5 Unexpected Statistics About Audio in the Time of Coronavirus

5 Unexpected Statistics About Audio in the Time of Coronavirus

Although we’re driving less during the pandemic, audio is still going strong.

It’s now been more than seven months since stay-at-home orders began in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Like most industries, radio has seen its fair share of ups and downs. However, despite existing challenges within the industry that the pandemic has in some ways played into, radio is a tremendously resilient medium.

Let’s take a look at a few statistics that may be surprising to those who might prematurely count out radio:

  1. People are listening to more or the same amount of radio during the pandemic

Early in the pandemic, when stay-at-home orders first began, eight out of 10 listeners were listening to more or the same amount of radio, according to Nielsen. Thirty-two percent of respondents to Nielsen’s survey said they were listening to the radio less in the car, but with less drivetime, listening picked up at home (26%), on mobile (19%), via the computer (12%) and smart speaker (10%).

According to Brad Kelly, Managing Director, Nielsen Audio, “In a time of heightened uncertainty and disrupted routines, consumers are turning to radio as a trusted source of information and community connection, mirroring patterns observed during past regional and national disasters and weather events.” 

  1. Car listening has started to rebound

While it’s true that in-car audio consumption took a big hit at the beginning of the pandemic, it’s started to come back. Car listening had first dipped to 20% of all audio consumption in the second quarter of 2020, down from 32% before the pandemic. Now, it’s back up to 28%, according to the latest data from Edison, showing that people could be starting to commute once again. 

  1. Remote workers listen to almost as much radio as non-remote workers

This one is a little surprising. If you’re not in the car, it makes sense that you’re not listening to as much radio, right? 

But, it turns out, 95% of remote workers are listening to radio at the same rates as employees who aren’t working remotely, according to Nielsen. Perhaps it’s the sound of other people’s voices that we crave, or perhaps it’s that radio provides an unobtrusive way to be informed and entertained while we work. Either way, the data show that the rise of remote-working culture hasn’t dulled the appeal of radio.

  1. People trust the radio to deliver important information about the pandemic

One reason people may be still listening to the radio even while stuck at home is the pandemic itself. According to Nielsen, 60% of listeners say they greatly respect and trust their local radio stations to provide updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. Audiences trust radio to deliver unbiased reporting and keep them calm during difficult times such as these.

  1. Most people listen to the radio every week

People may be driving around less than they used to be, but radio is still massively popular. According to data we collected as part of our inaugural Uplift Study, where we shared best practices that help generate maximum lift in broadcast advertising, 92% of Americans 18 and older listen to the radio every week. That makes radio more popular than any other medium, even TV (which reaches 90% of the U.S. adult population).

Taken together, these statistics show that pandemic or no, the amazing longevity and popularity of radio won’t vanish any time soon.

To maximize your clients’ broadcast ad campaigns, speak to one of our reps about how Veritone Attribute can provide you with data-driven insights and the power to correlate broadcast ad placements with website interaction data in near real-time.

Further Reading

Leveling the Broadcast-Digital Playing Field With Attribution: Game-Changing Measurement Tools Quantify Reach and Results of Broadcast Radio Ad Spends

Veritone Unveils SaaS Enhancements to Expand Nielsen Audience Data and Intelligent Analytics

How Cloud and Virtualization Can Help the M&E Industry Adapt to COVID-19