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Why Summer Can Lead to Unexpected Boosts in Radio Listening

Posted by Mark Zimmer on July 25, 2017 at 10:00 AM
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summer radio advertisingWhen warm weather hits and people’s activities change, radio listening habits change, too. Overall, this change manifests itself by boosting listening share for certain formats. For example, the summer of 2016 saw an increase of more than 5% for the classic rock format, while the two previous summers saw increases of approximately 10% for the classic hits format. However, increases in particular formats vary by audience segment. For the 25 to 54 age group, country is a summer preference.

Reasons Summer Could Lead to Unexpected Boosts in Radio Listening

Dining Behavior

When warm weather hits, people have grilling on their mind, and they want to eat outside. When people dine inside, they tend to be watching TV, but their outdoor dining plans often include listening to the radio.

Outdoor Habits

As people spend time at the beach, at the lake, or around the pool, listening to the radio is often included.


With warm weather and school breaks come summer road trips. Whether for vacation, a day at a theme park, or heading to a ballgame, listening to the radio is an important part of the travel experience.

Weekend Activities

Summer weekends often include camping trips, barbecues, shopping, and sports, and for many, radio is a part of the fun.

Home Improvement

As the weather warms up, spring cleaning can give way to bigger home improvement projects like remodeling or painting, and radio provides entertainment to help get the job done.

How Marketers Can Capitalize on This Boost

  • Know what radio formats grow during the summer. As noted above, the preferred format for summer listening can vary by year and listener demographic, so it’s important to stay on top of trends. For example, historically, the news/talk format drops off in the summer, however not in 2017.  By contrast, country historically peaks during the summer, but more recently the format has been trailing performance seen in previous years.
  • Based on your target audience and their activities, your summer radio advertising should target the stations they’re tuning into and the formats that are likely to boost in the summer.
  • Ensure that your advertising creative speaks to your target audience and their summer behaviors. Warm weather puts people in a good mood. Tap into the excitement of summer with words and sounds that paint a picture for your audience that’s relevant to both their mood and the activities in which they’re engaged.

Summer can be a great time to reach regular listeners on days and at times when they wouldn’t ordinarily be tuned in. By tapping into trending formats for summer, you can also reach new listeners, as well as specific demographics, with your radio advertising.

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Topics: Radio Advertising, Marketing Strategy, Consumer Behavior