Healthcare and the NPR Audience: The Data Narrative for Industry Leaders

By Chelsea Roberts, Account Executive

Facts and Feelings, Demographics and Trust. This post shares data for healthcare leaders in communications, marketing, and business development.

Key Takeaways:

  1. NPR is the most trusted brand partner in America among agency and marketing executives (The Myers Report, 2019). As your healthcare organization works to maintain public trust, transparency, accessibility, and compassionate care in the Covid-19 era, Michigan Radio(NPR) is optimally positioned to do this work with you through corporate sponsorship campaigns.

  2. The NPR listener is concerned about their health and well-being, both inside and out. 81% of our listeners say they are “always looking for ways to live a healthier life.”

  3. NPR listeners are early adopters of technology. Combine this with their commitment to health and the likelihood (81%) that they will have insurance, the NPR listener is a strong demographic for organizations looking to market telehealth services.

  4. The NPR listener is 53% more likely than the average American to carry Point-of-Service health insurance, which allows for greater flexibility in visiting specialists. NPR listeners are 67% more likely than the average American to have a traditional fee-for-service health plan. They are half as likely to have Medicaid.

  5. NPR listeners are 98% more likely than the average American to be purchasers of health insurance policies at their place of work.

The healthcare industry is undergoing a massive disruption. Whether your organization provides insurance, senior care, or mental health counseling, it’s likely that your work has been impacted by the upheaval of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to delivering new services, like telehealth, your office may be working overtime to disseminate public information about your updated policies, the virus, how patients can continue to access your care, and more. During this time of immense change for healthcare professionals, putting your information in front of the right audience makes all the difference.
Maybe you’ve already thought about reaching the NPR audience in order to raise the profile of your organization. Or, maybe you’ve heard your competitor on our airwaves and wondered how they got there. In the midst of these dynamic times NPR sponsorship remains a trusted tool for elevating your brand while reaching your target audience. This article shares the data healthcare leaders need to know about the NPR audience.
NPR listeners are concerned about their health and well-being, both inside and out. 81% of our listeners say they are “always looking for ways to live a healthier life.”
They are more likely than the average American to visit a doctor on a more frequent basis. And if you’re a specialist, NPR listeners might already be some of your favorite patients. That’s because the NPR listener is 53% more likely than the average American to carry Point-of-Service health insurance, which allows them greater flexibility in visiting specialists. And they’re 60% more likely to have Gap or supplemental insurance.
If your practice focuses on holistic wellness, prioritizing exercise and meditation as components of a healthy lifestyle, our listeners share your values. 74% participate in some kind of regular exercise. The most popular fitness activities with our listeners are walking (31%), hiking (25%), swimming (21%), jogging/running (17%), road bicycling (17%) and yoga (15%).
And of course, telehealth. Can our listeners keep up with your new service, and will they access it? Yes. The NPR audience is tech-savvy and more likely than the general population to adopt the latest technologies. They use the internet to access information, and to shop. The NPR listener is 60% more likely than the average American to have purchased health/medical supplies and prescription drugs online.
Although data on how NPR listeners use telehealth is not available, signs point in the right direction. Our listeners are early adopters of technology, they are committed to their health, and they are more likely to carry insurance. When you combine these factors, the NPR audience is a strong target demographic for organizations looking to market new telehealth services.
Age, Income, and Education:
NPR is particularly popular among Baby Boomers (b. 1946-1964). The median age of the NPR listener is 53.
NPR’s audience is extraordinarily well-educated. Seven in ten listeners have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to only 31% of the U.S. population. Also, they are more than 3 times as likely as the average American to have completed graduate school.
The median household income of an NPR News listener is about $103,000, compared to the national average of about $68,800.
Measuring Trust:
Next to data, the most important component of an NPR sponsorship is Trust.
Trust is built through consistency. For example: the sound of your favorite NPR host taking you through your morning, your afternoon, your evening, and your weekend. Trust is built through time and commitment. Trust is when someone hums the theme music to Morning Edition, or taps “M” in their search bar and it autocompletes to
Henry Ford Allegiance Health and Allergy and Immunology Associates of Michigan are two organizations who have proudly sponsored Michigan Radio(NPR) to reach our loyal, unduplicated audience. Their sponsorship cultivates trust and engagement with our listeners.
Harvey Leo, MD at Allergy and Immunology Associates, states, “There is no doubt that our relationship with Michigan Radio has nurtured the growth of this practice.”
In fact, NPR is the most trusted brand partner in America among agency and marketing executives (The Myers Report, 2019). When you sponsor our factual news and information, listeners report perceiving your brand as stable, trustworthy, and credible.
And as your organization pivots during the Covid-19 era, working to launch new programs while maintaining trust, accessibility, and compassionate care, Michigan Radio(NPR) is optimally positioned to share your message with our loyal, informed, health-conscious audience.
Now that you’ve seen the data, ask yourself: Should I be reaching the NPR audience?
Reach out to our corporate support professionals for a customized marketing consultation, or message me on LinkedIn. Michigan Radio’s corporate support team is pleased to partner with industry leaders in Michigan, and we thank our current sponsors for their on-going support.
Sources: | SOURCE: MRI-Simmons Doublebase 2019 Base: Total U.S. Adults | SOURCE: comScore Plan Metrix, 3-month averages, Nov 2018 – Jan 2019 Base: Active Online Population (Adults 18+)

***RESTRICTED RIGHTS: NPR member stations, producers of NPR distributed programs, and customers of the Public Radio Satellite System have authorization to use this information in their underwriting materials and proposals, and for internal analysis. Any other usage requires permission from NPR Audience Insights.***

What Does a Cute Puppy Have to do with Underwriting?

By Christa Quinn, Account Executive

Nothing. Just a cute face to get your attention. We all need to see a cute puppy face every now and then, right?

I want to discuss the second most frequently asked question I get: how much does it cost? The answer, is kinda complicated. It really depends on what a business or organization wants. So, let’s group into two categories: events and long-term awareness.

Event campaigns on Michigan Radio usually run between one and four weeks. The messages are more frequent so that the repetition of the message has time to resonate with the listeners. Michigan Radio has a monthly cume (the total number of different persons who tune into a radio station during the course of a daypart for at least five minutes) audience of just over one million people, so trying to get to as many ears as possible in a short amount of time is key. Let’s say a local symphony orchestra would like to promote a concert that will feature a special guest artist. That organization would probably want to run 20 messages over the course of 10 days for around $2,000.

Ding! Ding! Ding! The magic formula to Michigan Radio pricing is $100/spot! Nope. That’s a general price for messages that are Run-of-Schedule or ROS. ROS messages are randomly placed during Michigan Radio’s broadcast schedule Monday through Sunday between 5am and 11pm. It’s in Michigan Radio’s best interest to give these messages the best possible placement so that the message can be heard by as many ears possible. It’s not uncommon for the operations manager to finagle the spot placement so that spots get the best placement. Our ops manager is pretty awesome like that.

The other side of the coin is an awareness campaign. Awareness campaigns are longer term campaigns that last from six months to one year, and are often renewed. Let’s say a major corporation would like to support the fact-based independent journalism that Michigan Radio produces each and every day. This corporation is passionate about its customers knowing that it is invested into the intellectual health of the community. It wants to reach business owners, leaders and decision makers, so perhaps the focus of when people are driving to and from work (it WILL happen again) is an important time to air the messages. Let’s also say that this corporation wants to reach Saturday errand runners too. Together, the team at the corporation and I sit down and build an effective schedule that meets the needs of the purpose of the campaign and we build pricing from th


The dayparts on Michigan Radio are divided up in to MANY categories. For example, morning drive is from 5am-10am. That’s when Morning Edition and the BBC Newshour air, so it’s prime time. Mid-days are 10a-3p, and afternoon drive is 3p-7p. There are many more options, some of which combine into larger segments. All of the dayparts have different pricing, and it’s up to the corporations and me to come up with a schedule that fits the goals and budget of the corporation.

Contact us to learn more about getting your message in front of our audience.

Your Message Won’t Be Lost in a Sea of Political Ads on Michigan Radio

2020 is a federal and state election year.

As a listener, we’re sure you know that Michigan Radio is a reliable, unbiased news source for political and election coverage, so it may not surprise you that we see a significant increase in listener engagement and visits to our website in election years.

This is also a time when the flood of political ad spending can be heard on and seen in all commercial media. But Michigan Radio in different.

Michigan Radio does NOT air political ads

This means that YOUR message will not drown in the clutter of obtrusive and aggressive political messaging that you will hear and see elsewhere. Without the competition of such intrusive advertising your message will stand out and be heard by our appreciative audience.

When weighing your options for your marketing plans, mark that election year audience growth means your impressions and reach also increases, which means more bang for your buck!

Contact us to find out more about maximizing your exposure with our listeners and rise above the others in this election year!

Your Sponsorship Reaches Michigan Radio Members Across the State

Michigan Radio has members across the state, from Houghton to Grand Rapids, from Detroit to Ann Arbor.

Click to Enlarge

Why does it matter that our sponsor’s messages reach members in addition to listeners?  Michigan Radio members contribute financially to the station, just like our sponsors do!  This means that they already have something in common with our sponsors – support for Michigan Radio!

Just as our members appreciate their pledge drive gifts, our sponsors value the messages we read on air to promote their organizations and events. While members enjoy bringing home their groceries in a Michigan Radio tote bag, sponsors enjoy increased revenue or awareness for their brand.

Not a sponsor yet? Contact us to get started today!

Radio Remains Top Choice for In-Dash Entertainment

In-vehicle media options have grown exponentially in recent years. With the addition of dashboard screens and bluetooth, AM/FM radio competes with satellite radio, streaming audio, owned music and other content.

However, despite the increased options, according to Inside Radio, 84% of Americans who have been in a car or truck in the past 30 days say they continue to use radio there.

Even as competition for dash-space becomes more competitive, carmakers are still keeping broadcast radio as standard equipment in their new models because they know that’s what consumers want.
Your sponsorship message on Michigan Radio reaches the ears of listeners in their cars, in their homes and on their streaming devices. Contact us to find out how to get the most of your sponsorship message!

Source: Inside Radio

Michigan Radio Audience Growth Across the State

Michigan Radio’s listening audience has grown substantially across the state. According to this spring’s Nielsen Audio Report*, the station’s weekly listening audience grew by 3% in Detroit, 12% in Grand Rapids, 21% in Flint, 24% in Ann Arbor, and 26% in Kalamazoo.  Michigan Radio continues to be the top NPR station in each of these markets.

Michigan Radio’s audience growth in West Michigan is particularly noteworthy, as the station now ranks among the top three stations in both Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo in terms of average listening audience. This top three ranking includes both commercial and public radio stations serving these markets. Michigan Radio also remains the most-listened-to radio station of any kind in Ann Arbor, a distinction the station has held for over a decade.

This recent audience growth solidifies Michigan Radio’s position as Michigan’s most-listened-to NPR station, and among the top public radio stations nationwide in terms of listening audience.

In addition to the station’s over-the-air broadcast audience, more than 100,000 people across the state listen to Michigan Radio’s online audio stream each month.

If your business isn’t already reaching the Michigan Radio audience with your sponsorship message – what are you waiting for?

Contact Us today to be heard on Michigan Radio across the state!

*Source:  Nielsen Audio- Spring 2017; Persons 12+, Mon-Sun, 6AM-12Midnight.

Converting Obstacles to Opportunities: Why Michigan Radio?

You already understand that radio is still relevant, but what makes public radio in general and Michigan Radio in particular a better place to air your message than commercial radio?

Here are the top reasons to air your message with Michigan Radio vs. a commercial station:

  • Your message reaches more of Michigan without losing the localized feel of radio

  • Your message stands out on our uncluttered air, since we only air 1-2 minutes of sponsor messages an hour (versus 15-20 minutes of ads on commercial radio)

  • Your message reaches an engaged, affluent and educated audience

  • Our audience is 74% more likely to do business with a public radio sponsor, due to the Halo Effect

  • We’re community minded – we care about what our listeners care about and what YOU care about

Public vs. Commercial

Contact us today to find out how a Michigan Radio sponsorship can benefit your business and your community!

The Relevance of Radio

With a continuously expanding buffet of choices in media, the world seems to bounce from one screen to another, inundated with information and selections.

Where does radio fit in to this new world – more importantly, does it still fit in?

You may be surprised to know that 91% of Americans still listen to radio every week.  Which makes radio the most consumed media.

Radio is reaching all ages and all races – every demographic is tuning in.

  • 86.5% of Millennials spend an average of 12 hours per week with radio

  • 89.9% of Gen-Xers spend an average of 16 hours per week with radio

  • 86.8% of Boomers spend an average of 16 hours per week with radio


Radio is always on and always local.  There is a personal connection between the listener and the host – there’s just something about listening to someone talk when you’re driving.  It’s a conversation – a relationship really.

Michigan Radio’s listeners are committed to listening to our locally produced content as well as the NPR content that we provide.

Our audience is engaged – isn’t it time you found out how you can get them to engage with your brand?

Radio is still relevant – consider a Michigan Radio Corporate Sponsorship to ensure that you remain relevant, too.

Source: Nielsen National Regional Database, Fall 2014, M-Su 6am-Midnight, non PPM Markets

Insights, Not Soundbites: Serving with Integrity

The Principles of Public MediaPublic broadcasting includes media outlets that operate as a public service.  Unlike commercial broadcasting, public media is non-profit and operates from donations from private citizens and businesses.

In previous posts on the principles of pubic media, we talked about what supporting a strong civil society means to us and how we do it.

This time we’re going to talk about how we maintain our integrity while we serve our community.

In order to continue to build and maintain our reputation as a trusted, reliable and honest source of information, it is essential for us comply with FCC rules in every facet.

This impacts corporate sponsors because the FCC regulates the messages that public media can broadcast about their sponsors, including both the length and content (check out the FCC rules here).

The benefit of these rules is that Michigan Radio and all public media escape the high traffic advertising area of commercial media. Your message doesn’t have to be bigger, better, louder or faster to reach our audience – as Michigan Radio listener’s, they love the uncluttered, subtle support that your corporate sponsorship dollars provide.

Click on “The Principles of Public Media” under categories to see more in this series.


Converting Obstacles to Opportunities: “We Don’t Have the Budget for Public Radio in our Marketing Plan”

Your budget is a crucial component in your decision to market your organization. We understand that this is a “make-or-break” aspect of your decision-making process.


When deciding where your marketing dollars go, we feel it’s important to not just look at the amount, but to also consider the value. Michigan Radio Sponsorship is unlike any other marketing investment out there. Your organization is gaining exposure while you are investing in Michigan’s journalistic integrity and fostering goodwill within the community. Michigan Radio sponsorship is an effective marketing tool that aligns your organization with our mission: to provide “… stimuli for a broader knowledge, fuller understanding, and deeper appreciation of the humanities, of the sciences, and of social, economic and civic problems”. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Charitable donation

Public radio is one of the few ways to promote your organization that is also altruistic. Your sponsorship allows us to buy programming, fund our newsroom and give Michigan’s citizens the news they deserve. Your contribution is a charitable donation that is integral to strengthening Michigan’s community and access to information.


Michigan radio sponsorship would allow you to reach an exclusive, heavy listening audience who would otherwise miss your message if you choose to only advertise on commercial radio. As the top public radio station in the state, Michigan Radio reaches more than half a million listeners a week. Including sponsorship with Michigan Radio as part of your marketing plan ensures that your message will reach a more thorough audience.

Can you afford not to partner with Michigan Radio?