Monday, August 10, 2020

AM/FM Radio’s Reach Now 97% Of Prior Levels

Nielsen held a customer webinar Thursday to review the results of the just-released July 2020 Portable People Meter data as well as findings from the Spring 2020 diary markets.

In a posting on The Westwood One blog, Pierre Bouvard writes that as of July 2020, PPM market average quarter-hour (AQH) audiences are now 88% of March 2020’s AQH. Spring diary market AQH audiences are 95% of prior audiences. Combined, total national AM/FM radio AQH is 91% of prior levels.

AM/FM radio’s reach is now 97% of prior levels

Across the four different Nielsen markets types (Portable People Meter, continuous diary measurement markets, standard markets, and two-book average markets), U.S. AM/FM radio retained virtually all of its cume audiences from prior periods. It is comforting that AM/FM radio retains its impressive reach given that AM/FM radio is American’s number one mass reach media and many brands use AM/FM radio to generate incremental audiences to TV.

Out-of-home AM/FM radio listening now very similar to previous levels

Currently, 68% of all AM/FM radio listening in PPM markets during 6AM to 7PM is occurring away from home, very close to the 71% in March 2020. Even during April 2020, at the height of “shelter at home” mandates, 58% of all daytime AM/FM radio listening occurred out of home.

Format share trends are remarkably consistent

Across diary markets, and Portable People Meter markets, AM/FM radio format shares are very stable. Americans like their favorite AM/FM radio stations and formats and are sticking with them.

Top Takeaways:
  • National AQH audiences are now 91% of prior levels.
  • AM/FM radio’s reach is 97% of prior levels. This is significant as AM/FM radio is used by many brands for its dominant reach.
  • Out-of-home AM/FM radio listening proportions are now very similar to previous levels
  • Format share trends are remarkably consistent.
  • In PPM markets, the April-May-June Spring survey is not representative of current listening patterns. Versus March 2020, the Spring survey averages at an 80 index versus July (88).
  • Nielsen has advised that the Spring Nationwide survey used by network radio advertisers should not be utilized for future buys.
  • Fall 2019 Nationwide is the most likely survey to be utilized for the 2021 network radio upfront and Q4 scatter buys.

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