As America settles into the new normal, Katz Radio Group will continue to update the marketplace regularly with new insights on America's perceptions and behaviors toward radio, communities and brands.
The Shifting Consumer Landscape
Getting Ready for Labor Day Getaways
ROAD TRIPS AND RADIO GO HAND IN HAND
We've seen evidence throughout the summer of Americans getting back on the road, back to work, and back to play. Now, as the summer is winding down, it looks like Americans are ready to hop in their cars for one more getaway to mark the end of the season.
Just over half of the adults surveyed plan to travel this Labor Day Weekend, and 70% of those traveling are doing so by car. The car is the overwhelming transportation choice, chosen 3x more than airplanes, and 9x more than other forms of public transportation.
More than 3 in 4 adults will take part in activities this Labor Day, including going to a BBQ or cookout (55%), and going to the beach (26%). Regardless of travel method, Labor Day Weekend getaways don't come cheap, as nearly 1 in 4 adults plan on spending over $500 on travel and related expenses.
Despite the eagerness for one more weekend getaway, COVID-19 and the Delta Variant are still concerns for 3 in 4 adults making travel plans this Labor Day Weekend, likely coming into play when choosing transportation methods and destinations.
RADIO DOMINATES IN-CAR MESSAGING OPPORTUNITIES
Radio is inherently local and in virtually every car, making it a valuable resource for these road trippers - at their destinations, and along the way. It's a source of entertainment and the most up-to-date news, traffic and weather relevant to their location. And for businesses looking to reach this active audience segment, AM/FM dominates in-car messaging opportunities. According to a Hubbard analysis of Edison's Q2'21 Share of Ear data, 6 out of every 10 minutes spent listening to audio in a car is to AM/FM radio. Narrowed down to local ad-supported data, radio's share of in-car listening jumps to 91%, truly dominating in-car messaging opportunities.
Chart is interactive; click gray circle to enlarge.
Labor Day marks the unofficial end to summer, but for parents and children in numerous school districts across the country, the end of summer is heralded in even earlier by the first day of school. Instead of packing up the car to head on one last road trip, many families are piling into their cars for a completely different reason.
A recent survey by Cars.com looked into the school commute plans for over 1,000 parents of school-aged children, and how they differ from last year. Two-thirds of parents report that their children will return to full-time in-person learning, up from 39% last year. Personal vehicles will feature more heavily in school commutes than they did pre-COVID, as more than 6 in 10 parents are choosing cars over other modes of transportation this year.
54% of parents are choosing to drive their children themselves, up +4% from last year. Carpooling is seeing a +13% increase as well. This expanded car usage is coinciding with a decrease in school bus ridership. Only 38% of parents will be putting their child on the school bus, down -14% from from before the pandemic.
This additional car-time during school drop-offs and pick-ups bodes well for radio. A recent Nielsen Consumer Sentiment survey found that 9 out of 10 people who drive their child to school have radio on in the car.
Radio's Human Connection on Both Ends of the Airwaves
LISTENERS DRAWN TO HUMAN CONNECTIONS
Jacobs' Techsurvey 2021 found that 61% of listeners tune in to radio for the DJs, hosts, and shows, even more than hearing music/artists. Listeners also place the feeling of "connection" (52%) and how radio "keeps them company" (46%) among the top drivers for listening - both qualities that embody radio's ability to foster personal relationships with listeners.
Much of that human connection hinges on the voice at the other end of the airwaves. And thanks to a new study from Jacobs Media Strategies, surveying over 600 on-air personalities, hosts, and producers, we know that human connection isn't one-sided.
WHAT MOTIVATES ON-AIR PERSONALITIES?
Jacobs' AQ3 survey sheds some light on why on-air personalities chose a career in radio. Not surprising, on-air personalities are just like listeners, largely drawn to the medium for the human connection it provides for them - a platform to inform, entertain, connect, support their communities, and ultimately for emotional fulfilment.
RADIO IS A MEDIUM BUILT ON HUMAN CONNECTIONS
The main purpose of a radio station is to connect with consumers locally in the communities where they live. On-air personalities are the lifeblood of that connection, the voice in listeners' ears, keeping them company and forging lasting relationships.
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The Evolving Landscape for Consumers & Brands
States and businesses have been updating COVID-19 related restrictions and regulations. Keep updated on state-by-state and category-specific actions with the links below.
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