A Guide to Competitive Media

RAB's new Competitive Media section gives you complete access to the latest information profiling 10 competitive media. Each profile contains a complete whitepaper as well as the advantages, disadvantages and plus Radio for each medium.

This section also gives you the option to build custom media profiles reflecting specific talking points in a colorful, street-ready one sheet.

Alternative Newsweeklies

  • There are 130 of these publications, with a combined weekly circulation of approximately 6.5 million, and an estimated print readership of around 17.0 million adults. (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, 2011)

    The combined circulation of the 25 largest alternative newsweeklies declined only 0.6% in 2010, after a 9.9% drop the year before. (The State of the News Media, 2011)

    Readership of these newsweeklies is almost evenly split between men and women -- 51% male and 49% female. (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, 2011)

    Thirty-six percent of their adult readers are between the ages of 18-34, with 68% falling in the 18-49 age range. Fifty-five percent are ages 25-49. (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, 2011)

    The median household income for the 10 alternative newsweeklies with the highest circulations in 2010 was $63,650. (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, 2011)

    Sixty-nine percent of alternative newsweekly readers are either college graduates or have attended college. (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, 2011)

    Among activities frequently enjoyed by alternative newsweekly readers are attending rock/pop concerts, going to bars/nightclubs and traveling to foreign locales. (Alternative Weekly Network, 2011)

    Alternative newsweekly readers are more likely than the average consumer to be employed in professional/technical or managerial positions. (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, 2011)

  • Distribution: Weeklies usually are distributed free throughout a city.

    Pass-Along Readership: Because most are free, readers often leave them behind when they're done – to be picked up and read by someone else.

    Hip Image: Many newsweeklies are targeted to hip, youngish readers who rarely look at daily newspapers. In particular, the local newsweekly is the source of choice for entertainment news among young demographics.

    "Budget" Print Ads: An ad in a newsweekly offers many of the same characteristics as a newspaper ad, at rates that are usually considerably lower than those of the local newspaper.

    Accepting Ad Policies: Ads for categories that may have difficulty finding a home in other media, such as liquor, tobacco, and adult entertainment advertising, are usually welcome here.

  • Advertising Environment: The flip side of newsweeklies' less-strict ad acceptance policy is that the environment created by certain types of ads may not be suitable for mainstream businesses or products.

    Limited Publication Schedule: The name "weekly" says it all. The majority of these publications are produced only once a week – and that may not be often enough to achieve sufficient message frequency. To meet the weekly’s schedule, ads usually must be locked in as much as a week or more in advance, limiting an advertiser’s ability to incorporate copy changes.

    Production Quality: Although some weeklies boast production values rivaling or even surpassing the local newspaper, many others are produced as cost-effectively as possible, resulting in a “cheap” look that may affect consumer perception of the quality of product, business, or service being promoted.

    Ad Clutter: Most weeklies rely completely on advertising for revenue, so the typical issue is crammed with ads, often clustered together in groups. This practice can make it difficult for a given ad to stand out.

  • Personal Connection: Radio and alternative newsweeklies share many characteristics. Both have ties to the local community, and both have loyal followings and a unique bond with their constituents, leading to highly synergistic possibilities. Radio has been proven by the Radio Ad Lab studies to connect with listeners better than newspapers. Radio can be used to drive readers to print ads, increasing recall and effectiveness. Clubs with live music, record labels, music stores….all of these core alternative-weekly advertisers can benefit from a cross-media campaign featuring the ultimate music-friendly advertising medium – Radio.

    Flexible: Make copy changes with less lead time with Radio.

    Quality Creative: Print ads can be creative, yet Radio combines creative and quality at an efficient cost.

Other Competitive Media Resources

In this section, you'll find links to information profiling media OTHER than radio. Below are links to Weekly Sales Meetings, Whitepapers, special reports and other articles that you can use to help your advertisers understand the important role of Radio in supporting ANY marketing effort.

Please make your selection from the lists below and don't forget, you can always call RAB's Member Response Helpline at 1-800-232-3131 for more information.