Beliefnet
Gospel Soundcheck

christian-radio.jpgA Reuters story out this weekend reported that Contemporary Christian radio is now the second most popular radio music format in the U.S.
According to Inside Radio, which tracks radio statistics, the most popular format overall is now News/talk, with 2,064 stations, inching out Country, with 2,024 stations. The third most popular format is Religious/teaching, with 1,290 stations.
The most popular music format is still Country, but Contemporary Christian is now in second place, with 945 stations. That’s double what it was a decade ago. And there are 322 Southern gospel stations.
Other popular music formats include Oldies (735), Adult contemporary (671), Classic hits (569), Top 40 (497), Classic rock (483), and Rock (310).
I’m not radio statistician, but when you look at the popularity of Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Christian (which, let’s face it, is really Adult Contemporary with spiritual lyrics) and “Classic” or oldies, it seems like most people listening to the radio are older Americans.
If you take this information, and view it through the lens of the radio survey I shared with you a few months ago, that means that there’s little chance that we’re going to be seeing any changes to Christian radio that allow for more Christian rock music or programming geared towards younger audiences. The survey I cited back in July reported that the average listener of Christian radio is a 45-54 year old woman (or “Becky,” the targeted Christian radio listener).
So what does that mean for the Christian music fan? I guess if you’re a fan of the big name Christian acts, you’re in luck! There are more stations playing your tunes. If you like Christian indie, alternative or rock artists, you’d better have an iPod or find an internet radio station.
For a complete list of the radio station formats, visit the Inside Radio website.
You can read more about the Christian radio station report from this summer on my “Are you an average Christian radio listener?” post.