NAB: Nielsen Study Backs Radio’s Power

The Nielsen study finds that music exposure via radio is more highly correlated with digital song sales.
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“Radio airplay drives music sales.”

Broadcasters have been making that case for a long time, both to help support commercial radio’s value proposition and to bolster their arguments against performance royalties.

Now the NAB has released a study by Nielsen to back that position further.

The research company looked at data from the top 15 spun songs for all radio and for measured formats over the course of a year from October 2012 to October 2013 using Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen BDS data.

“According to the study, radio airplay is the dominant driver of music sales, beginning with the first week of consistent radio airplay and continuing through the peak sales week,” NAB summarized.

It says the study finds a significant relationship between airplay and digital song sales, and that “radio is more highly correlated with music sales than any metric studied, which also included satellite radio, music video, on-demand streaming, and programmed streaming services.”

The radio study builds on the earlier Nielsen Music 360 Consumer Study, which highlighted radio’s role in music discovery.
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It found that more radio airplay produces an “immediate impact” on song sales. “In fact, radio continues to support song sales up to and beyond peak sales week, demonstrating radio’s ability to drive song sales and lengthen the lifecycle of a song,” NAB said in its summary.

The correlation between airplay and peak music sales was highest for the country, Latin and top 40 formats.
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