Radio Listening Reaches Highest Level in 16 Months

Radio Listening Reaches Highest Level in 16 Months

AM/FM Radio listening has reached its highest level in 16 months across Nielsen’s PPM markets. Data suggests the increase is likely due to people getting out of their homes and into their cars. 

According to Nielsen’s latest Audio Today Report, two-thirds of employed Americans are working outside the home, a 70% increase since the height of pandemic lockdowns in spring 2020. And 40% of heavy radio listeners listen in the car, compared to 28% in April 2020. 

Nielsen found that radio listeners are 87% more likely to shop for groceries in a store, 83% more likely to drive in their vehicle, and 62% more likely to get together in person with friends and family than the average adult.

“Not only are radio listeners the leading optimists among us, they’ve also remained more active (and more mobile) throughout the pandemic,” Nielsen Audio Managing Director Brad Kelly said in the report. “They are ready to go and ready to spend; more likely to make major purchases like a house or a new car, as well as across a host of local shopping categories.”

Radio remains America’s top weekly reach medium, and its ability to reach people in their cars who are close to making a purchase makes it a mighty force for advertisers. 

Ready to hear your brand on the powerful medium of radio? Contact SMI today to find out how you can get a commercial on broadcast, satellite, or streaming radio, as well as podcasts.

Radio Groups Crush 2021 Q2

Radio Groups Crush 2021 Q2

Scan this week’s top headlines at Inside Radio, and you will see lots of good news for radio advertisers. In the second quarter of 2021, iHeartMedia reported a 77% year-over-year revenue increase, Urban One reported an 82.4% year-over-year increase, and Beasley Media Group posted an impressive 96% year-over-year revenue increase.    

According to Inside Radio, iHeart’s growing Digital Audio Group more than doubled Q2 revenue with a 112% year-over-year increase to $197.9 million. iHeart attributed digital gains to increased demand among advertisers, the growing popularity of podcasting and increased premium podcast content, and better monetization of its digital audiences and inventory.

Digital gains also drove growth at Beasley. The company saw record digital audience impressions in the second quarter

At Urban One, the company is “experiencing unprecedented advertiser interest,” said CEO and President Alfred Liggins in a press release. Radio ad sales increased 68.0% to $42.6 million in Q2 from $25.4 million in the second quarter of 2020.

This is all great news for the radio industry, said Bob Leonard, Director of Client Development at Strategic Media, Inc. “The last year was a tough one for all of the people working at the various radio groups. There were layoffs, furloughs, lost income. Any time you can increase revenue and bring people back to work the customer is going to benefit. We’re going to start to see better customer service and more hands-on help. It’s very exciting for everyone. And, of course, our clients will see the benefit of better customer service at the station level.”

Ready to find out why so many advertisers are turning to radio? Contact SMI today to find out how to get your commercial on radio and podcasts.

Meet the New Retail Shopper

Meet the New Retail Shopper

The pandemic has drastically altered the shopping habits of consumers. Market research firm Provoke Insights surveyed thousands of consumers before, during, and after the height of the pandemic. The results were presented during a webinar titled “Meet the New Retail Shopper,” and offered these key findings, according to Inside Radio:

  • One in five consumers say they are most excited about going back to shopping in stores, even though there is still concern while doing so. 
  • Nearly 50% of Americans prefer purchasing online vs. in-store, with almost eight in 10 saying it “takes the hassle out of shopping.”
  • Consumers still prefer buying cleaning supplies and personal care items in person, but for apparel and footwear, they prefer a mix of online and in-store. 
  • Online sales of groceries and alcoholic beverages have declined after increasing during the pandemic’s peak.
  • Online shoppers are more likely to be quality-conscious and less inclined to be brand-loyal or price-focused than in-store shoppers. 

For both online and in-person consumers, advertising is key to building brand loyalty, keeping brands top-of-mind, and attracting new customers through discounts and promotions.

Ready to explore the benefits of audio advertising for your brand? Contact SMI to find out how you can advertise on broadcast, streaming, or satellite radio and podcasts.

iHeartRadio Music Festival Announces Star-Studded Lineup

iHeartRadio Music Festival Announces Star-Studded Lineup

Music lovers, get ready for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival, a two-day event featuring an impressive lineup of all-time favorite artists. The festival will be held September 17-18 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and broadcast live on iHeart radio stations across the county. In addition, the CW Network will air a two-night TV special on Saturday, Oct. 2 and Sunday, Oct. 3, and livestream both nights of the festival on The CW App and

Tune in to see Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, Sam Hunt, Weezer and more perform live on the main stage. The Daytime Stage will feature DaBaby, Olivia Rodrigo, The Kid LAROI, Saweetie, All Time Low, and others. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the event will also include surprise performances and collaborations.

“This year’s Festival will be historic for many reasons,” Chief Programming Officer Tom Poleman said in a release. “Not only will it be the first time all of these artists are together on the same stage, but also because it’ll be in front of a live audience. We’ve all been waiting for this moment – live music is back, and we’ll be celebrating like never before.”

Are you ready to celebrate? Find out more about the 2021 iHeart Music Festival here

Recent Podcast Growth Propelled by New Listeners

Recent Podcast Growth Propelled by New Listeners

New Nielsen data reveals that podcast consumption continues to grow—in large part due to new listeners. During the pandemic, many people tuned into podcasting for the first time. Now, these light listeners who are new to podcasts make up roughly half of podcast consumption. “The hope is that these people will turn into habitual listeners and become those medium and heavy listeners,” said Nielsen VP of Cross Platform Insights Tony Hereau in a webinar.

Of podcast audiences, Baby Boomers have made the largest gains and account for 16% of podcast listenership, up from 12% in 2018. Although Millennials and Gen Xers still make up the largest percentage of podcast listeners, Baby Boomers are increasingly exploring podcasting.

The latest Nielsen data also proves podcasting’s power to drive brand recall. On average, 70% of listeners exposed to an ad on a podcast were able to recall the brand. Earlier research by Nielsen has found that high brand recall “creates high levels of consumer interest, purchase intent, and recommendation intent,” as reported by Inside Radio.

Do you want to reach diverse and rapidly expanding audiences through podcast? To hear your brand’s message on podcasts or other audio channels including broadcast, streaming, or satellite radio, contact SMI today.

Introducing TikTok Radio

Introducing TikTok Radio

TikTok, SiriusXM and Pandora have teamed, giving us one more thing to be excited about this summer: TikTok Radio. The full-time music channel will feature exclusive performances, special events, and emerging artists.

TikTok’s aim is that the channel “will feel like a radio version of the platform’s ‘For You’ page,” with TikTok creators showcasing trending songs and the stories behind the music. It will also include a weekly music countdown dedicated to TikTok’s top trending tracks.

TikTok Radio will also be available in vehicles and as a streaming channel via SiriusXM, and Pandora listeners will get access to playlists curated by TikTok creators, along with their commentary. See Bella Poarch’s playlist, “TikTok Tastemasters with Bell Poarch” on Pandora for the first in their series of exclusive hosted playlists.

Advertisers, want your message to be heard alongside audio’s hottest trends? Contact SMI today to find out how to advertise on broadcast, streaming, or satellite radio as well as on podcasts.