Captured Headphone Listening Helps Radio


During a webinar on Tuesday, Nielsen updated clients on radio’s listening recovery from its COVID-19 setback. The ratings firm also released first-time data that includes adjustments made for headphone listening.

Nielsen reported Average Quarter Hour growth from September to October of 6% (6-plus), 5% (18-34) and 6% (25-54). Nielsen attributed two-thirds of the month-to-month growth to the new headphone methodology, which captures listeners who are listening to radio station streams via headphones. Nielsen delivered the headphone data to radio three months earlier than promised. The rest of the increase was organic.
Nielsen’s Potable People Meters do not measure headphones. Nielsen interviewed 5,000 former Nielsen panelists and came up with a method for the adjustments. The headphone listening will be baked into Nielsen’s reporting in the future and will not be broken out.

Nielsen also reported that 42 of 48 PPM markets have recovered to over 90% of their March numbers when COVID started to impact everyone’s daily routines.

Cumulus Pierre Bouvard has another excellent analysis of the numbers in his latest blog post HERE.


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