Tag Archives: Ethnic

Radio Station Formats – So Many Advertising Choices

Radio is a personal medium.  Listeners develop a relationship with their favorite radio stations.  For many, it becomes a part of their day, their routine and their experience.  Because of this, radio creates a level of influence and loyalty not experienced by other media.

Radio listeners have a wide variety of preferences.  Flip around the dial and you may be surprised by how many radio stations there are, and how many types of programming formats exist today.  The radio industry is a competitive marketplace, and it’s only getting more competitive.  Terrestrial radio stations are still the flagship source for this medium, but now they compete with satellite radio, web radio, and HD radio, not to mention the other choices for audio entertainment, from portable mp3 devices, mobile streaming and other new technologies.

It takes a combination of art and science to be a successful program director of a radio station.  PDs spend a lot of time tweaking their programming to please the greatest number of targeted listeners.  After all, the more listeners the radio station has, the more money they can charge advertisers for spots.

There are many radio stations dedicated to very narrow programming formats.  Their programming and selling propositions are focused on the quality of their highly targeted listeners.

Today, Arbitron recognizes over 50 radio formats.  And as interests and tastes evolve, so do radio formats.  For example, the Beautiful Music format was popular for many years, but today it has virtually disappeared (I would argue that it was replaced by Smooth Jazz).  And formats like Adult Album Alternative or even Sports Talk haven’t been around that long relative to others.

When you consider how to target your radio advertising, it’s a good idea to be aware of the many formats that exist.  Here is a combined list of recognized radio formats:

80s Hits
Active Rock
Active rock
Adult Album Alternative (Adult Alternative, AAA or Triple-A)
Adult Contemporary (AC)
Adult Hits
Adult Standards / Middle of the Road (MOR) / Nostalgia (pre-rock)
Album Oriented Rock (AOR)
Alternative Rock
Big Band
Black Gospel
Business News
Children’s Radio
Christian CHR/Rock
Christmas Music
Classic Country
Classic Hits
Classic Rock
College radio
Contemporary Christian (CCM)
Contemporary Classical Music
Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR), Top-40 / Hot Hits
Contemporary Inspirational
Dance (dance top-40)
Easy Listening
Family Hits
Freeform Radio (DJ-selected)
Full-service (talk and variety music)
Hispanic rhythmic
Hot Adult Contemporary (Hot AC)
Indian Music
Latino Urban
Lite Adult Contemporary (Lite AC)
Mainstream Rock
Mexican Regional
Modern Adult Contemporary (Modern AC)
Modern Rock
New AC (NAC )
New Country/Young Country
Pop Contemporary Hit Radio
Progressive Rock
Psychedelic Rock
Quiet Storm (Urban stations, i.e. 7p-12 midnight)
R&B Oldies
Radio documentary
Regional Mexican
Rhythmic Adult Contemporary
Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio
Rhythmic Oldies
Rock en Español
Romántica (Spanish AC)
Smooth AC
Smooth Jazz
Soft Adult Contemporary (soft AC)
Soft Rock
Southern Gospel
Space Music
Spanish Adult Hits
Spanish CHR
Spanish Contemporary Christian
Spanish Hits
Spanish News/Talk
Spanish Oldies
Spanish Religious
Spanish Sports
Spanish Talk
Spanish Tropical
Spanish Urban
Spanish Variety
Tejano (Texas/Mexican music)
Traditional Pop
Tropical (salsa, merengue, cumbia, etc.)
Urban Adult Contemporary (Urban AC)
Urban Contemporary (rap, hip hop, soul, and R&B)
Urban Oldies
World Music

Arbitron, PrecisionTrak, New York Radio Guide

As a direct response advertiser, where do you start?  How do you choose the best stations or formats to generate sales?  At Target + Response, we can guide you along.