You would think so if you saw the latest statistics from Simmons Market Research Bureau (2010). According to Simmons, 59% of the listeners to Christian radio are male.
To be honest, that's the last thing I thought I would ever hear myself say. And true, this sounds like a considerable departure from standard logic when it comes to the Christian audience. But the thing that keeps me from dismissing this as a statistical anomaly is that the numbers for other similar media groups this year are all very consistent.
For instance, Simmons surveys about 30,000 people per year. From this group we extract approximately 3000 individuals who are in the "Christian market". This comprises those people who can be marketed to through some form of Christian media. According to Simmons, the Christian market is now 53% male.
Not only is Christian radio showing up in this survey as a male-dominated format, but most of its sub-formats are as well. For instance, Contemporary Christian Music stations are showing a skew of 60% male. Christian Teaching and Talk stations support an audience that is 74% male. Spanish Christian stations are 64% male. The only Christian formats with a predominantly female audiences are Urban Gospel (55% female), and Southern Gospel stations (69% female).
It will be important to see if these stats are protracted into a trend over the coming years. But for now, all other things being equal, Simmons' latest findings suggest Christian radio might now be silently creeping into head-to-head competition with several local radio formats which have been previously thought to dominate the male consumer market - formats like News, Newstalk, AOR, and Sports.
And let's not forget that, according to Simmon's Winter 2010 study, Christian radio men are 16% more likely than men in general to be employed, and they are 60% more likely to have children living at home. Plus, they are almost twice as likely than the national average to live in households of at least five people.
Even if all of this were just a blip on the Simmons screen, the consistency of similar media groups, and the fact that such a blip has appeared strongly suggests that Christian radio isn't just for female advertisers anymore. And given that Christian radio tends to deliver a fairly exclusive audience, it might be important for any male-oriented advertisers to consider dropping their hook into the Christian radio pool.