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Nielsen Reports “Big Gains” for Radio Listening

Audience in March is back to 96% of what it was a year ago

Nielsen Audio reports “significant gains in radio listening” across the aggregate of its PPM rated markets in the United States.

While still not quite reaching the highest numbers of the pandemic period, which came last fall, both AQH and weekly reach were up in March compared to a month earlier.

Nielsen said its March PPM survey showed an 8% increase month-over-month in total average quarter-hour audience. “This marks the largest single-month increase in average audience since June of last year,” the company stated.

“These gains were driven by increases in both weekly reach (adding nearly 4 million consumers in March, a 3% increase versus February) as well as time spent listening (gaining by over 20 minutes on average, a 5% increase compared with last month).

It released these two charts.

Radio AQH March 2021 Nielsen Audio


Radio weekly reach March 2021 Nielsen Audio

The company said that in terms of weekly reach, the radio audience in March 2021 is 96% of what it was a year ago as the pandemic was taking hold in the United States, and the AQH number is 93%.

“This uptick in radio usage mirrors the positive changes in consumer sentiment and habits observed during Nielsen’s latest radio consumer study conducted during the March survey,” it said.

Nielsen cited other encouraging data for radio. It said six in 10 Americans feel life is becoming more normal in their communities, and that the number of people working outside the home have increased about 70% since a year ago. The number of consumers spending more than an hour daily in their cars more than doubled in that time.

[Related: “In 2020, Radio Hit a Proverbial Iceberg”]