New Nielsen Study Confirms Audio Consumers Are Paving the Way Back to Retail & Social Activities

By Idil Cakim, SVP, Research & Insights, Audacy

New research shows Americans are feeling much more confident, some two years after COVID-19 first hit the country so hard. We’re venturing out, ready to spend – and Audio listeners are leading the way when it comes to social activities and in-person commerce.

This week, Nielsen released its 2022 Consumer Sentiment study. The numbers show that consumers are going on with their lives. Nine out of ten surveyed say they personally have returned to normal activities. A similar percentage believe other people have also resumed their regular routines. That high level of confidence is good news for advertisers.

Strong Retail Activity

During the worst of the lockdown, many of us stopped going into physical stores. To avoid as much human-to-human contact as possible, we ordered groceries online for at-home delivery or curbside pickup.

Now, there’s a dramatic shift. Consumers are patronizing retailers again at nearly pre-COVID-19 levels. More than nine in ten (93%) say they’ve conducted in-store shopping during the last month.

Yet, we’re also not abandoning the convenience of click-to-buy. Over three-fourths of those surveyed report ordering items online for home delivery through services like Amazon during the past month.

Ready to Mingle

And Audio listeners – even more than the general public – are leading economic activities scale in mass. Almost all Radio and Podcast listeners (97%) tell Nielsen they’re shopping in person. And, in far higher numbers than Americans overall, they’re participating in activities outside the home, such as returning to the office, attending events, hopping on planes, and using public transportation.

There’s a significant difference in the willingness to socialize when comparing all Americans to Audio fans alone. For example, only about half (52%) of consumers are attending outdoor events like concerts. But among Podcast listeners, that number is more than eight in ten (81%), an almost 30-point difference.

Brands need to catch up with this type of consumer behavior. Now is the time to advertise on Audio to engage with heavy Radio and Podcast users. Audio fans’ curiosity, focus and intense drive to discover new content seem to be applying to their social behaviors as well. This presents a tremendous opportunity for advertisers to connect with Audio listeners, who are highly active shoppers, event attendees and travelers.


Watch Out for Brand Switchers

But what if it’s hard to find product on the shelves? Some decision-makers may question the value of engaging consumers through advertising if it’s hard to keep up with demand. The Nielsen study offers caution about taking the advertising pause approach.

Nine in ten shoppers are willing to consider another brand if the items they plan to purchase are not available due to supply chain issues. Consumers are ready to spend now. And they will not wait long. Now is the time to go all-in on brand awareness and loyalty messaging. Otherwise, your consumer may sample your competitor.


The Power of Audio

Each month, Radio reaches more people than other media, including live + time shifted television or connected TV. And there is no doubt the consumer base Audio brings to advertisers are ready to take action. We are in a pivotal time of transition, when so many are going back to work, attending events, dipping into funds for travel, home improvement and whatever else they may have been holding off for the past couple of years. There is no better medium than Audio – including Radio and Podcasts – that can connect brands with consumers who are leading the charge.

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Custom Nielsen study conducted March 2022 via an online survey, based on a weighted sample of 1000 among P18+

Nielsen Media

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