Arbitron has released new PPM data for the New York market during the week of Super Storm Sandy, finding increased radio listening during the devastating weather event. As the storm hit the coast during the evening of Monday, October 29, compared to the week prior, the average number of people using radio in any quarter hour from 7PM to Midnight increased 70 percent.
In the coastal areas within the New York market, radio listening increased by even higher percentages. Nassau-Suffolk saw a 245 percent increase in listening that night, with Middlesex-Somerset-Union up 195 percent. Stamford/Norfolk radio listening was up by an incredible 367 percent, while Monmouth, NJ saw a 247 percent increase. On Staten Island, radio listening grew by 42 percent on October 29.
Arbitron notes that "When the lights went out, when TV and desktop PCs were no longer available, many New York area residents turned on their battery powered radios. Many radio stations along the path of the storm, regardless of their regular format, revamped their programming to provide their listeners with weather updates, news and emergency information."
In the wake of the storm, radio remained an information lifeline to the residents of New York, particularly in the coastal areas of the market. Average radio listening on Tuesday, October 30 in New York was 1,525,500 persons in any given quarter hour between 6am and Midnight, up eight percent from 1,406,700 persons 6+ the week before.
The average audience in the NY coastal communities (Monmouth, Fairfield SN, Nassau-Suffolk, Staten Island and Middlesex) totaled 670,200 on the Tuesday (6a-Mid) following landfall (10/30) which is 38 percent higher than the average of all Tuesdays year to date.
The average in the NY coastal communities (Monmouth, Fairfield SN, Nassau-Suffolk, Staten Island and Middlesex) totaled 651,200 on the Wednesday (6a-Mid) following landfall (10/31) which is 35 percent higher than the average of all Wednesdays year to date.