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As Restrictions Are Lifted, Consumers Are Ready to Spend

With pent up demand for everything from travel to haircuts, radio can generate needed traffic.

By Paul Marszalek

Relief could soon be on the way for radio — if stations can coax advertisers back to the air.

Consumer demand is there, according to Nielsen, but radio will need to adjust – reaching out with attractive packages and reaching out to advertisers in atypical categories.

For example, some commercial radio stations have come to rely heavily on the auto category, and increasingly on national advertisers in the absence of local.

Over the years, NON-COMM radio has zeroed in on three categories — entertainment, education, and medical. All three were clobbered in the pandemic.

As part of its 2021 Total Audience Report, Nielsen asked consumers about what activities they most eagerly wanted to resume. The list provides an obvious roadmap for sales staffs:

While some of the above activity was occurring (with in some areas with some consumers), retailers will tell you that it was a fraction of pre-pandemic activity.

When looking at changes in the advertising spend between Q4 2019 and Q4 2020, it’s not hard to imagine the left side of the chart below inverting by Q4 2021…

Data copyright 2021 The Nielsen Company.


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