In a typical week, 3.5 million adult consumers tune-in to Boston radio stations. But, since the onset of the Coronavirus, the weeks have not been typical.
Before social-distancing and work-from-home orders, 2.4 million Boston-area consumers would drive to-and-from work each day. More than 92% of these commuters could be reached by radio.
New England small business owners who depend on radio advertising to market their goods and services, therefore, might be concerned that the disruption in commuting patterns could depress the amount of time consumers spend with local radio.
According to market research, however, radio listening remains an important part of the daily life of consumers. Even amid the current chaos.
Research company, NuVoodoo, has been tracking daily media habits since the outbreak of Coronavirus. They report, as of March 19, that 32% of consumers say they are using radio more since the crisis began.
Nielsen also conducted a study of consumer media consumption from March 20-22. They found 83% of adults were spending either the same or more time with radio as a result of Coronavirus.
Since the start of the current crisis, Nielsen reports that although most consumers are using the same or more radio, they are listening differently.
According to Nielsen, the increase in media consumption during the Coronavirus chaos is consistent with activity during other crises that require people to stay home. This includes natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and fires.
Another finding from the Nielsen study will be of interest to Boston-area retailers.
During the Nielsen measurement period of March 20-22, daily radio listeners indicate they will be more likely to engage in most shopping activities than the general population.
For New England small business owners who understand the importance of advertising during the crisis, ensuring their message is presented in an environment that invokes credibility is crucial. Local radio has had many decades to earn the trust of consumers:
- The Pew Research Center indicates that local radio is still the way 79% of consumers get their local news.
- The Gallup Organization reports that 65% of consumers trust the accuracy of the news and information they receive from local radio. This is significantly higher than the trust given to cable news and the nightly network news.
Consumers' trust in Boston radio, and by extension its advertisers, stems from the credibility of the local, on-air personalities.
- A Katz Media Group study reveals that 81% of consumers consider radio DJ’s a friend, family member, or an acquaintance.
- A Critical/MARU, study says, 83% of radio listeners value and trust their favorite personality’s opinions.
- A USC, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, study indicates that 49% of consumers report that DJ recommendations increase the perceived value of brands, products, and services.
All the research indicates that advertising on Boston radio will continue to be the advertising medium with the largest reach and strong trust among consumers during the disruptions imposed by the current crisis.
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