Nielsen Portable People Meter Data Reveals Am/Fm Radio Listening Surges

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This week’s Westwood One Blog discusses the results of Nielsen’s October Portable People Meter AM/FM radio listening trends, which Nielsen reviewed today on a client webinar. 

The October PPM survey covered September 10 through October 7, the post-Labor Day period when most U.S. schools are in session. 

  • Since April, 25-54 PPM average quarter-hour audiences are up +35%: From September to October, listening jumped +6%, from an 88 to a 93 index. Over the seven-month period, persons 25-54 listening has grown +35% from April to October (69 to 93 index). 
  • Drive times exhibit strong recovery in PPM markets and mornings grow +11%: The majority of October’s listening recovery occurred in mornings (Monday-Friday 6AM-10AM) which soared +11% versus September. Afternoon drive (Monday-Friday 3PM-7PM) is up +6% over the prior month. 
  • Middays, nights, and weekends grow and approach pre-COVID audience levels: In the most recent October PPM survey, midday audiences were up to a 96 index, +4% growth over the prior month. Nights have been remarkably stable since July. October weekend audiences now surpass March levels at a 101 index. 
  • Nearly all PPM markets have recovered to 90+% of March audiences: 42 of 48 PPM markets have now retained 90%+ of March AQH listening levels. 15 markets meet or exceed March listening levels. 
  • Sports shares surge while most formats remain stable: With the return of sports, AQH shares to Sports radio jumped to a 3.8 share in September and a 4.5 in October. Powered by a strong news cycle, News Talk Radio Station shares grew from a 13.2 share in September to a 13.8 share in October. 
  • Diary market scorecard: No impact in listening levels versus pre-COVID: Total listening during the July-August-September survey in the continuously measured diary markets is virtually identical to the pre-COVID January-February-March period at 101%. Average quarter-hour audiences are 100% of the January-February-March survey.  
  • For network radio advertisers, current listening levels are now very similar the recently issued Nationwide Fall 2019/Spring 2020 report.

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KEVIN'S SUMMARY: Coming Clean about a few things, The State of...

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 width=Greetings friends. I have to admit, the advertising freeze is hurting EVERYBODY on this side of the industry. I'm sure the labels are being BOMBARDED by blogs, trades and sites right now. I try not to call too many people because of that but I will NOT turn down advertising.Help me to understand ...
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  • If you are a racist can you just say it or wear a T-shirt? I mean try as you might but you just can't hide it.
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Kev Comes Clean..I have to admit most of the stories that you see in this blog are here because the audience loves to read it. I do my research and I see what the Radio Facts audience likes. Truth be told, I don't care if Alicia Keys is pregnant with an damn Ostrich. I wish her luck and happiness. I HATE gossip and I HATE reporting it but many industry people love reading it... this is why I have to inject my dark sense of humor because it's the only way I can do it.Radio people don't give you a lot of information, so I am forced to improvise and embellish.   Sure I have my select PDs, GMs and others that I talk to but truth be told.. radio, or at least the current state of it...bores me.. where are the challenges? Why don't we see any radio people on reality shows like the, no pun intended... The Biggest Loser (laugh). That was an unintended joke but I kill me. Where are the PDs that think outside of the corporate box, where is the next Wendy Williams, Ryan Seacrest, Tom Joyner or Rick Dees at.. Oh Ryan has covered all those areas. I really admire Ryan's business savvy. Why don't you see Black radio people with that kind of fortitude and fortune? I need a few hours to mull over this complicated and utmost unanswerable question... please give me a minute while I jump in front of the moving logic train.Well, that's it, hope all is well.. amazing how fast these weeks go by isn't it? Check out my new site VoiceStaff.com. Time to move on. Mom didn't raise a fool.

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