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Radio’s Nike Recovery

June 17, 2020

Like markets that are slowly opening up and commerce that is starting to return, radio listening has started to rebound. In the major markets, which are measured by PPM methodology, radio listening quickly fell in the second half of the March survey and the entire April survey. In most markets, the majority of the drop was with away-from-home listening.

The recent May survey, which was conducted between April 23rd and May 20th, showed the first signs of radio listening returning to previous levels. While most offices, restaurants, and retail locations were still shut down during the May survey period, radio listening across just about all PPM markets experienced increases, with most of that listening occurring away from home.

We are calling this the Nike recovery. In a matter of a few weeks, radio listening fell drastically. While this is just a prediction, we believe that overall market listening will slowly and consistently rise, just like the Nike Swoosh.

Again, this is our expectation of overall radio listening, and not a single station or format. As stated in previous blogs, tracking overall radio listening is immensely important. As overall radio listening climbs, there are more rating points available in the market. While not everyone will benefit, some stations will grab the extra one-tenth of a rating that may have been lost in recent months. Then hopefully they will be able to demand a higher rate.

Even if your individual station does not benefit, long-term survey-to-survey growth will give our industry the momentum it needs to assure advertisers that radio continues to be a vibrant and highly effective advertising outlet.

It is important for both sales people and programmers to track not just P6+ radio listening, but understand how their target demographic groups are using radio.

What other signs have you seen that indicate we’re heading back in the right direction? Share your thoughts below. And feel free to contact us here if you have questions about how to position this rebound in listening to advertisers.

-Charlie Sislen, Partner

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