The Rock Radio Listener

Rock radio listeners in the US are happy with what they’re hearing, with 62% tuning in 3-5 times per week. Looking deeper into the format, 63% of classic rock listeners, 60% of alternative rock listeners, and 70% of modern rock listeners tune in 3-5 days a week. The latter is 10 points higher on average than other music formats, according to the State of Media – Rock Radio report, by research company Harker Bos Group based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

When not listening to a variation of rock music on the radio, these listeners gravitate to pop (63%) and Top 40 (65%) more than any other genres. To a lesser extent, they listen to country (56%) and hip-hop (53%).

Within the genre of rock, modern and alternative rock listeners are much more likely to listen to classic rock (83% and 78%, respectively) than classic rock listeners are likely to listen to modern and alternative rock (52% and 39%, respectively).

The study found that modern and alternative rock listeners are more likely to live in urban environments and less likely to live in rural areas. They are slightly more likely to work in the office and slightly less likely to work hybrid.

The majority (55%) of rock radio fans listen in the morning, which is slightly above average for radio listeners overall (52%). Rock listeners like a variety of segments in their morning show. Respondents say music is an essential part of any morning show, as are news and weather/traffic updates. Additionally, 63% of rock listeners participate in contests, call-ins, or interactive segments.

While listening to the radio, rockers can be found driving, relaxing, exercising, and working.


Most rock radio listeners tune in for 30 minutes to an hour. Sessions lasting less than 30 minutes, and sessions lasting one to two hours are the second and third most common, respectively. Harker Bos Group says the session times reflect the listening habits of radio listeners overall.


The study found that rock listeners showed a notable increase in listening for the enjoyment of content when compared to all radio listeners. They also showed increased interest in information updates, local content and events, and community engagement.


They are also more old-school in how they listen than radio listeners overall. Rock radio listeners tune in via traditional, over-the-air radio at a slightly higher pace than all radio listeners. They are also significantly more likely to tune in via desktop/laptop streaming, smart speakers, and satellite radio streaming. This tendency is more prevalent with modern/alternative rock listeners, the study revealed. Across all listening methods, modern/alternative rock listeners scored 10%-20% higher than the average radio listener, suggesting that they are more open to using a wide variety of devices to listen to the radio.


First published by InsideRadio. Read original here



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