New Nielsen Insight on How People are Listening to Radio
LISTENING OUT-LOUD OR ON HEADPHONES - NIELSEN NOW HAS IT COVERED
This week Nielsen announced a new measurement enhancement that will better account for the variety of ways listeners choose to hear AM/FM stations. While PPM technology excels at picking up stations playing out-loud, it had proven insufficient in properly capturing panelists' headphone listening. To remedy this lost listening, Nielsen set out to identify headphone usage levels and develop a lift factor to apply to a station's quarter hour estimates.
Based on this work, which included a survey of 5,000 former PPM panelists, we now have new data on just how Americans are choosing to engage with AM/FM content.
Chart is interactive; click to enlarge.
The lion's share of AM/FM listening is done over-the-air - more specifically, OTA without headphones (78%). In fact, virtually all of OTA radio listening is done without headphones; only 2% of total quarter hours comes from OTA headphone listening (1.1% wired, 0.8% wireless).
Where headphones come into play more significantly is with AM/FM streaming, which makes up about 20% of all radio quarter hours. As was the case with OTA, the largest chunk of streaming occurs without headphones (12%). However, unlike OTA, headphone listening is close behind at 8% (4% wireless, 3.5% wired), comprising over one-third of streaming quarter hours. With the previous PPM measurement, this headphone listening was largely missed by meters. Starting in October, Nielsen will use the new headphone survey data to establish lift factors for individual demos that they will apply to PPM numbers to more accurately reflect all streaming listening.
AM/FM fans are getting savvier in how they enjoy their favorite radio content - whether it's over-the-air, streaming, listening out-loud for the world to hear, or privately in their earbuds, consumers have more choices than ever. Thanks to Nielsen's new adjustments, we will now have a better idea of the true audio landscape, which shows that listeners are finding their AM/FM content where and how they want it.