Nielsen Finds Link Between Vehicle Purchases and Listening Preferences


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Nielsen recently explored the relationship between radio listening trends and auto purchase behaviors and found correlations between consumers’ preferences.

Nielsen’s Local Insights service combined portable people meter results in the nation’s three largest radio markets (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) with insights from Polk automotive data, which tracks ownership history for more than 600 million vehicles in the U.S.

The results highlighted the uniqueness of each local market, the importance that radio formats have in reaching specific listeners and vehicle preference based on the type of radio consumers prefer.

“Formats really make a difference in reaching certain auto buyers in different markets, and this test proves the importance of being able to use specific, granular radio data to explore those connections for both broadcasters and marketers,” said Farshad Family, SVP, Local Product Media Leadership.

The test first demonstrated that every market is unique, shaped by how local radio serves each community — and by how traffic patterns are different.

Therefore, it is not surprising that roadster buyers (e.g., those in the market for an Audi TT, BMW Z4 or Porsche Boxster) don’t all favor the same format — but based on data from the index of radio-listening roadster buyers in Chicago and L.A., the News, Talk and Information format leads the way in both markets when it comes to the likeliness of reaching those consumers.

The results also revealed that connecting data on what consumers listen to with what they buy can help advertisers identify the right mix of radio formats for the type of vehicle they’re marketing.

In Los Angeles, the basic luxury category (e.g., the Acura ILX, Infiniti G37 or Volkswagen CC) is important to many kinds of stations and automakers, and buyers in that category have a unique set of tastes for radio listening, which ranges from spoken word and information programming to religious programming to country music.

The test also explored which vehicle types are preferred by listeners inside a specific format itself. Nielsen focused on one particular format and examined the types of vehicles those listeners were most likely to buy. For example, in New York, sports radio scored the best among high-end vehicle buyers, particularly those in the prestige sporty and prestige luxury categories (e.g., the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS or BMW 7 series). Among all vehicle types, sports radio enthusiasts are most likely to have purchased prestige sporty, prestige luxury, mid sport or mid luxury vehicles in the past year.



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