Radio’s Opportunity During COVID


In conjunction with the Radio Advertising Bureau, Jacobs Media surveyed more than 27,000 core radio listeners from 355 U.S and Canadian radio stations in late September. The survey focused on how those consumers would be spending money during the holidays. The findings were presented during a video presentation Monday.

Four out of every ten respondents to the survey said they were worried about their financial situation due to the COVID-19 crisis we are still in and the most pessimistic among those in the study were younger, female and mainly Democrats.

As we’ve been reporting from other studies of late, the Jacobs data also revealed that in-car radio listening is normalizing after a huge drop-off during the lockdown early in the crisis.

Four out of every ten respondent in the survey say they plan to spend less this coming holiday season. Eight out of ten agree they should support local small businesses, which, according to Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs, is “clearly a promotable item” for radio stations. “Local matters. Local radio will have a say. Radio remains a powerful partner to local business.”

Jacobs Media VP Paul Jacobs provided 9 action steps for radio stations to take advantage of the data provided Monday. “Armed with this data, salespeople will be well-positioned to not only share their audience information, but also help clients find the best ways of being successful this holiday season.”

#1) Recalibrate your sales strategy. This will not be a normal holiday season. Promote and sell you streams. Creative is critical.
#2) Get clients to start advertising now.
#3) It’s all about safety. Advertisers that want traffic need to promote their safety protocols, especially if they target women.
#4) Promote COVID-19 services
#5) Strengthen your e-commerce departments. Retailers need digital relationships with their customers Two thirds of the respondents in the study said they plan to shop online
#6) Champion radio’s strengths. Drive your listeners to local businesses
#7) Target your region. Air travel will be down. People will be staying home for the holidays. Promote local and regional vacation spots where listeners can drive to.
#8) Don’t’ forget about the pets. One thing consumers do not plan to stop spending money on is their pets.
#9) Focus your station on making this a happy Christmas. People will be missing a lot of the things that make Christmas traditional.

For more information about the COVID3 study, go to, or contact Paul Jacobs at [email protected] or Fred Jacobs at [email protected].


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