In a webinar preview of Nielsen’s soon-to-be-released PPM listening estimates during the first month of the collective new Stay At Home lifestyle, radio seems to fare well.
Reach has been in many a positive discussion over the recent past. Nielsen data supports the fact that reach remains strong.
In fact, every PPM market retained at least 93% of their February reach in March. Six markets kept 998% of their cume while eight markets kept 97% of their cume. There was little difference in overall reach when comparing demos or ethnicities.
Meanwhile, looking at the five major dayparts, each retained at least 89% of its reach compared the prior month.
Middays in March had the highest retention (95%) compared to February. Afternoons and weekends retained 92% of their respective reaches, while mornings and evenings maintained 89% of their individual reach.
Meanwhile in-home listening was flat in the first two weeks of March, but increased slightly in week 3 and significantly in week four.
It’s no surprise that the format that gained the most in terms of share was News-Talk – 12.1 to 13.3. Meanwhile all-news gained half a share.
However the majority of formats had close to the same share in March as they did in February.
- AM/FM radio is alive and well and has retained the majority of prior month audience: 90% of AQH and 96% of reach.
- The perception that no one is listening to AM/FM radio away from home during the pandemic is unfounded. Even in the fourth week of March, most AM/FM radio listening was out of home (62%) versus in home (38%).
- AM/FM radio format shares are remarkably consistent. News/Talk shares are up.
- Don’t generalize across markets. Each market reflects unique patterns of location of listening and audience retention.
Reach remains a key radio strength and that weekly cume today is 96% of pre-COVID-19 levels.
Additionally, in Nielsen’s own words, “The perception that no one is listening away from home during the pandemic is unfounded.”