What impact is the Covid-19 outbreak having on radio listening? It’s a question that’s top of mind throughout the industry and Nielsen is currently working on a preliminary radio audience analysis that could shed some light on the issue.

“With “shelter-in-place” hitting select cities, and “work-from-home” becoming the new reality, there are a lot of questions about how media usage is changing – radio listening in particular,” Nielsen Audio Managing Director Brad Kelly said in a notice sent to clients Thursday afternoon. The measurement giant says it plans to provide regular updates and media insights as quickly as possible.

“We know you are anxious to get a read on what’s happening. There is a lot of speculation and the best thing we can do now is provide fact-based data to allow our clients to make informed decisions,” the client notice from Kelly continued. “Nielsen is working on high-level preliminary radio audience metrics to help give you directional perspective. The listening analyses are forthcoming and will be shared with you shortly. Additionally, we are fielding a quick survey to provide perspective on how consumers are interacting with radio in today’s new environment.”

Along with giving an update on the in-progress radio usage study, Kelly also provided an update on how Nielsen’s ratings collection systems are weathering the current health crisis. “We can tell you that, as of today, the Nielsen audience measurement systems remain sound and are holding up,” Kelly assured clients. Nielsen has increased cash incentives for PPM panelists, which he said are “having the intended effect.” And despite the extraordinary circumstances of the public health emergency, PPM panelist participation “is remarkably steady and radio listening data collection continues,” Kelly said. “Maintaining the integrity of your audience data is a priority for Nielsen – second only to the health and well-being of our panelists, our associates, and you, our valued clients.”

In addition, the company is considering changes to some of its business policies that would give “greater flexibility that will facilitate more actionable information,” Kelly said. It’s also taking a look at its services to determine what it can bring to bear to help provide clients with “meaningful, actionable data insights.”