NextRadio® in-app data shows how people use FM radio during a weather emergency
We know that people tune to the radio when skies darken. But just how many? And for how long? We learned a lot recently in the Gulf Coast and even more on August 24, when an EF-3 tornado struck our neighboring city of Kokomo, Indiana. (It lies about 60 miles north of our Indianapolis offices.)
All of us at NextRadio® held our collective breath as the storm front blasted through and reports of damage sadly poured in. We also got a good look at how people use NextRadio during dangerous weather. The numbers of Kokomo area listeners spiked 4.2 times the weekly average – and, yes, we checked our math several times as it sounded unbelievable to us, too.
This is how it happened
Kokomo is a small market – small, like six average daily listeners. That’s calculated from in-app data in July and August 2016. (Makes us wonder how many Nielsen PPMs are there, but that’s a subject for another blog.)
When a wedge tornado was headed toward the city, however, NextRadio saw the number of listeners rise to 25 – an increase of 4.2 times the daily average. The app also captured 1,365 minutes total listening versus an average of 460 minutes – an increase of 3 times the daily average.
In all, on this stormy day, there were 76 listening sessions – as compared with 13 on an average day. That’s a increase of 5.7 times the average.
Interestingly, session minutes were down to 18, versus an average of 34.4. The statistics lead us to believe that listeners were tuning in and tuning out more frequently. We can imagine them hunting a local radio station on their phones while hurrying to, or waiting in, their safe places.
National Preparedness Month begins today
We’re truly sorry to see the devastation in Kokomo, but hope that the NextRadio app helped people stay informed – without worry over draining their phone’s battery or using significant chunks of expensive data.
September 1 marks the start of National Preparedness Month. We’d like to ask our broadcast partners nationwide to remind listeners that the NextRadio app offers another way to stay tuned to FM radio stations during an emergency. No one knows how long the power might be out after a storm. Preserving up to 75% of phone battery life can come in quite handy.