A Radio Research Consortium analysis of Nielsen PPM market data shows that five non-commercial Triple-A formatted stations have improved their combined average weekly and daily cume, average quarter hour persons and combined persons 6+ share compared to before COVID.
For the five public radio stations – University of Pennsylvania's WXPN-FM Philadelphia, Friends of KEXP's KEXP-FM Seattle, Milwaukee Board of School Directors' WYMS-FM Milwaukee, University of Texas' KUTX-FM Austin, and Listeners Community Radio's KRCL-FM Salt Lake City – combined average weekly cume increased 3% from 2019, even after a 16% decline from 2019 to 2020. For each of these stations, meanwhile, average weekly time spent listening increased from 2019 to 2021 – with all but one station actually gaining in TSL from 2019 to 2020 – while listening to radio as a whole decreased.
Looking at combined share (persons 6+, Monday-Sunday 6am-12am), the weekly TSL increases offset a flat 2020 for AQH persons, leading to a 37% increase for the five from 2019 to 2020 and continued up-trending during each month of 2021 to date. From 2019 to April 2021, that represents a 159% combined share gain, from 5.9 to 15.3.
It should also be noted that two of these five Triple-As' – KEXP and KUTX – have been top 10 ranked in their respective markets for 2021 to date. In April's PPMs for Seattle, KEXP moved to third place with a 5.7 share, while in Austin, KUTX's share increased to 4.9, keeping it sixth-ranked in the market.