TV Advertising Blog

The Rise of Radio in a Digital World

August 17, 2015
2 minute read

Pssssst…have you heard what’s happening to radio? As other traditional media channels are staggering under the weight of digital, radio is getting stronger.

If you’re surprised, you’re not alone. According to the State of the News Media 2015, U.S. newspaper weekday circulation has fallen 19 percent since 2004. Cable viewership also dropped 9 percent in 2014, more than quadruple the decline seen in 2012, as reported by International Business Times in March. Considering how these channels have declined, it seems like it’d make sense if radio was also part of the downward spiral of traditional media. This is not the case.

Radio has not only grown in popularity, it is has remained one of advertisers’ most steadfast media channels. 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.

So then why are so many marketers ditching radio for digital?

There’s no denying that web is an important DR media channel. Its developing omnipresence in the world today, ceaseless testing opportunities and granular measurability makes it both alluring and effective. But many marketers are looking at it all wrong. They don’t have to choose! Here’s why marketers need to once again start paying attention to radio and why it can complement digital, not weaken it:

Radio is a Very Effective Medium for Driving Online Sales
Over the last five years, radio has been vital in driving leads to the web and increasing organic search. The proof is in the pudding—or the promo codes and dual CTAs. The local ties radio stations often nurture also affect online sales. Radio endorsements by local hosts and celebrities can help speed up buying decisions because they are coming from sources that are already trusted by the audience.

These factors have helped to drive consumers to company and product websites where they’re converting to customers. Plus, radio listeners are often the most qualified audiences and tend to convert at surprisingly high levels. The only way this works, however, is if the website optimized for the volume of consumers coming from radio.

Radio is Everywhere
One of radio’s strongest attributes is its pervasiveness (cars, homes, mobile, streaming, etc.) and its ad frequency. On average, music stations are airing 12 minutes of commercial breaks per hour and talk stations air about 20 minutes of commercial breaks per hour. Now think about its massive reach. As Nielsen’s latest Audience Report stated, 243 million Americans listen to the radio on a weekly basis.

Radio Increases Your Quality Score
Radio can increase your business or product’s Quality Score on Google. The more you’re able to drive qualified consumers from radio to the web who then search and find your business or product, the more influence you can have on both the ranking and CPC of your ads.

Radio is Reliable & Ever-Evolving
Radio is one of the most efficient mediums today because it has sustained and evolved through the digital explosion while other traditional media channels have faltered. Not only has radio’s audience grown, it has adapted to the web via streaming services. Rain News estimated that audio streaming listening hours will grow 42.7 percent over a three-year period, from 30 billion in 2014 to 43 billion in 2017.

“Scaling connectivity across a plethora of devices is enabling tremendous growth in online radio consumption. Listening levels have reached significant proportions across all demographic groups, and this year’s Infinite Dial study illustrates a definitive upward trajectory,” said Mike Agovino, COO, Triton Digital.

While more and more people continue to tune into radio—whether in their cars or on their phones—radio continues to be a reliable media channel in other ways, too. Nielsen reports that consumers’ trust in radio ads has increased since 2007.

Marketing Architects has a rich, 17-year history of making radio work for direct response advertisers in all types of industries. Call us today and we’ll help you understand just how powerful radio can be when you make it part of your marketing campaign.

Paul Jackson

By Paul Jackson

Chief Media Officer

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