Whether it’s year-over-year or year-to-date trends, things are looking up for classic rock and contemporary Christianity, both with more stations than there were. is one year old, and adding more every month so far in 2022, based on Indoor Radiothe Format Counts monthly monitor of US stations.
Compared to April 2021, Classic Rock has the better story to tell. It added 35 stations for a 5.9% increase that lifts the format from 10th to 9th place. Since November 2021, total stations have literally been on the rise, gaining every month, including two more converts in April.
Contemporary Christian, while still ranked fourth overall, added nine stations a year ago for a 0.7% gain, with total stations increasing every month since January 2022. The religious format (including including instruction and variety), ranked just above in third place, is trending the other way, down nine stations and down 0.4% year-over-year, with a total number of stations in constant decline since January.
At the top, it’s a mixed story for the country, with the total number of stations down 1.2% year-on-year, but at the same time steadily increasing since January, with nine new stations in format, four of which were added in April. The gap between country and second-place news/talk, which had narrowed to 131 stations in total in February, narrowed to 149 in April, with news/talk losing eight stations since the start of this year.
Stations in the Spanish format, while remaining stable with a total of 1,255 since February, are up 1.9% compared to April 2021, adding 23 outlets, including 14 since September 2021, from which its total of stations has never diminished. Since January, the Spanish has moved the “Variety” station category, including many non-commercial FM and AM outlets, from fifth to sixth place.
Despite losing two stations from March to April, seventh-ranked Classic Hits remains a strong format, having added 24 stations year-over-year for a 2.1% increase and, from September 2021 to March 2022, adding stations each month, 20 in total, with nine more in February alone.
Sports-format stations, on the other hand, are down 2.9% since April 2021, having gained no new stations since last June and losing two more in April, putting it just 12 stations ahead of ninth. place Classic Rock, against the 66 he led by a year ago.
Should Classic Rock ultimately overtake Sports to take eighth place, it would be their second top 10 stop, having edged out the Top 40 in January of this year. Even adding a station in April, the Top 40 is down 11 stations and 1.8% from a year ago.
Below the top 10, Adult Contemporary at 11th is down 1.9% year-over-year with 11 fewer stations, even as it added seven in February. Hot AC is 12th, with just four stations year over year, while Alternative Rock in 13th has seen its station drop completely since October 2021.