Compared with weekday morning drive, radio listening on Saturdays is usually a little soft. Except when everyone is shaken out of bed by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake, like the one that occurred in Oklahoma Saturday, September 3. The number of listeners more than tripled that day in some 20 Oklahoma radio markets, including the nearby cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

NextRadio® in-app analysis showed 3.4 times the average number of Saturday  listeners in Oklahoma, with 3.5 times the average in Oklahoma City and 3 times the average in Tulsa. Total listening minutes doubled for the region, at 2.1 times the average. Station tune-ins registered 1.8 times the average. (Average Saturday listening data was compiled from NextRadio in-app data captured on Saturdays, January to August 2016.)

Radio listening up sharply in neighboring states, too

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake was also felt in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa and Texas. In addition to the abrupt rise in listening by Oklahoma residents, NextRadio in-app data also showed that listening numbers nearly tripled the average in  Arkansas and Iowa. The number of listeners was 2.4 times the average Saturday in Kansas, and double the average in both Texas and Missouri.

Photo courtesy of United States Geological Survey.
Photo courtesy of United States Geological Survey.

Time spent listening aligned pretty much with an average Saturday on a regional basis, but was double the average in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Iowa. We might guess that many people tuned in for urgent information, and then went on about their day if affected only marginally.

It’s interesting to dig down into how people use radio – both in times of emergency and on ordinary days.

Obviously, our favorite medium continues to prove itself as a  lifeline for those seeking information. That’s why we ask our broadcaster partners to remind people to download the NextRadio app to their smartphones as part of every disaster plan.

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