Good news for radio: Drive-time audience continues to power forward in PPM markets. In the September PPM survey, reach is now 97% of March and average quarter-hour persons is 90% of March levels. The audience strength is powered by commuting increases and a return to school, according to Nielsen data released this week and made public by Westwood One.
Nielsen reports 61% of U.S. workers are now commuting to their workplace, up from 39% in early May, a +56% increase. Commuting volume has been steadily increasing over the last five months.
These findings are validated by studies conducted by the Dallas Federal Reserve over the last eight months. In May during the shelter-at-home lockdown, 55% of pre-COVID-19 workers were still commuting to work, 26% were working at home and 19% were not employed. As of September 2020, 69% of those who were employed pre-pandemic were commuting to work. Twenty percent were working from home and 11% were not employed.