Audio Is ON!

By Idil Cakim, SVP, Reserach & Insights, Audacy

With More Out of Home Opportunities, Audio Listeners Are Ready to Heat Up the Recovery

The latest Nielsen Consumer Insights survey confirms: Audio is ON! The study, now in its fifth wave, has been tracking consumer attitudes and lifestyle habits for the last year. It has consistently underscored heavy radio listeners’ vital role in enlivening the economy and pointed to audio consumers’ zest to jumpstart activities as COVID-19 restrictions ease. The latest results show optimism at the highest level, with an almost 80% jump since April in the percentage of U.S. adults who believe that life is coming back to normal. 

And it comes with no surprise that radio listeners are more likely than typical consumers to feel ‘ready to go’. Here are five consumer trends led by heavy radio listeners that signal a boom in economic activity and social life:

1. Drivers are going the distance

Those spending 1+ hour in vehicles have increased +150% since April 2020 and heavy radio listeners continue to be spending more time in their cars than the rest of the population.


2. Consumers are shopping across channels, online and in-stores

Many shifted shopping habits to digital retailers during the pandemic. Eight in 10 consumers indicate they are shopping online now, +13% more than before the pandemic. Shoppers are keeping their options open as restrictions ease, with 29% indicating they will be shopping in-store more and 22% saying they will be spending more online.


3. Children are going back-to-school in-person

The percentage of parents reporting that their children are attending in-person classes increased by +43% since October. Heavy radio listeners’ children are more likely to attend in-person, where possible. This means more parents are driving their children to school. The grand majority (91%) have their radio on during the school commute.

4. The commute is coming back

About two-thirds of employed U.S. adults report working outside the home — a whopping +70% increase from almost a year ago. In addition to increasing travel and audio time, the return to work in-person will spur activities such as dining and retail.


5. Health checks are in order

The public largely remains concerned about their family or close friends’ (65%) health and their own (53%) health. Vigilance about health will translate into more healthcare appointments. A notable 7 in 10 (69%) say they will visit their doctor and 6 in 10 (58%) say they will go to the dentist for a routine check in the next two months. Those optimists, including heavy radio listeners, are more likely than average to visit their doctors.

Audio consumers’ enthusiasm about fully participating in their communities is driving change and steering local economies in a positive direction. These consumer trends are a testament to the vibrancy of the medium and its audience.

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