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Research: Daytime Shopping And Audio Listening Go Together.

The 8-11pm daypart has long been viewed by advertisers as primetime, the hours when Americans cozy up with the flatscreen to watch their favorite TV shows. But new research flips the script, suggesting that daytime is the new primetime, the period when consumers are out of the home, making purchase decisions in the moment. It’s also when a vast majority of Americans are consuming podcasts and other audio on the go.

SiriusXM Media recently collaborated with Publicis Media and Edison Research on “Introducing Audio’s Primetime: The Mobility of Audio Report.” Through a nationally representative online diary study of over 2,200 Americans ages 18 to 54, Edison captured respondents’ in-depth activities from the previous day. Interviews were conducted each day of the week and questions were asked in two-hour windows to get a detailed snapshot of an average day in the life of Americans throughout the week. 

The results provide a look at where people spend their time on a given day, what types of activities they do, what they buy, and what media they consume. Many consumers are doing things that are outside of the home – 71% drove or rode in a car, 68% shopped in-person or online, 59% took a walk, 48% ran errands, 37% went to a restaurant, bar or coffee shop, and 42% exercised. In other words, consumers were out and about during the day. Most notably for brands, over half (55%) of Americans were in a retail store, restaurant, bar, or coffee shop at some point in the day. 

Bolstering the case that daytime is the new primetime, the research uncovers some key stats about daily buying behaviors among Americans ages 18 to 54:

  • 2 in 3 make any purchases in a given day, typically food or restaurants, household products or groceries, beauty or health products, pet products, or fashion items

  • 1 in 3 make unplanned or spontaneous shopping or buying decisions in a day

  • Just about half run errands in a day, with 4 in 10 grocery shopping and 3 in 10 getting gas

  • Almost 4 in 10 visit any dining location in a day, with 1 in 4 visiting a QSR, 15% going to a cafe, and 14% going to a casual restaurant

Importantly, the study shows the vast majority of shopping and buying occasions occur out of the home, when consumers are out and about. These buying occasions mostly occur in the daytime, from 8am-5pm. The window when Americans 18 to 54 are most likely to be out of home is from 10am-noon, which is also when visiting dining locations and running errands see their peak. From a shopping perspective, while online shopping does show less drop-off at night, both in-person and online shopping peak during the morning and daytime hours.

The daytime window, when a vast majority of events across categories like dining, shopping, and errands are occurring, also happens to be when audio consumption is at its highest, according to this study and others by respected media researchers, including Nielsen. The research from SiriusXM Media, Publicis Media and Edison Research shows audio’s primetime aligns with key purchasing moments. For example, eight in ten respondents shopped in person from 8am-5pm. And within that group, 73% listened to audio during that period. More than three in ten (77%) shopped online from 8am-5pm with 70% of those online shoppers tuning into audio. Similar percentages were found for running errands and dining out while consuming audio.

While Americans tune to many forms of media throughout their busy days, audio is the top media activity that people turn to every day–virtually all Americans ages 18 to 54 (95%) listen to some form of audio in their daily lives. This is higher than the 93% who browse the internet, the 91% who use smartphone apps, the 89% who watch some form of TV or video services, and the 87% who scroll social media.

“Audio content is accessible anytime, anywhere across a variety of platforms, but we find that the windows that are most popular for listening to be the same times when people are on-the-go and making buying decisions, from 8am to 5pm,” the study states. “Revisiting the idea of primetime, if we focus in on comparing TV and video to audio consumption, we find that throughout the day, and especially in that key daytime window when consumers are most likely to be away from home, shopping, dining out, and more–audio listening is higher than TV and video viewing.” 

The study reinforces the long held belief that broadcast radio – and now the larger audio universe, including podcasting – is the medium closest to the point of purchase.

“These findings confirm audio’s influence and impact as a lower-funnel tactic,” says Ted A’Zary, Senior VP, Insights & Strategy, Publicis Media. “Consumers who are on the go are often listening to audio channels at elevated levels at the same time–making audio the last chance to reach those consumers before they spend.”

Read the complete study results HERE. 

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