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2015 Digital DR Marketing: A Year in Review | Marketing Architects

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Radio is Getting Stronger (and Remains Immortal)

This year showed marketers that yet again, radio not only continues to prove that it will never die, it’s actually getting stronger. Nielsen’s latest Audience Report stated that 91 percent of U.S. consumers ages 12 and older and 91.3 percent of adults ages 18 to 34 tune into radio weekly. And why is that? In our blog post Why Radio is Immortal, we explain it.

Radio’s a lot like QWERTY—you know, that lineup of letters on your keyboard? It solved a concrete problem exceptionally well. There’s nothing on earth that can do everything that radio does—accompany you during any activity because it doesn’t have to be your primary focus.

But, as we explored in our blog post The Rise of Radio in a Digital World, is radio’s versatility that we suspect is making it stronger in 2015. Simply put, radio is a very effective medium for driving online sales. Radio listeners are often the most qualified audience that typically convert at high levels. They are being driven to business and product websites via trusted radio channels and on-air personalities. And with 243 million American listening to radio on a weekly basis (according to Nielsen’s latest Audience Report), that’s a lot of potential for marketers.

Streaming Radio is Popular, But It’s Not Dominating Yet

Marketers are also looking for potential in streaming radio, but they’d be fools to abandon terrestrial radio just yet. In Streaming vs. Terrestrial Radio: Who Will Win, we reviewed the growing popularity of streaming radio, including Rain News’ prediction that audio streaming listening hours are estimated to grow more than 40 percent, from 30 billion in 2014 to 43 billion in 2017.

While that type of growth is impressive, it needs to be noted that more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers ages 12 and older tune into traditional AM/FM radio (according to Nielsen Media Research), and leading streaming radio stations such as Pandora only reaches 15 percent of Americans, while Spotify reaches about 5 percent, as stated in Edison’s latest Share of Ear study.

So, streaming radio is not as far-reaching as terrestrial, but marketers should still be considering all platforms when building effective omni-channel strategies.

Programmatic Radio is Not Feasible for Most Advertisers Right Now

In addition to growing popularity in streaming radio, programmatic ad buying has been making some major headway in the last few years, with $10 billion spent in 2014 on programmatic ad buys, a 130 percent increase from 2013 (according to Jelli, a programmatic ad platform recently acquired by iHeartMedia). Although, of the $10 billion spent in programmatic in 2014, $0 were spent in audio radio ads.

We discussed what programmatic radio is in our blog post Your Radio Is Watching You, as well as the potential downfalls that make marketers less likely to adopt the automated ad buying system. Inventory quality, transparency and technological complexity are three challenges advertisers are faced with in the current life stage of programmatic radio buying. Fortunately, marketers can find accurate, reliable results reporting in traditional radio buying.

Want more information about these topics? Review our top 2015 DR radio marketing full-page blog posts here:

Chuck Hengel

By Chuck Hengel

Founder & CEO

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