Where Radio Fits: Radio’s Strengths
in the Media Landscape

| September 26, 2012

by Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

DALLAS — This was the best session I attended at the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  A summary is available for free download on Arbitron’s client website.  This document is a powerful selling tool, and real instructive to programmers and on-air talent…especially on-air talent that sells (and smart on-air talent does).

The presenter was Arbitron senior VP/marketing Bill Rose: “Radio provides opportunities to reach consumers when advertising is relevant to what they are doing.”

The sample for this study is “the buying demographic of 25-54, because that’s where the money is,” per conventional wisdom.  Data Bill presented was from USA Touchpoints, a national sample that captures media usage, shopping behavior, emotional mindset, via smartphone app, every half hour, from 10-day panelists.

Headlines: AM/FM Radio delivers:
• Consistently big audiences, especially during the day when most shopping occurs.
• “The last word” for advertisers reaching the most consumers right before they shop.
• Enhanced reach when combined with other media.
• An ad environment relevant to where consumers are going and what they are doing.
• A highly engaged, attentive, and positively minded audience.
• A variety of decision influencers.

AM/FM radio remains the most dominant audio platform.
• Reach: 85% P25-54 each week (compared to 25% for Satellite Radio and 15% for Internet streaming)
• Time Spent Listening: AM/FM 86% (Satellite 11%, Streaming 3%).
• Radio’s “prime time” is 8A-8P, “shopping hours.”
• Reach is consistent throughout the week; weekends slightly lower than weekdays

“Life Context of AM/FM Listening:”
• AM/FM radio is the #1 out of home medium, “when they’re near retail stores and other shopping venues”
• 84% of weekday usage is in-car.
• Out-of-home use is higher on weekends (45%) than weekdays (38%)

TALK HOSTS: GET THIS: 43% of 25-54 listeners are listening with their children.  If you missed my recent Talkers rant, here ya go: http://www.talkers.com/2012/09/18/say-what-arbitron-and-advertisers-will-punish-you-if-you-dont-choose-your-words-carefully/

So you can imagine how quickly I started typing when Bill announced that factoid.

Bottom line?  Arbitron’s Bill Rose showed us that “radio beats almost every other medium until about 4:30 pm.”  TV is a nighttime medium (notwithstanding TV’s efforts to steal mornings from radio).

Sales: “AM/FM an excellent value unto itself,” and combos “great” with other media.  Data on radio-in-combination-with-other-media WILL help you pitch local TV users, and the charts in this report belong in your sales presentations:
• Radio + TV = 91% Reach
• Radio + Internet = 78%
• TV + Internet + Radio = 96%
• “Radio adds most new consumers during the daytime, when combined with other media.”

For decades, radio reps have touted that “NO other medium comes closer to the cash register,” a benefit now under attack by mobile media.  In December, when I was helping Santa, I myself stood in the aisle at Sam’s Club, and used iPhone to compare Sam’s price with Apple’s…then ordered an iPad from Apple right-then-and-there…a trend called “showrooming.”

Another new term this research echoed is “recency,” and this document sure makes the case that, as Rose said, “radio gets the last word” before shoppers buy.  The closer to the 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm “shopping peak,” the better radio compares with other media.

News/Talk consultant Holland Cooke covers industry conventions for Talkers.  His web site is www.HollandCooke.com, and his Twitter handle is @HollandCooke.  HC will present “Database Your Tribe…NOW” at the Talkers New Media Seminar in Los Angeles, October 11.

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Category: Analysis, Features