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Automobile Was Common Denominator For Memorial Day Weekend, Survey Says.

How did Americans spend Memorial Day Weekend and what did they listen to while getting to their destinations during the unofficial start of summer? Katz Media surveyed 1,000 people across the U.S. on the Tuesday after the three-day weekend to learn about their holiday weekend activities.

Besides going to barbecues, memorials, parades, and the beach, respondents also reported taking part in consumer activities, including shopping, dining out, seeing a movie, or going to an amusement park. Not everyone had the good fortune of three days away from the job as 16% of people reported working over the holiday weekend.

Among the various activities survey takers took part in, the most common denominator for consumers was the automobile, Katz says. Just over eight in ten people (81%) reported using a car over the weekend, and nearly half (44%) sat in traffic. “The car remains an ideal environment for marketers to connect with a captive audience during holiday weekends,” Katz says in a new post on its Sound Answers blog.

Among those that spent time in a car during Memorial Day Weekend, nine in ten people listened to some sort of audio on the road and radio was, by far, the leading audio choice. Nearly seven in ten (68%) listened to AM/FM radio, whether received over-the-air or via station streams and apps. Broadcast radio out-performed streaming audio services (39%), podcasts (20%), SiriusXM (20%), and owned music (17%).

Importantly, AM/FM radio also delivered the largest exclusive cume of any audio source in the car, reaching listeners that couldn’t be accessed by other platforms. Three in ten car users listened exclusively to AM/FM in the car over Memorial Day Weekend. Katz estimates that broadcast radio alone reached five-times the audience that exclusively streamed audio in the car, ten-times more than those listening exclusively to podcasts or owned music in the car, and 29-times more than the in-car podcast loyalists. “AM/FM radio marked advertisers' absolute best bet to engage with consumers over the holiday weekend.,” Katz concluded.

Car speakers were overwhelmingly the preferred method for listening to audio in the car over Memorial Day Weekend, selected by 96% of survey participants. But it was not universal. Every platform had a share of users who listened over car speakers, earbuds, or both ways. Katz says this offers evidence that “consumers are savvy and will listen via the best, most convenient method available to them in the car.” Virtually all AM/FM listeners (96%) tuned in to radio over the car speakers, while podcasts had the greatest share of earbud listening in the car. Says Katz, “Radio offered brands the greatest opportunity for co-listening occasions over the holiday weekend, providing added reach and engagement in the car.”

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