We’ve heard it over and over again….when Mother Nature goes into beast mode, radio is right there to make sure the locals are safe and sound from her wrath. Nielsen has come out with some new data to support that theory.
2017 was a storm chasers dream with many big natural disasters hitting different parts of the country. In Puerto Rico, which is a Nielsen radio diary market, the just-released winter 2018 survey reveals a rise in listening to news-formatted radio stations as a result of last year’s tumultuous weather.
As Nielsen details in this first chart, which combines all of the news-formatted radio stations the ratings firm measures in Puerto Rico (16 of them carrying the News/Talk format and
another five broadcasting Spanish News/Talk), tune-in across Puerto Rico spiked significantly during the winter survey when compared against previous survey periods. Nielsen’s fall 2017 survey was not conducted after measurement operations were suspended following Hurricane Maria’s landfall on Sept 20, 2017. As infrastructure recovery has progressed, however, Nielsen has been able to resume surveying on the island. During the Winter 2018 Nielsen audio survey in Puerto Rico, more than 991 thousand listeners each week (aged 12 and older) were tuning to a news-formatted radio station. This marks an increase of more than 100,000 weekly listeners from the most recent survey, Summer 2017.
Nielsen says wht happened in Puerto Rico mirrors the same pattern in Texas and Florida with audiences tuning to the radio for news and information following hurricanes. During the September PPM survey, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas (on Aug. 25th). Two weeks later Hurricane Irma came ashore in Florida (on Sept. 10).
Nine different major markets were affected by these two storms. The Nielsen data show there was a common thread of tune-in to local news radio stations, increasing dramatically during the week those storms arrived. “Regardless of evacuations, flooding, or power outages, the reach of local news radio stations spiked during the specific week those hurricanes rumbled into town.”