Nielsen Hopes To Boost Radio’s Political Revenue With New Data


All indications, so far, are that radio will be disappointed with its 2016 political revenue when the money is tallied up after election day. Hoping to give radio a last-minute political revenue boost, Nielsen has put together a package of information that matches voter registration data with PPM data in the important states of Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Nielsen says, “The insights provide a glimpse to how radio campaigns still have time to reach voters.”

Nielsen states radio has the ability to reach more than 16 million voters across the major metropolitan areas of Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. “When every vote has the potential to decide an election, campaigns need more granular data. Specifically, data that highlights party affiliation. To gain insight into where a state’s radio listeners are along party lines, Nielsen Voter Ratings recently matched voter registration data with data from Portable People Meter panelists in the major metropolitan areas for these three critical states.” Nielsen says adults 18 and over were divided into 10 different segments across the full political spectrum.

In Florida, a swing state, five major metro cities, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach account for more than 75% of the state’s population. Nielsen says AM/FM radio reaches nine out of 10 voters in Florida in an average week. “Radio in Jacksonville reaches 95.4% of ultra-conservative voters and 86.4% of ultra-conservative voters in West Palm Beach.” Nielsen says Adult Contemporary is the top radio format for Republican voters in Jacksonville and for Democratic voters in Orlando.

North Carolina is also a swing state. Nielsen says their data shows, “In Charlotte, Urban and Pop radio formats reach the majority of Democrat voters that are under age 35 , while Adult Contemporary and Adult Hits reach most Democrats that are over the age of 35. And radio performs extremely well among Republican voters in Charlotte, as 91% of them can be reached by the medium, a higher percentage than Democrats (90.3%) and Independents (90.1%).”

And according to the Nielsen data, radio has the ability to effectively reach more than 93% of super-Democrats, ultra-conservatives, on-the-fence liberals, and Green traditionalists. “When it comes to overall reach, AM/FM radio reaches nine out of 10 voters in Raleigh-Durham each week, with its highest reach among independent voters at 93.6%. Radio’s wide and far-reaching appeal goes beyond party lines, and in the Raleigh-Durham metro it reaches 95.6% of mild Republicans and 95.5% of left out Democrats.”

Pennsylvania has voted Democrat in every presidential election since 1992, and most polls have the state leaning blue in this presidential election. Nevertheless, Republicans have made efforts in the Keystone State to change the state from blue to red. For any candidate running a statewide campaign, it’s critical that they ensure that their messages reach key voters now in Pennsylvania. In the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metros, Nielsen says radio reaches more than 94% of Democrats, more than 95% of Republicans, and 92% of Independent voters. In Philadelphia, Nielsen said it found data that one individual radio station has the ability to reach over half of a single voter segment group. Nielsen would not tell Radio Ink what station that was. When looking at the percentage of voters in each segment, radio is reaching 97.3% of mild Republicans and 94.6% of on-the-fence liberals, and 95.6% of super Democrats in Philadelphia. In Pittsburgh, Nielsen states that radio is reaching 94.6% of ultra-conservatives, 94.7% of mild Republicans, 92.8 % of conservative Democrats, and 95.6% of super Democrats.

How Nielsen says it came up with these numbers.
Nielsen Audio’s political study used Simmons Research’s PoliticalPersonas consumer segmentation and is available in 48 portable people meter markets. Measurement took place in the Florida (Jacksonville, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, West Palm Beach), North Carolina (Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham), and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) radio markets, utilizing PPM methodology during the second-quarter of 2016, among adults 18 and older.

Simmons PoliticalPersonas are matched to Nielsen panelists, which provides the ability to evaluate voter listening habits by age, gender, race, and ethnicity based on Nielsen’s representative view of the market, including U.S. Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-American segments. Simmons PoliticalPersona consists of 10 segments based on the voting-age population at the national and local level spanning the political spectrum from “Super Democrats” to “Ultra Conservatives.” Segments are differentiated based on political outlook, voting behavior, and other attitudes and preferences. Experian developed the PoliticalPersonas segments using a proprietary model that utilizes a variety of data inputs, including 38.6 million voter records in 14 states, demographics and consumer behavior on 299 million consumers and 116 million households from Experian’s ConsumerView File, and consumer behavior from the Simmons survey.


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