The Top 5 Reasons Christian Radio Listeners Listen…and how Music Station Listeners are different from Music/Teaching Stations & All-Teaching Stations – Finney’s Fast 5


In the Finney Media Why Listen?® Survey 2018 there were 26,800 respondents from four different formats – Music stations, Music/Teaching stations, all-Teaching stations, and Teaching programs.

The centerpiece of the survey is the reasons Christian radio listeners listen. It turns out that listeners who came from CCM stations listen, in some cases, for reasons similar to listeners to Music/Teaching stations and all-Teaching stations…and then there are a few reasons that are different. Here are the percentages, by format, of respondents who said that’s a Main Reason they listen.

Music Station Respondents

1. It helps me worship God throughout the day    91%

1. I like the worshipful Christian music    91%

3. I want to be encouraged    80%

4. It helps me grow spiritually    77%

5. It’s safe for me and my family to listen to    62%


Music/Teaching Station Respondents

1. It helps me grow spiritually    86%

2. It helps me worship God throughout the day    83%

3. It helps me understand the Bible better    74%

4. I want to be encouraged    70%

5. I like the worshipful Christian music    63%


All-Teaching Station Respondents

1. It helps me grow spiritually    89%

2. It helps me worship God throughout the day    81%

3. It helps me understand the Bible better    80%

4. I want to help spread Truth    69%

5. I want to be encouraged    67%

The answers in bold are the ones not common to all three formats. The ones not in bold made the Top 5 Main Reasons for each of the formats. A few observations:

  • It makes sense that “I like the worshipful Christian music” would not show up as a top Main Reason for Teaching Station respondents since those stations don’t play any music.
  • Music Station listeners were the only ones who scored “It’s safe for me and my family to listen to” in the Top 5. And even among Music listeners, it’s a distant fifth. Some of that is likely because the percentage of respondents with children under 18 in the home continues to drop. It’s down from 38% in the Why Listen? 2016 Survey to 32% in the 2018 Survey.
  • More Bible-focused and evangelism reasons showed up higher for the stations that lean toward Teaching programs – “It helps me understand the Bible better” and “I want to help spread Truth” showing up much more strongly than those reasons did with music listeners.

We believe that the biggest headline is this. When you look at the Main Reasons that are common to all three formats – “It helps me worship God throughout the day”, “It helps me grow spiritually” and “I want to be encouraged” – it is as if our listener is saying “I’m coming to you for SPIRITUAL ENCOURAGEMENT”.

Coming in November – The Top 5 Most Interesting On Air Topics. There is one that is much bigger than all the others. We’ll have it for you in November!



finneylogoChuck Finney is the President of Finney Media and has over 30 years experience helping radio stations grow audience and deepen relationships with listeners. He led Salem’s KLTY Dallas to record audience levels and served as National Program Director for Salem’s Fish CCM stations. While with KLTY, the station won multiple awards, including NRB Music Station Of The Year, the CMB Major Market Station Of The Year and the NAB Religious Station Of The Year.

Chuck served as Chairman of Christian Music Broadcasters and currently serves on the Radio Committee of NRB.

Since 2009, he has consulted Christian Music and Teaching radio stations and ministries internationally, helping them reach more people while being Gospel-focused.

He and his wife of 25 years, Lynda, live in the DFW area and have two daughters.





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