Religious radio stations claim one-seventh of market

( [email protected] ) May 13, 2004 07:01 PM EDT

There were 122 new religious radio stations in the past year bringing the grand total of religious radio stations in the United States to 1,965, according to a recent Arbitron report, “Radio Today: How America Listens to Radio 2004.”

The new total, which reflects a 7 percent increase since last year, represents almost one-seventh of all American radio stations, according to National Religious Broadcasters. NRB notes that the total includes Contemporary Christian, Gospel, and Southern Gospel formats as well as stations that feature mainly religious teaching programs.

Over 60 % of listeners were adult women, according to the report. Findings of the study account for listeners who tune-in on Monday through Sunday, 6 AM to Midnight.

Nearly half (47 percent) of Religious radio listening occurs at home, and over one-third (38 percent) occurs in cars, reported Arbitron.

People in the South Atlantic, which includes the lower half of the East Coast, have more shares in listening, rated at 161 where 100 is the national average. South Central America ranked second in the number of shares of audience listening to Religious programming, pulling in 151.

In terms of the demographics by ethnicity, black listeners compose a large 37 percent of the audience.

Listeners in the 35-64 age group spend the most time listening, averaging 9 hours and 15 minutes per week.

“’Radio Today’ illustrates that radio continues to be one of the most popular and pervasive forms of media among Americans,” reads the report, which will be distributed to broadcasters, agencies, and advertisers.