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Study: Eight Misconceptions Brands Have About Radio


Westwood One
Westwood One

The perception of media audiences is skewed by prevalent myths in the ad community. Mirroring the recently released "8 Misconceptions Brands Have About Radio" from Canada's Radio Connects, this week's Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog challenges current media narratives and outlines 8 things brand have completely wrong about AM/FM radio in America.

Here are eight things brands have completely wrong about AM/FM Radio:

  1. "Due to the pandemic, no one is listening to AM/FM radio." According to the latest Nielsen Spring 2022 Nationwide Report, AM/FM radio has retained 98% of its persons 18+ reach from the Spring 2019 survey.

  2. "Due to the pandemic, everyone's working at home, and no one is commuting." According to a Maru/Blue study, most of pre-COVID commuters are now working outside the home (87%).

  3. "AM/FM radio has very low reach." In reality, 86% of all Americans are reached by AM/FM radio on a weekly basis, according to Nielsen's Q2 2022 Total Audience Report.

  4. "Audience shares to Pandora/Spotify are nearly equal to AM/FM radio." Edison Research reports AM/FM radio is nineteen times larger than ad-supported Spotify and fifteen times that of ad-supported Pandora.

  5. "In the world of the connected car, the number one thing people do in their vehicles is stream online radio on their smartphones." Among ad-supported audio, AM/FM radio has a dominating 89% share of in-car time spent.

  6. "Today's optimal media plan: Put all of your money into TV and digital." Adding AM/FM radio to the TV and digital plan generates incremental reach for the same spend. While TV and digital are mass reach media that will deliver audiences, AM/FM radio is a powerful tool for marketers and agencies.

  7. "I would love to consider audio. However, there's a total lack of ROI and sales lift evidence for AM/FM radio." Since 2013, Nielsen has conducted more than a dozen return on investment studies across a variety of consumer categories that prove that AM/FM radio generates significant positive return on advertising spend.

  8. "AM/FM radio listening only happens during drive times." Nearly 60% of total American AM/FM radio listening occurs outside of drive times. Many Americans listen to AM/FM radio during middays and weekends.

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