Inside Info: Heavy Radio Listeners Are Heavy Consumer Spenders.


With total radio listening returning to its pre-pandemic level, October 2020 data from Nielsen indicated heavy radio listeners are also heavy consumer spenders. The Media Audit’s 60-Market 2020 Aggregate Survey supports Nielsen’s conclusion. For example, adults 18+ who are heavily exposed to radio (180+ minutes during an average day) are 189% more likely to have shopped at a jewelry store during the past four weeks than those with no exposure to radio.


Other than the 189% difference in indices for jewelry store shoppers, adults 18+ who are heavily exposed to radio are 160% more likely to have shopped at an auto parts store and 183% more likely to have shopped at a sporting goods store during the past 4 weeks.


“Although many people must remain at home and/or work from home, radio listening has increased. In some cases, workers are traveling by car instead of public transportation,” said Tim Robisch, West Coast Market Manager, The Media Audit. “Both radio listening and heavy listeners’ larger share of consumer spending are very likely to increase during 2021.”


The graph below presents a second set of shopping/spending comparisons for adults 18+ who are heavily and not exposed to radio. Despite the closure of most movie theaters and many bars and nightclubs, heavily exposed radio listeners were 57% more likely to have attended a movie theater and 75% more likely to have visited a bar or night club during the past four weeks.


“In addition to the six categories in the first graph, which demonstrates the direct correlation between heavy radio consumption and significant consumer spending for adults 18+, the data also shows they are 137% more likely planning to buy or lease a car, van, truck, SUV or crossover, which should prompt both local car dealers and regional buying groups to increase their radio investment,” said Robisch.


Another similar comparison bodes well for the return of the major league sports teams to their regular seasons and schedules during 2021. For example, adults 18+ heavily exposed to radio were 169% more likely to have attended an NFL game during the past 12 months, 150% more likely an NHL game, 139% more likely an NBA game, 138% more likely an MLB game and 133% more likely a professional golf tournament.


All the data indicates radio will be leading local media and shoppers into the post-pandemic world and advertisers should be eager to follow.

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