News on the Reboot of the Commute


We’ve started crunching the numbers in NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study 18 and already see results suggesting radio has reason to be optimistic about increased listening in the months ahead. In many markets, PUMM hit a high for 2021 with the release of the May PPM monthly as states relax COVID restrictions and listeners head back to work and school. We’re poised to help stations “Reboot the Commute” by sharing study results in webinars beginning in mid-July. Reserve your spot for free at

In our study of over 3,100 respondents 14-54 years-old conducted in early June across all PPM markets nationwide, we asked participants to give a snapshot of their current work situation and to forecast what they expect it to be by year’s end. Just under 1/3 of total study participants are currently reporting to work somewhere other than a home office, but overall expectations signal an 11-point rise in out-of-home commuting. While many of those now working from home will remain there, these returning commuters come from those sidelined by the pandemic and others returning to the workforce.

What’s more encouraging is that those giving radio its report card are expecting to return to the office or jobsite in even greater numbers than the overall sample. Among likely ratings participants, which represent about one in six study participants, respondents already report going to work outside the home at a higher rate compared to overall sample – and almost half expect to be working outside the home by year’s end. This makes radio likely to benefit more quickly from the increased PUMM levels arising from the out-of-home trend.

This is great for radio. FM/AM streaming consumption is slightly better among those who work from home compared to those who work outside their homes, but total at-work radio listening is better among those who work outside the home – and the numbers listening to the broadcast signal there nearly double those working from home.

“That’s why we’re encouraging stations to focus their marketing message on the return to commuting and work,” says Mike O’Connor, NuVoodoo EVP/Marketing. “We’re calling our webinar series ‘Reboot the Commute’ because that’s where we see the growth opportunity for our clients.”

Carolyn Gilbert adds, “We’re in the field with research every day to arm our partners in the radio industry with as much actionable intel as possible. While much of that is music research and perceptual studies, our NuVoodoo Insights team is here to help stations and groups get answers to any questions they have. With thousands of interviews completed every day, we can always find a way to get you the information you need.”

Reserve your spot for our upcoming webinar. Pick the day and time most convenient for you:

  • Wednesday, July 21 at 1 PM EDT
  • Tuesday, July 27 at 12 Noon EDT
  • Thursday, July 29 at 2 PM EDT
  • Wednesday, August 4 at 3 PM EDT

In less than 45 minutes, we’ll cover topics essential to radio for capitalizing on rising PUMM and PUR levels and leveraging increased average quarter hour ratings. We’ll show you not only how listeners in general think, but that all-important subset likely to participate in the radio ratings. And we’ll stay on as long as necessary to answer all your questions.

Topics include:

  • Radio’s place in the hierarchy of choices now available on touch-screen in-car audio systems
  • Smart speakers, streaming and podcasts
  • Most-used social and digital channels, including an update on OTT (Over the Top) video
  • Where likely ratings participants notice radio station marketing campaigns
  • Tune-in catalysts: what actually causes listeners to switch or listen more
  • National and local contest mechanisms and prizes
  • What drives those willing to wear a meter or fill out a diary
  • A deep dive on ratings likelies who listen to the radio for an hour or more each day: this small fraction of the overall audience is what makes or breaks station ratings

We look forward to seeing you at our webinar.