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Radio's Surge In Listening Can Help Businesses Recover


Westwood One
Westwood One

This week's Westwood One blog looks at the latest Nielsen Portable People Meter data from April as well as economic factors and miles-traveled data for the country. With America back on the move and vehicular traffic up, AM/FM radio's surge in listening can help businesses recover. According to Nielsen's recently released consumer purchase study, purchase intentions among AM/FM radio listeners are +36% greater than TV viewers.

  • In PPM markets, AM/FM radio's audience reach for April 2021 was the highest since the pandemic started, notching a 98% recovery index versus March 2020.

  • AM/FM radio's average quarter-hour audience in the PPM markets grew to the highest point since the pandemic began at a 95% recovery index versus March 2020.

  • In markets outside the top 50 measured by the personal diary, Nielsen reports that AM/FM radio audiences are incredibility stable having experienced very slight reach loses in Spring 2020, which immediately recovered. January-February-March 2021 AM/FM radio reach in the diary markets is identical to the same period a year ago.

  • Geopath reports April 2021 miles traveled surged +67% versus April 2020. Compared to April 2019, vehicular miles traveled completely recovered.

  • In April 2021, Apple Maps car trip search requests were +36% greater than before the pandemic, marking their highest levels since September 2020.

  • The Federal Reserve reports in April 2021, 62% of workers commuted full time and 18% commuted some days. 20% are working from home, 12 points greater than pre-pandemic.

  • COVID concern is subsiding according to Google search trends. In early May 2021, Google search trends for the term "COVID" neared its lowest level since the pandemic, 60% below the November peak.

  • Moody's Analytics back-to-normal index rises to the highest level since pandemic. Moody's Analytics created the "back to normal" index from a variety of economic activity data sources including measures of output, labor market activity, travel and leisure activity, housing market activity, and consumer behavior. Throughout 2021, the Moody's back-to-normal index has been steadily rising and is now at a high of 88.

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