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Westwood One Analysis Shows AM/FM's Upscale Reach Has Passed Pre-Pandemic Levels.


An analysis in Westwood One's weekly Everyone's Listening blog comparing Fall 2021 and Fall 2019 data from Nielsen's twice-annual study of all measured markets and total U.S. AM/FM radio listening shows AM/FM has not only retained its persons 25-54 and 35-64 reach, but has exceeded reach of the $75k income segment of each of those demographics.


“The audience profile of U.S. AM/FM radio has become more upscale since COVID,” Cumulus Media Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard says, pointing out that AM/FM’s persons 25-54 audience reach in Fall 2021 was 97% of its Fall 2019 reach and 98% of its persons 35-64 audience, while its current $75K+ audience reach for either demo is 5% larger than before the pandemic.


The blog's additional analysis of the recently-released findings of Nielsen's nationwide consumer study conducted among 1,000 respondents aged 18+ in March – the eighth in its series of studies since April 2020 to gauge COVID’s impact on consumer movement, spending, attitudes and media usage – shows heavy AM/FM listeners more likely than heavy TV viewers to make major purchases in the next 12 months. Moreover, audio listeners are more likely to be in the market for an accountant, financial advisor, broadband provider, cell service or video streaming service, with AM/FM and podcast listeners twice as likely to say they plan to change or upgrade these services.


Nielsen's study findings contain more good news for advertisers looking to jump into radio now, as nearly nine in 10 consumers planning to make a major purchase say they are willing to consider another brand due to supply chain shortages, and nearly six in 10 would consider switching brands due to rising prices, with three-fourths interested in deals and coupons as an offset to rising prices.

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