Do you remember the transistor radio or the boom box?  I vividly remember receiving a hot pink, AM/FM combo with CD player unit for my 10th birthday and I carried it around with me EVERYWHERE I went.  For the first time, I could listen to the stations that I wanted to listen to, the music that made me happy and share with my friends – wherever I went, the party went!  Then came the AM/FM Walkman and headphones on the street became the norm.  Regardless of its form – the function remains broadcast radio.  In fact, broadcast radio is actually more mobile than what is today referred to as “mobile” with 68% of broadcast radio listening occurring out of home. 

Today, the form also includes the smartphone.  The smartphone comes with choice of content and interactive applications and it connects people while also keeping them alone together.  Smartphones have become on-the-go entertainment centers and a predominant source for information, and has always has been the case, radio is a mobile medium, fulfilling an important role on the platform that is leveraged by savvy marketers.

According to GfK MRI data, 12.7 million 18-24 year olds have listened to the radio on their smartphones.  In fact, this audience is 67% more likely than the U.S. population to have listened to the radio on their smartphone. 

iHeartRadio’s cumulative app downloads have grown to more than 1.8B since its launch in 2012 with over 63 million unique monthly app/web viewers and 131MM social media fans and followers who are interacting with iHeartRadio stations, personalities and content on a daily basis..

Listeners who tune-in to radio by activating their FM chip with the NextRadio app spend more time listening through their earbuds than they do any other way.  In fact, DialReport, the analytics platform for NextRadio, has revealed that the average time spent listening per session is 34 minutes, which is greater than the average time spent per session on other devices. 

Mobile and tablet devices account for 66% of Cox Radio Group active streaming sessions to date in 2018, representing double-digit increases year over year in streaming sessions and total listening hours,  They have further confirmed that the average time spent listening to their station streams through mobile and tablet devices has increased by 3 minutes. 

DialReport has also been able to unearth that when consumers listen through their smartphone they are listening to an average of 13 different radio stations in a week and when the NextRadio app listeners choose to stream, between 70%-80% of the time they are still streaming a station in their local market which reinforces that consumers are still craving the live and local radio experience.

What does this mean for advertisers? 

  • Not only is broadcast radio the #1 reach medium, but it is also the only medium that can offer mobile at scale through its mobile and web based streaming platforms, social media engagement and the ability to interact from the smartphone with content and advertising. 
  • Radio is the consumer’s companion throughout their day, every day.  They wake up to their favorite station, drive with their favorite morning shows, listen to their favorite format, artists and news at the office, on the way to the lunch, the gym, the store and back home again. 
  • Advertisers now have the ability to get visibility into exactly who is hearing their spots, how often they are hearing it and how they are responding.  DialReport data shows radio advertising has resulted in 10% to 60% lift in retail store traffic, with the average lift 30%+.

Radio is with the consumer throughout their day, it is aligned with key purchase moments and now offers data that help define and deliver specific audiences and can attribute results back to the medium.