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Report: Drivers Spending More Time In Traffic Benefits AM/FM Radio Advertisers.


With more commuters returning to offices, Americans’ average time spent in traffic during peak periods increased to 42 hours in 2023, an added four hours year-over-year, according to an analysis from transportation analytics company INRIX.


A report from Katz Radio Group shows that congestion was above that average in 14 U.S. cities, indexing significantly higher in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston. Additionally, peak-time traffic in other cities such as Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Houston was anywhere from 20 to 28 hours above that average of 42.


INRIX’s analysis also shows that the number of trips downtown is also up year-over-year in nine of 10 major city centers. Trips in New York City are up 13%, followed by Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., each up 7%.


Taking into account Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” survey results for Q1 2024, showing AM/FM radio’s commanding 86% share of ad-supported audio in vehicles, Katz’s report suggests that advertisers can benefit more than ever from its captive audience in that increased traffic time.


“If you consider all of the hours spent in congestion to be time spent listening to audio, it works out to huge real estate for radio, and massive opportunities for brands,” Katz’s report says. “Time spent in the car is prime time for advertisers to reach millions of engaged and attentive consumers with a host of audio ad solutions. Radio ads hitting this on-the-go contingent are connecting to consumers where and when they are in a position to act on messaging.”

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