People are Tuned In and On the Go

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

People are resilient. It is an awesome wonder of human nature. There’s no doubt that everyone has experienced challenges, but looking around, you see that people have returned to doing what they did pre-pandemic. They are tuned into radio and ready to go.

Nielsen’s online survey, which has been monitoring consumer behavioral trends since the pandemic’s onset, highlights how consumers across the country aren’t just ready – they are on the go. The results of their June survey found that 90% of adults believe that life is becoming more normal. Their sentiment is improving as businesses are opening and life is appearing more normal.

Radio listeners are back on the go. They are shopping for groceries in store, driving around, ordering takeout, shopping in store and dining out – more so than the total surveyed. While people are spending more time in car, heavy radio listeners are more likely to spend one hour plus than the average in their cars.

What are they doing in their car? Listening to radio, of course. Nearly 90% of those surveyed say the radio is always/sometimes on during the drive to school. Yes, cars and people are on the go and radio is there keeping them company, entertaining and informing them.

People aren’t just tuning in while in car – they are tuning in everywhere. Broadcast radio listening levels are now 97% of March 2020 listening levels (pre-COVID-19). While we know that media habits have changed, people have also rediscovered radio. Since the onset of the pandemic, 56% of adults 21+ started to listen to radio, according to the July COVID-19 study from MRI-Simmons. Of these adults, 74% consider broadcast radio very trustworthy.

Like people, radio is resilient. It continues to play a role in the lives of consumers – before, during and after (dare we use that word) a pandemic. People tune in to radio and that’s why it has the largest share of ear compared to other ad-supported audio options – 76% among adults 18+, according to Edison Research.

It doesn’t matter where people are, where they are going or what they are doing, radio is there. People are on the go and radio is with them and along for the ride.


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