Even prior to the pandemic we were seeing a trend toward increased listening in middays across most markets. But after Covid uprooted all of our lives and drastically altered our daily routines, that shift became much more pronounced. That’s why its not shocking to see that according to Nielsen noon to 1pm is now the most listened to hour of the day on terrestrial radio across the PPM markets. I suspect that’s because the daily work commute was the most effected part of our routines and, regardless of where we’re working, a large percentage of us still venture out during the lunch hour. The 7am hour has been hit especially hard as virtually everyone wakes up later when they don’t have to make that daily morning commute.
With just under forty percent of American workers still working from home, and the recent surge in covid cases, the heavier noon listening isn’t likely to change anytime soon. While listening trends are starting to shift back to normal, where it finally lands will essentially be our new normal as studies suggest around ten percent of workers will continue working from home permanently. A transformation so drastic that it’s actually created a new trend called ‘Zoom Towns’ where people are choosing to live two or three hours away from the metropolitan areas and work remotely while driving in once a month or so for meetings.
It’s impossible to predict exactly how this will all shake out in the end, but a few things are clear.
1) We have to find a way to drive more in-home listening.
2) Every station should be doing something in the noon hour that sets a listening appointment and is promoted heavily.
3) Radio listening habits will never be exactly how they were before.
4) It might be time to re-assess the allocation of our programming resources.
If you need help determining how these changes effect your stations within your local market, reach out to us for a free assessment, followed by a strategic plan to grow your ratings, digital stats and revenue. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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