FAQ's

Click the index below to browse through a variety of topics covering commonly-asked questions about Radio and its extraordinary ability to build brands and motivate consumers.

Printable Page

Radio has the ability to reach small business owners and self-employed workers.

  • Every week, Radio reaches 93% of small business owners
  • Every week, Radio reaches 93% of Adults 18+ who are self-employed

(Source: Scarborough USA+ 2016 Release 2 [August 2015 -November 2016])

Radio drives awareness, relevance and consideration for B2B advertisers.
Based on an analysis of 16 B2B campaigns:

  • Radio increased ad awareness by 128% for those exposed to radio ads versus those who were not.
  • Radio increased brand relevance by 64% for those exposed to radio ads versus those who were not.
  • Radio increased brand consideration by 37% for those exposed to radio ads versus those who were not.

(Source: radioGAUGE from the RAB U.K [strongly agree scores])

Radio is a source for education as well as entertainment for B2B professionals/managers:

  • 55% attribute radio to putting them in a good mood
  • 45% stated radio is pure entertainment
  • 38% said radio makes them think
  • 36% indicated that radio is a good escape
  • 33% said radio is a good source for learning
  • 24% identified radio for giving them good ideas

(Source: GfK MRI Doublebase 2016; Adults 18+ who are business-to-business professionals/managerial)

Radio is an aid for many business owners:

  • 47% stated that radio keeps them informed and up to date
  • 32% attribute radio for learning
  • 22% believe radio gives them good ideas

(Source: GfK MRI Doublebase 2016; Adults 18+ who are self-employed in their own business)

Radio drives online activity for B2B and consumer campaigns.
Federal Contractor Builds Awareness with Radio

  • Background:
    • A Federal Government Contractor that provides innovative technology services was experiencing branding and awareness challenges.
  • Goals:
    •  Increase awareness of their services, drive contracts, etc.
  • Solution:
    • A multi-platform campaign featuring spots voiced by the company leader that provided personal story-telling and insights on the brand, services and results they provide to their customer base.
  • Results:
    • 2MM+ people within the target audience were reached.
    • The Federal Government Contractor saw increases in brand buzz, awareness, etc.
    • The campaign has been renewed for 3 consecutive years.
(Read full case study here.)

Printable Page

An analysis by Media Dynamics Inc., of varied weight level schedules illustrates that the greater the number of stations included within a buy will deliver higher reach and lower frequency when compared to those same weight levels purchased on fewer stations.

The analysis also showed that as weight levels increased, reach levels also increased. The same was also true as additional stations were included within the buy at those same increased weight levels.

It is important to determine the goal of the overall campaign. The goal will determine the structure of the plan. Simply stated: A reach campaign should include numerous stations over an extended period of time. If the goal is to increase frequency, then the converse is true: Reduce the number of stations and weeks and increase the number of spots placed on the stations purchased.

Estimated Reach
By Multiple GRP, Week and Station Levels

 

3-Station Buy

5-Station Buy

7-Station Buy

10-Station Buy

GRPs

1 WK.

4 WK.

1 WK.

4 WK.

1 WK.

4 WK.

1 WK.

4 WK.

100

26.6

28.9

28.9

30.9

30.3

32.2

31.0

34.8

150

30.9

34.0

39.3

36.5

36.5

39.5

38.5

42.4

200

35.0

38.8

44.3

43.5

42.0

45.0

43.9

49.1

From Radio Dimensions 2014, ©Media Dynamics, Inc., 2013
www.MediaDynamicsInc.com

Printable Page

Radio remains relevant in today's world of time-starved consumers. As the original mobile and social medium, it provides programming content meeting the entertainment needs of people according to their demography, geography, ethnography, etc. via nearly 11,000 commercial on-air stations, over 7,200 streaming stations (Source: FCC; MStreet; Inside Radio, 2014) and more than 2,200 stations (Source: iBiquity/HD Radio, January 2015) broadcasting multiple HD Radio channels.

Radio remains relevant in today's world of time-starved consumers. As the original mobile and social medium, it provides programming content meeting the entertainment needs of people according to their demography, geography, ethnography, etc., via its thousands of commercial radio stations, streams, multicasts and podcasts.

Radio is ubiquitous, reaching consumers on-air, online, on-site and on demand – whether they are at home, at work or in their car. It is a passive medium allowing consumers to multi-task and listen while they work or play – essential in today's world.

It is a reach medium, delivering messages 24/7 to consumers personally, one-on-one, in an attentive environment. It provides information as it reaches consumers closest to their time of purchase, as they drive to or from work, or even during a lunch break. When used synergistically with other media, it increases brand awareness, brand recall, and an advertiser's ROI. In various studies, it has also proven to increase website visitation and purchase likelihood.

Radio's core strength continues to be the power of words and sound. With its human voice to convince, it can be used as a branding medium. Advertisers continue to use radio personality endorsements to build trust and drive business, with these same personalities often providing personal experiences with the brand, on-air mentions and authentic chatter within their shows.

Radio is resilient. Its accessibility continues to expand with technology. Innovations in this same technology are both enhancing and expanding radio's ability to provide content to listeners whenever, wherever they want it – on-air, online, or on demand. Today's technologies can increase and enhance the consumer's radio experience thru text messaging, mobile applications, visual experiences, time shifted listening via podcasts, and even on smart speaker devices.

There have been studies that prove radio's ability to complement other media and drive brand awareness, as well as increase return-on-ad spend. Additionally, as today's advertisers and agencies begin to focus on attribution, radio can now quantify its impact on campaigns. Various organizations can now pinpoint shifts in behavior with digital technology.

As the top source for music discovery and audio entertainment, radio has a dominant role among listeners of all generations and age groups. Radio and the personalities on those stations are companions, something that keeps the listener company, elevates their mood, informs them and makes them think and laugh.

Printable Page

Which commercial length is most effective? This is a difficult question to answer, as spot length must be dictated by the goal of the message. Allowing an ad budget to dictate the length of the ad is the most common mistake made by advertisers. Never try to get by with :15s and mentions when :30s or :60s are called for to adequately convey your message.

If your budget is limited, reduce Reach instead of cutting the length of your ad, or buy a less expensive time of day or advertise on a smaller station. Ad messages must always be exactly as long as they need to be or nothing else will matter.

Following are some parameters to keep in mind when determining what length spot you need to create. Additionally, keep in mind that for some ad categories, commercial length may be pre-determined based on boilerplate disclaimers required by law.

:60 Ads
  • For complex messages to avoid leaving doubts and questions
  • To include specific details to help persuade - more believable than generalities
  • For a business category that's new and not easily understood - to create realization of need before selling your solution
  • For highly entertaining ads geared to inspire consumers to "like you better" - effective for generic businesses and commodities
:30 Ads
  • To make an easy-to-understand offer for a product or service that is clearly understood
  • To make a single point in an ad
:15 Ads
  • To convey an incredibly powerful, simple message
  • To reinforce simple name recognition to make customers think of your name when your are the sole advertiser in your business category
Mentions (:10 or less)
Relative Impact of :30s vs. :60s
  • Radio Recall Research studies have determined that a :30 spot may generate as much as 80% recall of a :60 spot
  • Source: Radio Dimensions 2013, ©Media Dynamics, Inc., 2013
    www.MediaDynamicsInc.com

Printable Page

The commercial length and effectiveness can be impacted by various elements such as the number of brand mentions or ideas within the ad and even by the ad's format. According to Radio Recall Research, LLC, ad formats depicting a "Slice of Life" have the greatest recall across both :60 second and :30 second ads -- 22% and nearly 19%, respectively, Interview/Testimonials ranked second across both lengths. Announcer/Sing & Sell formatted commercials had the lowest recall scores with :60 and :30 second spots -- nearly 16% and 14%, respectively.

FORMAT

       
Length Announcer/ Sing & Sell Slice of Life Interview/Testimony Total
30 Sec Av. Recall Score 13.6 18.9 17.3 15.2
Percent of Ads 64 18 18 100
         
60 Sec Av. Recall Score 15.7 22.4 20.6 19
Percent of Ads 44 33 23 100

The number of brand mentions contained within the traditional length commercials also has a positive effect on recall. Commercials with less than 3 brand mentions scored the lowest in contrast to those that had 6-10 mentions. Typical spots that contained anywhere from 4-5 mentions delivered 19% for 60-second spots and 17% for 30-second spots.

Brand Mentions

       
Length Few Typical Many Total
(1-3) (4-5) (6-10)
30 Sec Av. Recall Score 12.4 17.3 15.8 15.5
Percent of Ads 31 52 17 100
         
(1-4) (5-7) (8-10)
60 Sec Av. Recall Score 17.7 18.6 19.4 18.6
Percent of Ads 24 49 27 100

There is also a direct correlation between the number of ideas contained within a commercial and the recall score. Commercials that limited the ideas to no more than 3-5 delivered the greatest average recall scores of nearly 20% and 17% for :60 and :30 second spots, respectively. Spots that contained 6-10 ideas had the poorest recall.

IDEAS

       
Length 1 or 2 3 to 5 6 to 10 Total
30 Sec Av. Recall Score 14.9 16.6 12.6 15.5
Percent of Ads 15 64 21 100
         
60 Sec Av. Recall Score 17.6 19.9 16.2 18.6
Percent of Ads 13 61 26 100

60-second spots have a higher recall than 30-second spots; they also normally have more words than 30-second spots. The number of words in a commercial correlates more to recall than the length of the commercial.
If two commercials are exact in length, the commercial with the greater amount of words will have a higher recall.

Words

       
Length Few Typical Many Total
30 Sec Av. Recall Score 13 14.4 17.5 14.7
Percent of Ads 17 68 15 100
         
60 Sec Av. Recall Score 16.8 18.4 22.3 19.8
Percent of Ads 9 53 38 100

There are two features that are used often in radio commercials: Humor and music. In Radio Recall Research's analysis of over 2500 different radio commercials, humor and type of music proved inconclusive. Specifically, the use of humor provided little help.
RRR suggests that radio commercials that do contain humor should be pretested on target audiences and determine whether or not the target found the spots funny.
Music appears to have no direct impact on recall. The most prevalent format is the "sing and sell" format that performs like an announcement.
Music should not absorb time that can be used to present the advertiser's message, says RRR. Inclusion of music should be limited to background, jingles which emphasize the brand, or gaining listeners' attention.
Source: Radio Recall Research, LLC.
"Characteristics of Radio Commercials And Their Recall Effectiveness"

Printable Page

"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others." Thus declared Napoleon the pig who takes over leadership of a rebellion against a human farmer in George Orwell's Animal Farm. This can be applied to "commercials" because while advertising on the radio is the same, it is not. Commercials may be viewed as being equal in the listeners' minds, but ads can have a different impact and can "wear out" at different rates. While this overview will lump all commercials together and focus on broadcast AM/FM radio, remember that according to Eric Clapton, "It all depends." Insights gleaned from this treatise can be applied to streaming audio.

The issue of commercial wearout is closely associated with "effective frequency" or what are enough ad exposures, followed by how many are too many leading to wearout.

Effective Frequency

There have been many proprietary studies on the issue of effective frequency. The classic public work on this subject was completed over thirty years ago; entitled Effective Frequency, it was authored by Mike Naples, then Director of Research at Lever Brothers, and later head of the Advertising Research Foundation. In its Journal of Advertising Research, the ARF has published many articles on effective frequency, including a whole issue dedicated to the subject.

The principles of effective frequency can be understood best by reviewing Naples' conclusions, which are still meaningful today. According to Naples, "the following conclusions are based on learning theory, advertising laboratory experimentation and empirical marketplace studies":
  • Once is not enough. "One exposure of an ad to a target group consumer within a purchase cycle has little or no effect in all but a minority of circumstances."
  • Frequency is more important than reach. "Since one exposure is usually ineffective, the central goal of productive media planning should be to place emphasis on enhancing frequency rather than reach."
  • Two may be enough. "The weight of evidence suggests strongly that an exposure frequency of two within a purchase cycle is an effective level."
  • But, the optimum is three."By and large, optimal exposure frequency appears to be at least three exposures within a brand purchase cycle, or over a period of four or even eight weeks, increasing frequency continues to build advertising effectiveness at a decreasing weight, but with no evidence of decline."
  • After three, there is decreasing impact. "Beyond three exposures within a brand purchase cycle, or over a period of four or even eight weeks, increasing frequency continues to build advertising effectiveness at a decreasing weight, but with no evidence of decline."
The above is based on the average frequency. Depending on the radio advertising schedule (e.g., daypart distribution, length of campaign, multi-station buy, station format), this means that some listeners might have only heard the commercial once or twice; some maybe even being exposed to all of the ads in the schedule. It represents a mean average.

Learning from Television (and someday from digital, hopefully) There have been a great many tests and much written about television commercial wearout, but no one knows "how much is too much." Unfortunately, radio has not undertaken the amount of research to study wearout as much as television, but lessons learned by television can equally be applied to radio.

Observations:

  • Research has indicated that even when television commercials are initially effective, subsequent exposures cause effectiveness to level off and ultimately decline.
  • Repeated exposures, even to advertising that is initially persuasive, may cause a campaign to lose its effectiveness.
  • Research has established that wearout is not a gradual process. Once the point of maximum effectiveness is reached, wearout occurs quite rapidly.
  • Wearout is a function of both frequency and exposure and time. If one runs a heavy schedule within a given week, one is directly affecting both exposure and time, which is compressed as opposed to running the same schedule over several weeks.
  • In the ridiculous extreme, it is obvious that no matter how good one's ad is, a person exposed to it every hour on the hour will eventually reach the gag point.
  • The greater number of different commercials one has (for the same product), the greater the probability that one will maintain the attention of the target audience throughout the campaign.
  • A convincing case can be made that there exists some form of drop-off in the effectiveness of a commercial over time. This has been shown in the form of day-after-recall, awareness interest, and attitude.
  • In general, advertising strategies tend not to wear out. It is the execution which tires and lends to irritation or “tune-out.”
  • It also definitely depends on the copy. Commercials with a strong attention-getting gimmick or those which rely on verbal or visual hyperbole will wear out quickly. One can only tell the same joke once to the same audience.
  • A good selling idea will not wear out. Most product commercials are based on product differentiation. With these commercials, it is more likely to be the execution which wears out and stimulate irritation.
  • One key factor is the target audience. A commercial aimed mainly for mothers, for example, might have a quick wearout factor among young teenage girls.
  • Some studies indicate young children and the elderly appear to be more tolerant of repetition.
  • Varying the content of the message rather than its execution is the appropriate strategy for overcoming wearout.
  • Strong competition can accelerate wearout, particularly if there is little differentiation in creative strategy within a product field. Loss of “share of mind” may not be just through failing to rejuvenate a campaign but due to the effects of competing claims.
All of the above observations assume a radio-only campaign. Studies need to be undertaken when radio is part of a larger cross-media buy.

Source: Dr. Tom Evans; DTE Research, Inc.; drtomresearch@gmail.com


Printable Page

Radio, with its human voice to convince, can be used to persuade and influence listeners.

  • Among those who listen to AM/FM radio, radio DJs/Hosts/ Shows was a top 3 reason for listening to radio. (Source: Jacobs TechSurvey13, 2017)

Radio listeners have a strong personal connection with radio station personalities.

  • Radio personalities have a loyal listener database.
  • Fans see radio personalities as a friend.

Radio listeners have a strong personal connection with radio station personalities.

  • Radio personalities have a loyal listener database.
  • Fans see radio personalities as a friend.
  • Listeners are familiar with radio personalities
    • 87% have personal details about home life
    • 75% are aware of a personality’s marital status
    • 68% know if they have children
    • 53% are aware of the personality’s hobbies and interests
    • 46% know what charities and causes they support
    • 29% are aware of favorite TV shows

(Source: Katz Radio Group, Our Media Survey, Q2 2017)

  • According to a study conducted by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism:
    • 75% of study respondents reported that they turn on the radio because they know their favorite personality is on the air.
    • 72% of respondents talk to their friends about their favorite radio personality or what they heard on the program.
    • 52% stated their favorite personality influences their opinion.
    • 51% considered or purchased a product advertised during their favorite personality’s show.

Advertisers use DJ endorsements to build trust, drive business and website traffic.

  • Bertucci's restaurant used radio personality live endorsements to kick off a successful campaign with year over year increases in sales and traffic.*

Radio and DJ endorsements are great at reaching a large number of consumers and getting them to your location and can be customized by brand:

  • Authentic chatter inside their shows
  • Personal experiences conveyed to listeners
  • Via radio personality or specific radio show apps
  • Social media engagement
  • On-air mentions/billboards/promos
  • Podcasts
  • Interviews
*Visit www.rab.com for these and additional case studies.

Printable Page

The U.S. 12+ population base increased from 309.3 million in July 2010 to 325.34 million in July 2017 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  This has been a key factor in radio’s ability to grow the AM/FM radio audience base by nearly 10 million listeners over that same time span, from 239.8 million to 249.6 million.

Radio penetration of the 12+ demo remains relatively high from 93% in June 2010 to 91% in June 2017.

With the plethora of new media choices, radio still offers near universal coverage of the broad 12+ demo, underscoring radio’s appeal to listeners young and old.

(Source: Nielsen, RADAR 105 & 133, June 2010 & June 2017, Monday-Sunday 24-Hour Weekly Cume Estimates)


Printable Page

From The Ephron Letter, 06/05, "Reach Trumps Frequency":

  • Radio is often ignored because it is considered a Frequency medium
  • When Radio is planned differently -- especially based on new Arbitron PPM data -- it is an ideal Reach Medium
  • Recency is the concept that ads are most effective when they remind people about brands they know, at the time they happen to need the product
  • Recency is a "reminding" not a "remembering" model
  • The difference is critical because "reminding" is a stimulus that can be controlled, while "remembering" is a response that can't be controlled
  • "Reminding" is a perfect job for Radio when used as a Reach medium
  • Contact 3 consumers 1X rather than 1 consumer 3X times, because that 1 consumer is far less likely to need the product than any 1 of the 3 would be
  • Given that someone in the market is usually more receptive to advertising for that product, fewer messages are needed: Reach, not Frequency
  • Buy Radio for moderate weekly Reach and more weeks of advertising: avoid concentrated, flighted schedules that build too much Frequency; reduce weight and add weeks of advertising to increase Reach


Printable Page

From The Ephron Letter, 06/05, "Reach Trumps Frequency":

  • Over the course of a week, both Radio and TV reach over 90% of the adult U.S. population
  • Radio formats target specific listener groups far better than TV channels target specific viewer groups
  • TV's high cost structure necessitates attracting broad audiences to be successful and is programmed with that goal in mind
  • Radio -- with lower costs and many stations -- can more profitably focus on narrow segments that are carefully designed for their specific appeal to different age and socio-economic groups
  • Because Radio targets so well, a high percent of listeners on a selected station will be your target market -- so the total listeners CPM will be very close to the Target CPM

Printable Page

  • Streaming
    • There are over 7,2001 streaming radio stations today:
      • Offering listeners exclusive audio and video content like in-studio interviews, concerts, on-demand video.
      • Ability to personalize a playlist based on listener's music preference or mood.
  • Mobile Apps
    • Content available across multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and in-dash infotainment systems.
  • Infinite breadth for signals and content through online radio and HD Radio platforms:
    • Specialized niche channels (24 hour weather/traffic/news/stock info, etc.).
    • Seasonal and focused programming (Financial, Holiday, Real Estate, etc.).
  • Expanded commerce opportunities
    • Instantaneous ownership of audio content (music, advertising messages/couponing, news programming, etc.).
  • Listener influenced programming:
    • Break or bust for new artists -- allow listeners the ability to control fame or flame.
    • Citizen journalism.
  • FM Ready Smartphones - NextRadio
    • Over the next three years, 30 million smartphones with an FM chip will hit the market
  • Advertising opportunities will include: full screen ads, couponing, text to win, location based services and more.
    • As of May 20153:
      • Over 2.3MM app downloads
      • Over 11,665 FM Radio stations tuned to from the app
      • Over 4.4MM hours of listening
  • HD Radio
    • Improved audio and expanded content.
    • Interactive/data/visual/time shifting.
    • On-demand features.
    • Real-time traffic on navigation systems.
    • # of HD stations growing rapidly: 2,200 stations broadcasting their primary signal with HD Radio Technology.
    • Over 23 million HD Radio receivers are in the marketplace2.

Source: 1Inside Radio / M Street Corp., January 2015; 2iBiquity/HD Radio, January 2015; 3NextRadio / Tagstation, January 2015

Printable Page

The average consumer spends nearly 42 hours annually in traffic during peak hours.* Despite newer technologies evolving as options for in-car entertainment, on-the-go consumers still prefer radio as their top in-car selection.

According to the Infinite Dial, 2017:

  • 82% of adults 18+ that have driven or ridden in a car past month used AM/FM radio in their primary car.
    • 26% have also listened to an AM/FM stream or internet-only radio from a connected mobile device.
  • 47% stated that AM/FM radio is the audio source used most of the time in-car.
  • 11% use AM/FM stream or internet-only radio most of the time.
  • Radio is also the top audio source in-car for Hispanics and African-Americans:
  • 79% of Hispanics 18+ and 77% of African-Americans used AM/FM radio in the primary car past month.
    • AM/FM streams or internet-only radio listened to in-car: 36% of both Hispanics and African-Americans.
  • Most used source of audio while in-car:
    • AM/FM radio -- Hispanics 46% and African-Americans 40%
    • AM/FM streams or internet-only -- 21% of both Hispanics and African-Americans

In a survey of women ages 15-54, 75% stated that local AM/FM radio was the most used in-car audio source.  According to What Women Want, 2017 by Alan Burns & Associates, the age break-out is as follows:

  • Ages 15-24 -- 68%
  • Ages 25-34 -- 78%
  • Ages 35-44 -- 80%
  • Ages 45-54 -- 79% 

Radio’s role in the dash is important.  According to Jacobs Media Techsurvey 13, among those who already have or plan on buying/leasing a new vehicle in 2017:

  • 88% say it is important to have AM/FM radio.
  • 67% believe Bluetooth connectivity.
  • 64% selected smartphone connector.

*INRIX Global traffic Scorecard, 2016

Printable Page

  • Radio's strength is brand building
    • Radio ads are much more personally relevant than ads in all other media.
      (Source: Radio Ad Lab "Personal Relevance I & II)
    • People who listen to broadcast radio feel more alert than when consuming other media.
      (Source: Where Radio Fits - Radio's Strengths in the Media Landscape, 2012, Nielsen Audio and MBI TouchPoints)
    • Radio ads prompt consumer response
      • 41% of P12+ visited an advertised store after hearing a broadcast radio ad
      • 28% of P12+ visited an advertiser's website
        (Source: The Infinite Dial 2013 - Arbitron, Inc. / Edison Research)
    • 38% of respondents states that a radio advertiser is a reputable advertiser.
      (Source: NuVoodoo Media Services, 2013 national online sample of 622 radio listeners 18-54)
  • Radio has the human voice to convince


    • 55% of respondents stated that hearing one of their favorite radio station personalities provide testimonials for health care or medical products or services made them trust that product or service.
      (Source: Radio Advertising Bureau F.C.T. Report on healthcare, 2014)
    • Radio ads are much more personally relevant than ads in all other media.
      (Source: Radio Ad Lab "Personal Relevance I & II)
    • Radio has ads that are honest and believable.
      (Source: "Radio Tomorrow", 2012, Alan Burns & Assoc. and Triton Digital)
    • People turn on the radio because they know their favorite personality is on the air.
      (Source: USC, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, PSI Study released June 2012, Woodley, P. and Movius, L. People With a Favorite Radio Personality in Los Angeles)
    • Radio listeners have called into a station, met a DJ in their community, or interacted in some other manner.
      (Source: Woodley, P. Parasocial Interaction between On-Air Radio Personalities and Listeners. USA, Annenberg Scholl for Communication & Journalism, released April 2014)
  • Radio increases recall and brand preference
    • Radio ads have messages that listeners retain.
      (Source: NuVoodoo Media Services, 2013 national online sample of 622 radio listeners 18-54))


    • When radio is included within a plan, it boosts brand recall and brand preference.
      (Source: Radio Ad Lab – "The Benefits of Synergy," "Radio's ROI Advantage" and "Radio and the Internet: Powerful Complements for Advertisers" )
    • When 15% of a TV-only campaign is reallocated to radio, the campaign's reach and receptivity significantly increases.
      (Source: A Smarter Mix, 2012, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and MBI TouchPoints)
    • Radio drives loyalty: Radio increased shopper retention for a big box retailer by as much as 11%.
      (Source: Nielsen Catalina Solutions Copyright 2014)
  • Radio stations invented experiential marketing
    • Radio station remotes set were the original experiential marketing and set the standards for consumer experiences today.
    • Allows the opportunity for consumers to experience the product or provide "live" sampling opportunities, therefore increasing brand awareness and transactions.
  • Radio helps drive traffic and interest in your brand
    • Radio is the medium used closest to the point of purchase.
      (Source: Where Radio Fits - Radio's Strengths in the Media Landscape, 2012, Nielsen Audio and MBI TouchPoints)
    • A Radio/Internet-mix plan showed greater impact in website visitation and purchase likelihood.
      (Sources: Radio Ad Lab "Radio and the Internet: Powerful Complements for Advertisers" and RAB U.K, "Radio: The Online Multiplier")


    • Radio's digital platforms also improve campaign effectiveness. Ad response rates increase 3½ times when Internet Radio is used in combination with AM/FM Radio.
      (Source: TargetSpot Study: "Internet Radio Advertising Impact Study" with Parks Associates, 2011)
    • When radio is included within a plan, it boosts brand recall and brand preference.
      (Source: Radio Ad Lab – "The Benefits of Synergy," "Radio's ROI Advantage" and "Radio and the Internet: Powerful Complements for Advertisers")
    • 26% of respondents stated that radio tells listeners why to buy.
      (Source: NuVoodoo Media Services, 2013 national online sample of 622 radio listeners 18-54)
    • A media advertiser saw a 16% conversion rate for promos when using radio as a reminder medium, building increased frequency.
      (Source: Nielsen Catalina Solutions Copyright 2014)
    • Most Radio stations have a robust, loyal listener database, allowing for CRM initiatives, couponing and targeted messaging.

Printable Page

Definitions as per the American Marketing Association:

  • Continuous Media Pattern:
    A timing pattern used in a media plan whereby the advertising messages are scheduled continuously throughout the time period covered by the media plan.
  • Flighting:
    An advertising continuity or timing pattern in which advertising messages are scheduled to run during intervals of time that are separated by periods in which no advertising messages appear for the advertised item. Any period of time during which the messages are appearing is called a flight.
  • Pulsing:
    An advertising timing or continuity pattern in which there is noted variation of media spending in the media schedule. There is some spending during all periods of the schedule, but there are periods in which the spending is notably heavier than others. This approach stands in contrast to a continuous media pattern in which equal amounts of spending are allocated to all time periods of the schedule.

Printable Page

This list has been compiled solely to provide sources of monitoring services available for Radio in response to frequent requests for this information and in no way implies RAB endorsement of any specific company.

Company Site Accreditation

BVS – Broadcast Verification Services
212 991-6000

http://kantarmediana.com/intelligence/products

 

Critical Media
212 400-8674

www.CriticalMedia.com

 

Media Monitors
800 67-MEDIA

www.MediaMonitors.com


Printable Page

  • Sales Seasonality:
    Companies with seasonal products are more likely to choose flight scheduling to concentrate their advertising for the peak sales season. Some foods such as milk and toothpaste lack a seasonal pattern. Everyday products may be best served using the continuity approach. Use monthly sales to identify (brand) seasonal fluctuations, which can serve as a guideline for allocating more money to high-sales months and less to low-sales months.
  • Product Purchase Cycle:
    Fast-moving consumer goods such as bread, soft drinks and toilet paper probably require continuous weekly advertising in a competitive market to constantly reinforce brand awareness and influence frequently-made purchase decisions. Less frequently purchased products such as carpet cleaner or floor polisher may only need advertising a few times a year.

    Family vacations may require early planning so purchase decisions are made in advance. Travel industry advertisers will schedule their ads months before the summer. Destination ads have to be in sync with the decision making timing, versus actual consumption time.

    New product launches normally require initial heavy advertising to create brand awareness and interest. The launch period may last from a few months to a year. Note that personal influence in the form of word-of-mouth or brand visbility in life and media coverage will play a role in accelerating the adoption of a new brand. Personal influence and market force are "unplanned" messages, which may play an important role in new product launches.

Printable Page


  • Radio ads are much more personally relevant than ads in all other media.
    (Source: Radio Ad Lab "Personal Relevance I & II)
  • Radio has ads that are honest and believable.
    (Source: "Radio Tomorrow", 2012, Alan Burns & Assoc. and Triton Digital)
  • Radio has the human voice to convince.
      • 52% of people with a favorite personality stated that that personality influences their opinion.
        (Source: USC, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, PSI Study released June 2012, Woodley, P. and Movius, L. People With a Favorite Radio Personality in Los Angeles)
      • 51% of people with a favorite radio personality have considered or purchased a product/service advertised during their favorite radio personality's show.
        (Source: USC, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, PSI Study released June 2012, Woodley, P. and Movius, L. People With a Favorite Radio Personality in Los Angeles)
  • A Radio/Internet-mix plan showed greater impact in website visitation and purchase likelihood.
    (Source: Radio Ad Lab - "Radio and the Internet: Powerful Complements for Advertisers" and RAB U.K, "Radio: The Online Multiplier")
  • Radio's digital platforms also improve campaign effectiveness. Ad response rates increase 3½ times when Internet Radio is used in combination with AM/FM Radio.
    (Source: TargetSpot Study: "Internet Radio Advertising Impact Study" with Parks Associates, 2011)
  • When radio is included within a plan, it boosts brand recall and brand preference.
    (Source: Radio Ad Lab – "The Benefits of Synergy," "Radio's ROI Advantage" and "Radio and the Internet: Powerful Complements for Advertisers")
  • Radio campaigns deliver a 49% ROI advantage over TV (increase in sales).
    (Source: Radio Ad Lab "Radio's ROI Advantage")
  • When 15% of a TV-only campaign is reallocated to radio, the campaign's reach and receptivity significantly increases.
    (Source: A Smarter Mix, 2012, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and MBI TouchPoints)
  • Reallocation of existing ad budgets to give Radio 20% share of spending increases overall campaign ROI by eight times.
    (Source: Radio: The ROI Multiplier, RAB U.K., 2013)
  • According to a 2013 RAB F.C.T. Report focused on automotive, the closer a respondent gets to purchasing or leasing a vehicle, the more important a role radio plays…and when it decision time comes to visit a specific dealership, respondents looking to purchased/lease within 30 days chose radio as the #1 influence.


  • It's close to the sale because it is mobile.
  • Most Radio stations have a robust, loyal listener database, allowing for CRM initiatives, couponing and targeted messaging.
  • Based on an online sample of 622 radio listeners 18-54, respondents stated that radio:
    • Provides them with information on places to go and things to do (63%)
    • Helps them learn about local businesses (41%)
    • Builds in-store traffic (40%)
    • Connects them with their local area (39%)
    • Prompts online action (38%)
    • Ads have messages that they retain (38%)
    • Tells them why to buy (26%)
    • Source: NuVoodoo Media Services, 2013 national online sample of 622 radio listeners 18-54
  • Radio can be used as a reminder medium to fight procrastination.
  • It's close to the sale because it is mobile.
  • Most Radio stations have a robust, loyal listener database, allowing for CRM initiatives, couponing and targeted messaging.

Printable Page

  • Radio with its diverse formats and niche programming helps to reach consumers - regardless of age or gender.
  • Radio advertising drives action, behavior and response. Based on a survey of over 2,000 P12+:
    • 43% visited advertised restaurant.
    • 41% visited the advertised store.
    • 39% talked about the ad or product with others.
    • 28% recommended advertised product to others.
    • 28% visited the advertiser's website.
    • 16% called the advertised product or store.
    • 40% say listening to the radio gets them in a better mood.
    • (Source: The Infinite Dial 2013 - Arbitron, Inc. and Edison Research)


  • Media Dynamics Inc. analyzed the impact of revising an all-TV media plan to a revised plan that converted 1/3 of TV dollars into Radio over a four-week time frame. The results were:
    • Among the Top quintile (heaviest TV viewers), target grps decreased slightly (135 grps) but there was a percentage increase in reach versus an all-TV plan.
    • Third quintile grps increased by 41% (+365) and a positive 8% change in reach.
    • Lightest TV viewers (fifth quintile) target grps increased by 625 - nearly three-fold over the TV-only plan of 200. Additionally, there was a positive impact to percent reach - up 52% in the media mixed plan compared to the TV-only plan. (For specific information go to: www.MediaDynamicsInc.com)
  • According to MBI USA TouchpointsTM 2012.2, when a portion of TV budget is allocated to radio, there was an increase to the reach, frequency and ad receptivity of the campaign. (Source: MBI USA TouchpointsTM 2012.2 (across seven different brand plans in diverse categories)
  • When 15% of a TV-only campaign is reallocated to radio, the campaign's reach and receptivity significantly increases. (Source: A Smarter Mix, 2012, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and MBI TouchPoints)
  • Consumer packaged goods advertisers achieved over $6 of incremental sales for every $1 spent on radio. (Source: Nielsen Catalina Solutions Copyright 2014)
  • Based on an online sample of 622 radio listeners 18-54, respondents stated that radio&sup:
    • Provides them with information on places to go and things to do (63%)
    • Helps them learn about local businesses (41%)
    • Builds in-store traffic (40%)
    • Connects them with their local area (39%)
    • Prompts online action (38%)
    • Ads have messages that they retain (38%)
    • Tells them why to buy (26%)
    • (Source: NuVoodoo Media Services proprietary study for RAB, 2013)
  • According to the Keller Fay Group, Heavy Radio listeners (2+ hrs. daily) generate 329 WOM impressions annually:
    • More than Heavy TV Viewers (5+ hrs. daily) at 218B
    • Heavy Print readers (1+ hrs. daily) at 209B
    • Heavy Internet users (5+ hrs. daily) at 208B


Printable Page

  • The average spot break is 3.5 minutes in length.
  • On average, radio holds more than 93% of its lead-in audience during commercial breaks.
    • One-Minute Break - 100%
    • Two-Minute Break - 99%
    • Three-Minute Break - 96%
    • Four Minute Break - 92%
    • Five Minute Break - 87%
    • Six+ Minute Break - 85%
  • Commercial breaks during morning drive deliver an average of 97% of the lead-in audience.
  • Music stations deliver 90% of the lead-in audience among 35 to 64 year olds.
  • Audience levels remain high on spoken word stations and deliver 97% of the lead-in audience among 18 to 34 year olds.
  • Audience levels are high during commercial breaks among Black and Hispanic listeners and on ethnic-targeted music stations.
    • Radio delivers 94% of its lead-in audience among Black listeners 6+.
    • Radio delivers 92% of its lead-in audience among Hispanic listeners 6+.
  • Commercial break audience delivery is consistent throughout the year.
  • Implications for Advertisers:
    • Advertisers should recognize that radio is a commercial-friendly medium.
    • Advertisers should not be overly concerned about their position in radio commercial breaks.
Source: What Happens When the Spots Come On, 2011 Edition - Nielsen Audio, Media Monitors, and Coleman Insights

Printable Page

On average, Nielsen Audio's's PPM shows that listeners are exposed to 6 Radio stations per week.

PPM (actual electronic measurement) confirms that consumers listen to more Radio stations than the estimated 3 per week shown by Diary measurement (listener recall).

(Analysis of Nielsen Audio's PPM vs. Diary, 2009)
Cume Persons is the number of different persons who listened to a station for a minimum of 5 minutes within a reported daypart. (Cume estimates may also be referred to as Cumulative or Unduplicated estimates.)

Average Quarter-Hour (AQH) Persons is the number of persons listening to a particular station for at least 5 minutes during a 15-minute period. AQH listening by a single person is counted for each 15-minute period that listener is tuned in - hence there is duplication in reported AQH estimates.

(Definitions from Nielsen Audio's "A Guide to Understanding and Using Radio Audience Estimates")


Printable Page


  • Radio has the human voice to convince.
    • A medium for all seasons and tuned into winter, spring, summer and fall
    • The top choice for audio and entertainment - at home, in car and on the go
  • Radio's strength is brand building
    • Radio ads are much more personally relevant than ads in all other media.
      (Source: Radio Ad Lab "Personal Relevance I & II)
    • People who listen to broadcast radio feel more alert than when consuming other media.
      (Source: Where Radio Fits - Radio's Strengths in the Media Landscape, 2012, Nielsen Audio and MBI TouchPoints)
    • Radio has the human voice to convince.
      • 52% of people with a favorite personality stated that that personality influences their opinion.
        (Source: USC, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, PSI Study released June 2012, Woodley, P. and Movius, L. People With a Favorite Radio Personality in Los Angeles)
    • Radio ads prompt consumer response
      • 41% of P12+ visited an advertised store after hearing a broadcast radio ad
      • 28% of P12+ visited an advertiser's website
        (Source: The Infinite Dial 2013 - Arbitron, Inc. / Edison Research)
  • Radio has the human voice to convince
    • Radio ads are much more personally relevant than ads in all other media.
      (Source: Radio Ad Lab "Personal Relevance I & II)
    • Radio has ads that are honest and believable.
      (Source: "Radio Tomorrow", 2012, Alan Burns & Assoc. and Triton Digital)
    • People turn on the radio because they know their favorite personality is on the air.
      (Source: USC, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, PSI Study released June 2012, Woodley, P. and Movius, L. People With a Favorite Radio Personality in Los Angeles)
    • Radio listeners have called into a station, met a DJ in their community, or interacted in some other manner.
      (Source: Woodley, P. Parasocial Interaction between On-Air Radio Personalities and Listeners. USA, Annenberg Scholl for Communication & Journalism, released April 2014)
    • 55% of respondents stated that hearing one of their favorite radio station personalities provide testimonials for health care or medical products or services made them trust that product or service.
      (Source: Radio Advertising Bureau F.C.T. Report on healthcare, 2014)
  • Radio increases recall and brand preference
    • When radio is included within a plan, it boosts brand recall and brand preference.
      (Source: Radio Ad Lab - "The Benefits of Synergy," "Radio's ROI Advantage" and "Radio and the Internet: Powerful Complements for Advertisers" )
    • When 15% of a TV-only campaign is reallocated to radio, the campaign's reach and receptivity significantly increases.
      (Source: A Smarter Mix, 2012, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and MBI TouchPoints
    • Radio drives loyalty: Radio increased shopper retention for a big box retailer by as much as 11%.
      (Source: Nielsen Catalina Solutions Copyright 2014)
  • Radio helps drive traffic and interest in your brand
    • Radio is the medium used closest to the point of purchase.
      (Source: Where Radio Fits - Radio's Strengths in the Media Landscape, 2012, Nielsen Audio and MBI TouchPoints)
    • A Radio/Internet-mix plan showed greater impact in website visitation and purchase likelihood.
      (Sources: Radio Ad Lab "Radio and the Internet: Powerful Complements for Advertisers" and RAB U.K, "Radio: The Online Multiplier")
    • Radio's digital platforms also improve campaign effectiveness. Ad response rates increase 3½ times when Internet Radio is used in combination with AM/FM Radio.
      (Source: TargetSpot Study: "Internet Radio Advertising Impact Study" with Parks Associates, 2011)
    • When radio is included within a plan, it boosts brand recall and brand preference.
      (Source: Radio Ad Lab - "The Benefits of Synergy," "Radio's ROI Advantage" and "Radio and the Internet: Powerful Complements for Advertisers")
    • Radio campaigns deliver a 49% ROI advantage over TV (increase in sales).
      (Source: Radio Ad Lab "Radio's ROI Advantage")
    • A media advertiser saw a 16% conversion rate for promos when using radio as a reminder medium, building increased frequency.
      (Source: Nielsen Catalina Solutions Copyright 2014)
    • Radio personalities are influentials.
      • 51% of people with a favorite radio personality have considered or purchased a product/service advertised during their favorite radio personality's show. (Source: USC, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, PSI Study released June 2012, Woodley, P. and Movius, L. People With a Favorite Radio Personality in Los Angeles)
  • Radio Boosts ROI
    • Radio campaigns deliver a 49% ROI advantage over TV (increase in sales).
      (Source: Radio Ad Lab "Radio's ROI Advantage")
    • When 15% of a TV-only campaign is reallocated to radio, the campaign's reach and receptivity significantly increases.
      (Source: A Smarter Mix, 2012, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and MBI TouchPoints)
    • Reallocation of existing ad budgets to give Radio 20% share of spending increases overall campaign ROI by eight times.
      (Source: Radio: The ROI Multiplier, RAB U.K., 2013)
  • Study Summaries on Radio Effectiveness:
    • Nielsen, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, 2014
      • Based on a study of 10 brands that advertised on Clear Channel
      • Combined data from Nielsen's newly acquired radio-audience measurement business with shopper-card data from Catalina
      • Brands averaged a sales lift of more than $6 for every $1 spent on radio ads - an ROI double that of even the best results from many recent studies of digital or TV media
      • One retail brand delivered an almost unheard of $23.21 in sales lift for every $1 invested
    • Marketing Evolution and Clear Channel Media, 2014
      • Based on a study to measure the ROI on a new menu marketing campaign for Romano's Macaroni Grill across national cable TV networks and four radio markets _ Tampa, Cleveland, Denver and Dallas
      • Results showed that combining TV and radio marketing would yield higher Top of Mind Awareness scores with no additional investment
      • In the case of Macaroni Grill, more impact was achieved with a 77 percent TV and 23 percent radio campaign-spend mix
      • There was an increase in Top of Mind Awareness (+8 points) in the radio test markets
    • Radio: The ROI Multiplier, RAB U.K., 2013
      • Based on ROI data supplied by nine econometric agencies representing all major media agency groups and covering over 2,000 individual media campaigns across 517 separate ad campaigns
      • Covered 10 major sectors using multi-media combinations
      • On average radio advertisers got their money back 7.7X over.
      • In terms of media planning, it is coverage rather than frequency which boosts radio ROI.
      • Brands which reallocate more of their ad budgets to radio see significantly higher returns in terms of overall campaign ROI
    • A Smarter Mix, Clear Channel iHeartRadio Insights, 2012
      • Based on work with seven actual brand media plans in diverse categories: 2 Auto OEMs, 2 Financial Services, 2 Quick Serve Restaurants and 1 Home Improvement
      • Reallocated 5%, 10% and 15% of the TV budget to radio and assess the impact of the new media mix on campaign effectiveness
      • In each instance, radio increased reach significantly without any increase to spend.

Contact Us

Need more help? Ask RAB!

Need more help? Ask RAB!