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.


  • Seventy-nine percent of all American adults went online in 2010, a number that has remained relatively steady since early 2006. (Pew Research Center, 2011)

    As of late-2010, 66% of U.S. adults had home broadband Internet connections. (Pew Research Center, 2011)

    According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, total e-commerce retail sales amounted to $165.4 billion in 2010, 14.8% higher than 2009. (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2011)

    Broken down by gender, 51.8% of Internet users are female, while 48.2% are male. (eMarketer, 2011)

    The Interactive Advertising Bureau, in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers, arrived at a 2010 Internet ad revenue figure of $26.0 billion, a 14.9% gain over the prior year. (Interactive Advertising Bureau, 2011)

    Share of 2010 ad revenue, by category: Search, 46%; Display-related, 38% (Banner Ads, 24%; Rich Media, 6%; Digital Video, 5%; Sponsorship, 3%); Classifieds, 10%; Lead Generation, 5%; E-Mail, 1%. (Interactive Advertising Bureau, 2011)

    A survey by Forrester Research found that Baby Boomers spent an average of about $650 online over a three-month period in 2010, compared to $581 by GenX Internet users and $429 by Millennials. (eMarketer, 2011)

    Biggest Internet advertising spenders in 2010, by category: Retail, 21%; Telecom, 13%; Financial Services, 12%; Automotive, 11%; Computing Products, 8%; Consumer Packaged Goods, 7%; Leisure Travel, 7%; Pharma/Healthcare, 5%; Media, 4%; Entertainment, 4%. (Interactive Advertising Bureau, 2011)

    The top online display advertisers in 2010, based on number of impressions: 1. AT&T; 2. Verizon; 3. Scottrade, Inc.; 4. Experian Interactive; 5. eBay; 6. IAC-InterActiveCorp; 7. Progressive; 8. Sprint Nextel; 9. Netflix; 10. Apollo Group. (comScore, 2011)

    Share of 2010 Internet ad revenue, by pricing model: Performance basis, 62%; CPM/Impression basis, 33%; Hybrid basis, 5%. (Interactive Advertising Bureau, 2011)

    As of March 2011, share of Internet search engine activity in the U.S.: Google Sites, 65.7%; Yahoo! Sites, 15.7%; Microsoft Sites, 13.9%; Ask Network, 3.1%; AOL, Inc., 1.6%. (comScore, 2011)

    An early-2011 study by Yahoo! Mail and Ipsos Consumer Pulse found that 56% of adult Internet users subscribe to at least two daily/weekly shopping emails or newsletters. BIA Kelsey predicted that U.S. daily deal site revenue would reach $1.25 billion in 2011. (eMarketer, 2011)

    The five fastest-growing retail e-commerce categories in 2010, with percentage change from 2009: 1. Consumer electronics, +19%; 2. Computer hardware, +17%; 3. Books & magazines, +16%; 4. Flowers, greetings & gifts, +13%; 5. Jewelry & watches, +11%. (comScore, 2011)

    65% of Internet users have paid to download or access some kind of online content. Music, software, and apps are the most popular content that Internet users have paid to access or download, although the range of paid online content is quite varied and widespread. (Pew Research Center, 2011)

  • Direct Response: With the Internet, you can reach highly educated and affluent consumers who are able to purchase your products or services with a click of the mouse.

    Interactivity: The Internet allows your customers to communicate directly with you; they can tell you what they do and don't like, what they want, and what they will buy. They spend as much time as they choose with any amount of information you provide.

    Tracking: Internet technology allows you to measure exactly how many people saw your message…and how they responded.

    Immediacy: Thanks to online commerce, your message can reach consumers just before they buy online…and offer detailed information to shape the buying decision.

    Enhanced Capabilities: As more and more households upgrade to faster broadband Internet connections, advertisers will be able to incorporate rich media formats, which include streaming video, into their ads.

    Flexibility: Online retailers offer consumers the opportunity to shop any time, day or night.

  • Little Engagement: As of early-2011, the average click-through rate for Internet ads was only .09%. A Nielsen survey asked adult consumers why they don't like to click on ads: Takes them away from their purpose on the website, 61%; don't see the ads as relevant, 58%; fear of spam, 57%; fear of computer viruses, 55%; don't trust the ads, 54%; don't like pop-up screens, 46%; don't see the ads as engaging, 43%. (Online Media Daily, 2011)

    Compared to Radio: According to a 2011 Adweek-Harris Interactive study, 63% of American consumers say they ignore or disregard all Internet ads. In contrast, only 7% made the same claim for Radio ads. (Media Matters, 2011)

    Consumer Concerns: Consumer Concers Legitimate ads are hard to distinguish from those that are malicious. Individuals using the Internet for spreading viruses or electronic fraud have created worries among Internet users. Phishing, where apparent legitimate businesses ask for credit card and security information, gives rise to identity theft. Also, computer hackers have exposed entire databases of retailers' customer files.

    Infrastructure Problems: As an increasing number of consumers access the Internet looking to shop and buy, sites that don’t prepare for the growth in traffic (particularly around the Christmas holidays) will be plagued by painfully slow loading times or outright crashes. Moreover, e-tailers are very dependent on timely shipping, a possible weak link that could break down just when it’s needed most. Loss of online visitors means your advertising will be less effective.

    Rising Costs: Much of the advertising on the Internet is being sold on a bid basis. The higher the advertiser bids, the better placement of the ad. Premium positions are often higher on a Cost-Per-Thousand basis than Radio.

    New Technology: The Internet, with its rapid advancements in hardware and software, creates confusion among consumers who turn away from many of the newest attention-getting forms of advertising.

    Perception: Advertising is becoming more accepted on the Internet. However, the flip side of increased acceptance is decreased awareness. Many Internet users simply tune out ads or even block them with software designed for the purpose.

    Time: Despite the growing broadband penetration rate, there will probably always be a core base of dial-up Web subscribers. Hardware bottlenecks make navigating the Net a slow, tedious process. Many users, turned off by the time it takes to view graphic-heavy pages, move on quickly when they don’t think the site is worth the wait.

    Too Many Options: With the number of websites growing each day, consumers can only access a fraction of those that are available.

  • Brand Recall: Radio added to Internet advertising increases unaided recall of brand names by 4.5 times than Internet ads alone.(Radio Ad Lab, Radio and the Internet)

    Drive Search: 24% of adults have initiated an online search based on something they heard on the radio.(BIGresearch Simultaneous Media Usage Study, 2010)

    Efficient: Cost-Per-Thousand impressions is still a bargain on Radio.

    Easy to Use: Radio is fast and simple. Turn on the receiver and begin enjoying a favorite station immediately. The Internet's complex, confusing, and often slow processes turn the user’s experience into a negative one. Reach consumers within a positive environment.

    Marketing Partners: Radio and the Internet make perfect marketing partners. Radio has proven its ability to drive consumers to advertised Web sites, and many Radio stations have their own Web sites offering advertisers unique multi-media marketing opportunities.

    Target Specific Customers: With Radio, you can target specific customers by demographic group, lifestyle trends, and specific product affinity. And since the average Radio listener spends almost three hours each weekday and five hours per weekend with their favorite stations, it’s easy to generate enough message frequency to get them to check out your online advertisement. As Radio draws consumers to your online message, it can encourage them to print special coupons directly off the Web and redeem them at your place of business. (Radio Marketing Guide, 2011)

    Perception: Radio is reducing clutter at a time when the Internet is becoming more cluttered. Draw attention to the advertising message by supporting Internet with Radio.

    Trusted: From the beginning, consumers have expressed caution in using and believing the Internet. Radio is consumers' local, trusted source for information. Add credibility to your advertising campaign with Radio.

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.