Throwbacks’ help propel urban ratings record.

Story by Inside Radio

Whether classic hip-hop evolves into the next classic rock or devolves into the next Jammin’ Oldies won’t be apparent for some time. But during the brief period since it became radio’s hottest new format, “throwback” stations are already helping grow the ratings pie for the larger urban contemporary format.

“Thanks in no small part to that growing trend, in December urban contemporary picked up right where it left off last month, breaking November’s record results for listeners 6+ (3.4) and 25-54 (3.8) while tying the number for 18-34 year-olds (6.3),” Nielsen says in a new report. Urban is ending the year on a high note: 2014 was its most successful year in PPM history. The format ranked sixth among all formats in its core 18-34 demo.

This year was also one for the record books for hot AC, which nailed its best ratings ever under electronic measurement. December’s hot AC PPM ratings shattered its previous records in three demos: 6+ (a 6.5 in December), 18-34 (7.2) and 25-54 (7.0).


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