Nielsen: Radio’s Audience Still Growing


The ratings firm reports that in the May 2021 PPM survey the industry saw gains in listening across the aggregate of markets as the country continues to reopen and consumers fall back into their routines.

According to Nielsen radio’s weekly reach is now at its highest levels since March 2020, and has grown during each of the past four months. In May 2021, radio’s weekly reach surpassed 122 million weekly listeners, within 2 million of where it was before the lockdown precautions took effect last year.

Radio’s Average Quarter-Hour audience in May 2021 also hit its highest levels since March 2020. AQH audience levels have increased 11 percent since January.

The year-over-year comparison between the May 2020 and May 2021 PPM stands at a 108 index for weekly reach and a 120 index for AQH. This means that from a weekly reach perspective, the radio audience in May 2021 is 8% larger than the same month from one year ago, while for AQH the audience is now 20% larger than May of 2020.

The May listening gains were spread across the day, with all major dayparts at or near their AQH peaks since COVID-19 began. Both morning drive (Mon-Fri 6a-10a) and weekends (Sat-Sun 6a-12m) hit their highest audience levels in 15 months in May. In fact, the weekend AQH of 6.6 Million in May 20201 is higher than it was in March of last year (6.3 Million) before the peak of the lockdown.


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