Industry Studies

Coleman Insights was the first company to publish ground-breaking studies for the radio industry on the internet when it released “Alternative Music Clusters: Defining the Boundaries of the Format” study in 1997. Since then, thousands of professionals in the media, music and technology industries have downloaded our free and insightful reports.


The New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube

Coleman Insights

Coleman Insights Vice President/Consultant Jay Nachlis and Amplifi Media Founder/CEO Steve Goldstein presented findings from “The New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube,” an August 2023 research study of 1,000 15- to 64-year-old United States podcast consumers. Findings include:

  • How consumers define podcasts (audio or video, audio-only, or video only?)
  • Just how big of a podcast platform is YouTube?
  • Is YouTube more popular with younger or older podcast consumers?
  • How do consumers discover podcasts on YouTube?
  • How does YouTube perform against Spotify and Apple for podcasts?

Missed the webinar or presentation at the Podcast Movement conference? The recording is available here:

New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube Video.

Download the presentation deck here:

New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube Presentation Deck.

The New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube Podcast Movement

Jay Nachlis and Steve Goldstein at the Podcast Movement conference in Denver

Personality on Music Radio Stations: New Research on Social FM

Join Coleman Insights president Warren Kurtzman and Alan Burns & Associates founder Alan Burns for the latest research on Social FM, the next format North American radio broadcasters will be talking about. Kurtzman and Burns take an in-depth look at the format’s biggest success so far—Now! Radio in Edmonton—and provide attendees with deep insights on what is driving the station’s performance and the core perceptions listeners have of the brand. This is a “must see” for anyone considering the format or seeking new ways to infuse more personality content in music radio stations.

Contemporary Music SuperStudy 4

There has been significant buzz in and out of the entertainment industry as to the state of contemporary music. Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3 demonstrated how lockdowns, no concerts, and artists holding back new releases contributed to a “freezing” in consumers’ tastes.

In Coleman Insights’ fourth annual study tracking contemporary music tastes in the United States and Canada, we’ll see how a gradual re-opening of society, the return of live music, and ramping up of new releases affected the results. Follow along as we reveal insights from our findings through our Tuesdays With Coleman blogs, a deep dive webinar, and a report.

This page will be updated as we reveal new findings.


Download the executive summary detailing our insights from Contemporary Music SuperStudy 4


What in the World is Going On With Contemporary Music?

Time Stands Still (Again) in Contemporary Music SuperStudy 4

Pop Reigns Supreme (Again!)

How Demographics Impact Contemporary Music Tastes



As part of our Coleman Complete promise, every Coleman Insights client that completes a Coleman Insights study will receive exclusive access to the Contemporary Music SuperStudy 4 song-by-song data at no cost.

Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3

The third annual benchmark study of contemporary music tastes demonstrates how tastes were impacted in 2020, a year in which the normal rhythms of life were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3 examined the appetites for contemporary music among 1,000 12- to 54-year-olds across the United States and Canada.

How did contemporary music tastes shift in a year in which consumers were stuck at home, didn’t attend concerts, and the number of new music releases was reduced?

Get the answers as we reveal findings in our Tuesdays With Coleman blog and take a deeper dive in our annual webinar.


Watch the recording of the Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3 Deep Dive webinar: Click here!


Tracking Contemporary Music Trends

Time Stands Still in Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3

Pop Reigns Supreme (Again!) in Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3

Slicing Contemporary Music Tastes by Demographics and Consumption


As part of our Coleman Complete promise, every Coleman Insights client that completes a Coleman Insights study will receive exclusive access to the Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3 song-by-song data at no cost.

Contemporary Music SuperStudy 2


How have contemporary music tastes changed since our first groundbreaking Contemporary Music SuperStudy?

The second annual edition of the Contemporary Music SuperStudy is here to answer that question.

Contemporary Music SuperStudy 2 tracks contemporary music tastes across the United States and Canada to learn how they evolve. Due to the cancellation of this year’s Worldwide Radio Summit, the presentation from Warren Kurtzman, John Boyne and Sam Milkman  took place via webinar.

Findings include which songs are the most consumed of the past year; which genres are on the rise and decline; how tastes vary by a wide array of factors, including gender, age, ethnicity, geography and audio platform usage, as well as a look at the best and worst testing songs.


Click here to access the Contemporary Music SuperStudy 2 sortable song-by-song data!


Watch the recording of the Contemporary Music SuperStudy 2 webinar: Click Here


Contemporary Music’s Report Card

The Lay of the Land of Contemporary Music Tastes

Contemporary Music Trends: Country Is Up

How Platform Choice Impacts Contemporary Music Tastes


The Three Ts of Content Execution: A Second-By-Second Look at Podcast Listening Behavior

At Podcast Movement 2018 in Philadelphia, Sam Milkman and John Boyne presented the results of a mediaEKG® Deep Dive study on two iHeartRadio podcasts. One was “The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast,” featuring former stars of ABC’s “The Bachelor” franchise, and the other was “Business Unusual with Barbara Corcoran,” featuring the real estate mogul and “Shark Tank” star. The purpose of the study was to analyze second-by-second listener behavior in various segments within each of these shows.

Click here to watch the webinar recording.

Outside Thinking for Podcasts

If you want your podcast to stand out in a sea of creators, networks, platforms and the podcasts themselves, you need to build a strong brand and make a lasting connection with your audience.

Combined with surprising headlines from a recent Coleman Insights study, we will introduce you to a breakthrough strategy called “Outside Thinking”. Outside Thinking will empower you to view your podcast from the perspective of your listeners, and understand what behavioral factors influence their decision to consume it.

As an Outside Thinker, you’ll utilize your new knowledge to build a strong, memorable brand and execute great in-the-moment content with the Coleman Insights Brand-Content Matrix, leading to greater long-term success.


Outside Thinking for Podcasts


Start With the Customer and Work Backwards

Introducing Coleman Insights

What Radio Stations and Diets Have in Common

Three Ways Radio Stations Misunderstand Their Listeners

Is Inside Thinking Blurring Your Strategic Vision?



Contemporary Music SuperStudy 1

Contemporary Music SuperStudy

What is the current state of contemporary music?

We took a list of the most consumed songs from the past year by streaming, sales and radio airplay as measured by Nielsen – BDSradio. We tested those songs with 1,000 people ages 12-54 across the United States and Canada.


Watch the video of our initial presentation of the findings from the Worldwide Radio Summit, March 29, 2019 in Burbank, CA and our Deep Dive webinar, in which we present additional findings and take questions: Click Here


The Current State of Contemporary Music

There’s a Reason They Call it Pop Music

What Shapes Our Music Tastes

Bruno Mars is the Great Unifier


Coleman Insights is now offering free access to a sortable spreadsheet containing song-by-song data from the Contemporary Music SuperStudy it released in March, 2019. All visitors can now view how each song was evaluated by listeners, with breakdowns by age, gender, ethnicity and more.

The study’s major findings, which Coleman Insights previously shared at the Worldwide Radio Summit, via webinar and through its Tuesdays With Coleman blog series included:

  • Hip Hop/R&B was the most consumed genre of 2018, but is also the most polarizing;
  • Pop is the one genre that fans of all other genres can agree on;
  • The appeal of Hip Hop/R&B titles is concentrated among younger, male listeners, while Country titles perform best among older, female listeners;
  • While the music tastes of supporters and detractors of President Trump vary significantly, “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars is the top song with both groups

It was based on a test of 2018’s most consumed songs with 1,000 12 to- 54-year-olds across the United States and Canada utilizing Coleman Insights’ FACT360SM Strategic Music Test platform and was released after receiving many requests from clients. While programmers should not make any music decisions based on this data, they can use it to ensure that many of the stronger-testing songs in their stations’ formats are included in any customized music research they do.

Click here to register to access the Contemporary Music SuperStudy song data.

What Does The Public Think About Public Radio?

In the fall of 2016, Coleman Insights and the Public Radio Program Directors Association set out to investigate radio listeners’ perceptions of Public Radio. We wanted to know what listeners think about Public Radio stations—if they think about them at all.

The Components of Tuning Occasions – Switching vs. Turning

Coleman Insights and Media Monitors present a major new study of Nielsen Audio Portable People Meter (PPM) data revealing that nearly two-thirds of radio station listening occasions consist of listeners “turning on” a station and end with them “turning off” a station, as opposed to “switching in” from and “switching out” to other stations. It is based on an analysis of nearly 37 million listening occasions captured in all 48 United States radio markets measured by Nielsen Audio’s PPM measurement system in October 2014, January 2015, April 2015 and July 2015.

Nielsen subscribers can access the study here.


When Is A Hit A Hit?

Here are free resources to help radio stations determine “When Is A Hit A Hit?” You can view a recording of the webinar or download a guide to new music tools for handy reference in the future, and read each entry in Matt’s blog series containing analysis and recommendations on how to use data from sources such as Spotify, Shazam, iTunes and YouTube.

Coleman Insights Finds Opportunity for Next Radio

Click the above link for the home page for this study and watch a video presentation on Part One, which reveals the NextRadio app has the potential to address the portability needs of radio listeners.

Strong Demand for NextRadio – Part 2

Click the above link for the home page for this study and watch a video presentation on Part Two, which revealed high consumer demand for NextRadio, the app which allows consumers to listen to local FM stations on their phones using the FM chips already installed in most phones.

pdf-pngThe PPM DNA of Canada’s High Performance Stations

Coleman Insights analyzed a full year of BBM data from Canada’s five PPM-measured markets and identified 13 radio stations that performed significantly better than their counterparts. Learn how large Daily Cumes, multiple listening occasions and Out-Of-Home listening differentiates these high performers from the competition.

pdf-pngChallenges & Opportunities for In-Car Streaming Radio

How many people are streaming radio in the car? How will in-car streaming affect terrestrial radio? What are consumer expectations? In this study, we examine usage of in-car streaming radio as well as perceptions – and misperceptions – about in-car streaming.

pdf-pngWhat Happens When The Spots Come On – 2011 Edition

This comprehensive study examines audience levels during more than 18 million commercial breaks that ran on over 800 US radio stations in 48 PPM markets over a year-long period. It demonstrates radio’s far better-than-expected ability to deliver audience during commercials relative to the lead-in audiences to those commercial breaks.

pdf-pngChallenges in News Migration to Digital Media

Local television stations and newspapers have found difficulty tapping into digital revenue streams. What works for news brands in the digital space? What are the drivers of digital usage? How and when do consumers use television and newspaper digital brands? What content is valuable and is it a part of the value to the brand? We conducted focus groups in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Raleigh-Durham to answer these questions and more.

pdf-pngCRS 2011 Country P1 Consumer & New Media Study

Download the full report from this study from Country Radio Broadcasting, the Country Music Association and Coleman Insights, which we debuted in a presentation at CRS 2011 in Nashville. It demonstrates the high level of satisfaction P1 listeners have for Country radio, how this satisfaction exceeds the expectations of Country radio and Country music industry professionals and how Country P1s are using new media extensively.

pdf-pngReal iPad Users’ Early Reaction to The Daily

News Corporation introduced “The Daily”, a news product only available as an app on the iPad platform. This product was designed for a growing segment of the population that is educated and sophisticated but “does not read national print newspapers or watch television news”.

This study was conducted at a unique moment in time – when the iPad was emerging and The Daily was in a development or “beta” period. This study investigates the potential outlook for The Daily.

pdf-pngHow Radio Stations Can Better Engage Their Audiences on Facebook

Which posts are working for radio stations on Facebook? Do stations post too much or too little content? Have radio stations found the right “voice”. or are they simply publishing press releases? This study focuses on how radio stations engage with their audiences on Facebook and what can be improved.

pdf-pngThe PPM DNA of America’s High Performance Radio Stations

Our latest PPM study debuted at the 2009 NAB Radio Show and demonstrated the PPM listenership metrics that differentiate highly successful radio stations.

pdf-pngReal PPM Panelists Tell All

On September 19, 2008, Coleman Insights unveiled this study at the 2008 NAB Radio Show. This study was based on exclusive, no-holds-barred, one-on-one interviews with real PPM panelists in New York, Philadelphia and Houston who discussed their perceptions of the meter, how, when and where they used it and how they responded to Arbitron’s efforts to ensure their participation. We also gained significant insights about the differences between “perceived” and “metered” listening, including how large this gap is and when and why it exists.

pdf-pngSuccessful Streaming Audio Strategies

Have traditional radio broadcasters launched successful strategies to maintain audience as streaming usage continues to increase? What role do “over the air” broadcast signals play in the lives of streaming consumers? Why do consumers choose to stream content? This study focuses on best practices for streaming and opportunities for brand awareness.

pdf-pngThe PPM DNA of Rush Limbaugh

Coleman Insights released this study on April 3, 2008. It provides insights into what drives the performance of Rush Limbaugh’s nationally syndicated talk show.

pdf-pngWhat Happens When the Features Come On?

This study assesses the impact of programming features on music radio stations. It was released on January 30, 2008 via free webinars that were attended by hundreds of radio professionals.

pdf-pngWhat Happens When New Music Gets Played: The Impact of New Songs on the Country Radio Audience

Jon Coleman presented this second landmark analysis of PPM audience data from Coleman Insights, Arbitron and Media Monitors at the Country Radio Seminar in February 2007. It revealed the impact that new songs played on KILT/Houston had on the station’s audience levels, including how that impact varied depending on the type of new songs the station played.

pdf-pngAn Early Peek at Rhythmic AC

Since Sandusky Radio launched the first “MOViN”-branded format on KQMV/Seattle on May 1st, 2006, the industry has been abuzz over the introduction of many other Rhythmic AC stations around the US. This report provides the first look at the music approaches these stations are taking, including a detailed comparison of stations utilizing the MOViN brand from Alan Burns & Associates and a number of Rhythmic ACs programmed by Clear Channel Communications.

pdf-pngWhat Happens When The Spots Come On: The Impact of Commercials on the Radio Audience

This landmark analysis of PPM audience data from Coleman Insights, Arbitron and Media Monitors was unveiled in a presentation by Jon Coleman at the NAB Radio Show in September 2006. It demonstrated radio’s outstanding ability to maintain audience levels during commercial breaks.

pdf-pngAn Early Peek at Classic Alternative

What is Classic Alternative? Coleman insights takes a quick look at the music mixes employed by five large market stations that have adopted the format.

pdf-pngOldies Insights – Winter 2003

Coleman Insights’ second look at the relationship between Oldies stations’ music mixes and their Arbitron performances suggests that some may have “gone too far.”

pdf-pngOldies Insights – Winter 2002

Coleman Insights examines the impact moves to a more contemporary sound is having on the Arbitron performances of Oldies stations.

pdf-png’80s Insights – Summer 2001

The second installment of Coleman Insights’ ’80s Insights series provides a complete look at the performance of the ’80s format one year after many stations adopted it.

pdf-pngBroadband Revolution 2: The Media World of Speedies

Learn more about the online and offline media habits of “speedies,” those with broadband Internet access at home, work or school. A landmark study presented by Coleman Insights and Arbitron at the Streaming Media West convention.

pdf-png’80s Insights – Fall 2000

Read Coleman Insights’ early performance analysis of the ’80s format adopted by dozens of stations in the U.S. Is this a “real” format or a short-term solution for many broadcasters?

pdf-pngRhythmic Oldies Insights

In the Spring of 2000, 30 of America’s 50 largest radio markets had a Rhythmic Oldies outlet. Today, only a handful survive. Take a look back of what Coleman Insights discovered about the format’s performance during the height of the format’s rise.

pdf-pngBroadband Revolution 1

Coleman Insights and Arbitron answered the question “Can Radio Survive The Broadband Revolution?” when this ground breaking study was presented at the NAB Radio Show 2000.

pdf-pngCHR Segmentation

While this look at the state of Top 40 music is a bit dated, it provides a great example of the challenges of catering to different music appetites on one station. This study debuted at the Radio & Records Convention ’98.

pdf-pngAlternative Music Clusters: Defining the Boundries of the Format

Another study that–while dating back to the early stages of “The Alternative Revolution”–reveals how sophisticated tools like music cluster analysis can shed light on emerging music tastes.