engages a very high percentage of Millennials across the country. In our first-quarter Audio Today report, we noted that more than 65 million Millennials (age 18-34) tune in to radio each week, a significant number considering the sheer number of media choices available to America’s most-connected consumers. Despite all of that competition for their attention, radio reaches more than 90 percent of Millennials each week.

In shifting our emphasis for the second-quarter Audio Today report, we examined radio’s multicultural audiences, including the 40 million weekly Hispanic radio listeners in the U.S. who constitute radio’s most engaged listeners—that is, they spend 12 hours and 13 minutes with radio each week, the most of any group.

Hispanic Millennials are also highly engaged with radio. They spend more than 11-and-a-half hours each week tuning in, and the percentage of Hispanics age 18-34 using the medium is an extraordinary 93.6 percent. The table below highlights the weekly penetration for radio listening among Millennials across the country, broken out by ethnicity.

Weekly Radio Penetration

(age 18-34)
% of demographic listening
to radio weekly
All Millennials  91.70%
African-American Millennials 90.60%
Hispanic Millennials 93.60%
Hispanic Female Millennials 94.30%
Hispanic Male Millennials 92.90%
Source: Nielsen RADAR 120 March 2014 report.

Hispanic Millennials also tune to a wide array of radio programming each day, which varies from traditional dominant Spanish-language music formats such as Mexican Regional, Spanish Contemporary and Spanish Hot Adult Contemporary to mass-appeal general-market music like Contemporary Hit Radio stations.

Top Radio Formats for Gen Y Hispanics (Ages 18-34)

Format Share
Mexican Regional 18.7
Pop Contemporary Hit Radio 12.1
Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio 11.6
Spanish Contemporary + Spanish Hot Contemporary 8.3
Adult Contemporary 5.9
Source: Nielsen second-quarter Audio Today report.

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