What makes a radio broadcasting market stand out from the rest? How do experts decide which cities are chosen to be a top market? The demographic process is simple: most markets are based on population size. The more people who live in a region the higher market the area is. Thus, markets can also fluctuate in ranking when population levels rise or decline. Arbitron, a media marketing and research firm, ranked the top 10 radio markets in the United States.
1. New York City – The New York metropolitan area has a population of more than 15 million people, making it the largest radio market in the country. Many radio shows and programs are syndicated out of New York City, allowing for popular programming to reach smaller markets. The number one radio market is home to many top-rated stations owned by some of the largest media companies in the United States.
2. Los Angeles – With a listening audience of about 11 million, it’s no wonder the Los Angeles metropolitan region is the nation’s number two radio market. Like New York, many syndicated radio shows are produced in LA and distributed to medium and small markets. Los Angeles is also a popular market because many major corporations that own radio stations are headquartered here.
3. Chicago – It’s only fitting that the third-largest metropolitan region is the third-largest radio market. Chicagoland is home to approximately 7.8 million radio listeners. The number three market offers many radio station choices, from smooth jazz to hard rock. The larger the market, the more diverse the formats can be.
4. San Francisco – With more than 6 million listeners, the Bay Area provides its audience with a wide range of radio options, including Talk, Christian, Adult Contemporary and more.
5. Dallas-Fort Worth – The Dallas-Fort Worth radio market is an example of a growing radio broadcasting network with the potential to get even bigger. Radio stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex serve about 5.1 million listeners and continue to grow.
6. Houston-Galveston – Every day some 4.7 million people listen to the radio in the Houston-Galveston market. This radio broadcasting market has grown in size and ranking over the past 10 years.
7. Atlanta – Nearly 4.4 million people tune into Atlanta radio every day. Atlanta is demographically close to Philadelphia and could climb or slip a few spots.
8. Philadelphia – Geographically close to the number one market New York City, Philadelphia boasts about 4.4 million daily listeners. The city is close to moving to the number seven spot.
9. Washington D.C. – Home to the nation’s capital and one of the largest political talk radio markets, Washington D.C. is a political radio powerhouse. This radio broadcasting market serves more than 4 million listeners in the D.C. metropolitan area.
10. Boston – From sports talk to the hottest top 40 hits, the Boston radio market rounds out the list at number 10. This radio broadcasting market offers radio programs for approximately 3.9 million listeners in the New England region.
Top 10 radio broadcasting markets have an advantage getting advertisers to pay more for airtime. And the more people the message or advertisement reaches the more likely advertisers are to buy.
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