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COVID Trims Radio Use By 10 Minutes Per Day

But the drop wasn’t specific to radio – and media use overall took a hit…

By Paul Marszalek

Nielsen has published its 2021 Total Audience Report, showing a consistent, 10-minute drop in radio listening across all demos.

There has been considerable talk that the COVID-related radio decline was due, at least in part, to reduced commuting. While this may be true, the Nielsen data shows that the reduced consumption was not exclusive to radio.

Total daily media use was down, but use of TV/internet connected devices (streaming/gaming) rose.

Selected slides (click image for a larger view):

Radio, in purple, declines by 10 minutes from Q3 2019 to Q3 2020. TV/Internet connected device use was up. However, total media use was down year-over-year. Note that App/Web on a Smartphone (orange) unfortunately cannot be trended from year to year due to a change in methodology.
Despite the overall drop in daily media use, the percentage of the day dedicated to radio is flat at roughly 15% — across all demos.

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