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Report: Data Reveals Radio's Use During Emergenices
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, August 31, 2017 |2:14pm CT

Highslide JS
The NextRadio data team has tracked listening during several storms, including Hurricane Harvey, and a definite pattern emerged. People use their phones to tune to radio in massive numbers. As Harvey made landfall on Friday, August 25 at Corpus Christi, TX, local NextRadio listening was up 186% and session starts up 124% as compared with an average Friday. Total listening minutes were down 3% and TSL per session down 54%.

As the storm continued to pound Houston on Sunday, August 27, the number of NextRadio listeners there rose 50% and session starts rose 22%. Total listening minutes were down 11% and TSL per session down 26%. This echoes what the firm saw during a 2016 tornado in Kokomo, Indiana. The number of NextRadio listeners spiked 4.2 times the daily average. Yet session minutes were down. The company saw a correlation of sessions going up but length going down as they believed people are checking back more frequently for up-to-the-minute news.

Listening to radio on your phone trended similarly in Texas markets not directly impacted by Harvey. In Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio, the number of listeners tuning to radio via the NextRadio app was up 79%, 52% and 34%, respectively. TSL by session was down 27%, 29% and 8% for these markets.

Texas Association of Broadcasters President Oscar Rodriguez led an effort to remind people with Android phones to download the NextRadio app. On Friday, he encouraged all stations to mention listening via the app, citing benefits of the FM chip in preserving battery life and data packages.

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