Spoken word formats crushed it in Nielsen’s November PPM survey.
News/talk rode a wave of extraordinary engagement with the 2020 presidential election to notch its best showing since April. and sports stayed at a high level with the NFL season in full swing and post-season Major League Baseball action that saw the Dodgers win their first World Series championship in 32 years.
Nielsen’s November 2020 PPM survey covers the period from Oct. 8-Nov. 4, allowing news/talk to benefit from the nonstop drama leading up to Election Day on Nov. 3. That helped propel the format to a 14.8 AQH share in Persons 18+, for the Mon-Fri, 6am-7pm daypart. That’s a full share above its September level and a fourth consecutive month of ratings gains.
Here is the 5-book trend (July-Nov.) for news/talk in the 45 non-embedded PPM markets: 12.6-12.9-13.2-13.8-14.8. November marked news/talk’s best 18+ performance since the initial depths of the COVID crisis in April, when it notched a 15.0. The new number gives it a nearly eight-share lead over second place AC, which held steady at 7.1 but is about to see its ratings shoot the moon with the Christmas format.
The frenzied final month of the election cycle helped place news/talk stations at the top of Nielsen’s 6+ total week rankers in San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento and Salt Lake City.
Back to the Mon-Fri, 6am-7pm daypart for persons 18+, sports turned in a second month above a 4-share, although its 4.3 in November is down a tick from 4.5 in the October survey, when the format sprung back to life with the return of NFL games. Other than October, sports hasn’t performed at this level since February.
Surprisingly, all news has been slowly trending down in the fall, posting a 2.3 in November from 2.4 in October, 2.5 in September and 2.6 in August. Its high water market of the COVID era came in March when it notched a 2.9.
Country, one of the music formats that does best in the warm weather months, was third with a 6.1, down from the mid-to-high sixes it was showing in the summer months. Classic rock, No. 4 with 5.6, is also down about a half share from its early summer peak at 6.1. Classic hits rounds out the top five with 5.4, also down from summertime.
CHR held steady at a 4.6, although that’s half a share less than what it had back in March. Urban AC gained 0.2 to tie CHR. Sports is next at 4.3, followed by hot AC with a third consecutive down trend (4.3-4.1-3.9-3.8) and a second straight month below a 4-share. Regional Mexican rounds out the top 10 with a 3.1.
All shares quoted are Persons 18+, Mon-Fri, 6am-7pm.