Few industries took as big a hit during 2020 as movie theaters: an 80% decrease in US/Canadian box office revenues, according to the Motion Picture Association’s 2020 Theme Report. Despite an almost total absence of an audience, moviegoers of all ages continued to be loyal radio listeners.
Data from The Media Audit’s consumer/market surveys reveals this loyalty to radio. In its 60-Market 2020 Aggregate Survey (from late 2019 to early 2020) 20.7% of adults 18+ said they had attended a movie theater during the past four weeks and 65.3% had listened to at least one hour of radio daily. Those attending a movie theater decreased to 11.4%, according to the 62-Market 2020 Aggregate Survey (from late spring 2020 to fall 2020) and 67.0% had listened to at least one hour of radio daily.
The following table shows radio listening remained consistent for all three age groups from the earlier to the later 2020 Aggregate surveys, although very few were attending movie theaters.
“Now that movie theaters are opening and increasing their allowable capacities, moviegoers are likely to return to theaters in large numbers during the summer and second half of the year,” said Tim Robisch, West Coast Market Manager, The Media Audit. “Restaurants, bars and nightclubs and other entertainment venues which are often part of an ‘evening at the movies’ can benefit from loyal moviegoers who are also loyal radio listeners.”
This correlation of moviegoers and loyal radio listeners continues in the latest consumer/market surveys (winter and spring 2021) from The Media Audit.
Although teens and young adults are the dominant moviegoing audience, older adults will be returning to theaters as the pandemic wanes and they have much more disposable income for leisure, hospitality, entertainment and recreational activities.