Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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Time with Radio is Time Well Spent
As part of a marketing campaign, SiriusXM sent an email to consumers asking, “Why waste your time with AM/FM Radio?” Negative advertising, selling products or services by putting the competition down, is a marketing strategy that demonstrates a lack of strength in the product or service as a standalone. In the case of SiriusXM, when you look at their most recent earnings report, it’s no wonder their strategy was to go after the undisputed leader in the audio space, AM/FM broadcast radio. The SiriusXM email, naturally, was met with an emotional reaction by radio professionals, but the email contained no rationale for their leading question.
Broadcast radio leads with facts:

  • Radio is free. Always has been, always will be.
  • Radio reaches EVERYONE and not just those that subscribe.
    • Radio reaches 218M people 18+ weekly as compared to Sirius XM’s 34M subscribers. (Sources: Nielsen, RADAR 153, June 2022; SXM Q1 2022 Results)
    • Radio reaches 93% of adults every month compared to satellite radio at 13%. (Source: Nielsen Audio Today 2022, June 2022)
  • Most people listen to AM/FM radio and not SiriusXM - 76% of people listen to AM/FM radio while 11% only listen to SiriusXM (Source: Edison Research Share of Ear Q2 2021-Q1 2022)
  • AM/FM radio is the audio source used most often in the car: 43% of adults use it vs. 14% using SiriusXM with an even greater gap among Hispanic and Black audiences. (Source: The Infinite Dial 2022, Edison Research/Wondery/ART19)
  • 51% of radio listeners state that their connection with radio is a main reason why they listen and 62% of radio listeners state that radio’s on-air personalities are a main reason why they listen. (Source: Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2022)
  • With over 15,000 local radio stations providing live and on-demand content 24/7 across a variety of formats, languages and platforms, radio delivers what the consumers want, whenever they want it. (Source: FCC, December 2021)
  • Radio is trusted more than any other media.
  • Radio doesn't just reach the community; it is woven into the fabric of community. Radio stations bring consumers together and motivates them to act.
  • Radio is essential to consumers and communities. Time after time, when disaster strikes, radio stations are "on the ground" and often the first and only source to provide timely information and provide the support to the communities it serves.
  • In exchange for obtaining a valuable license to operate using public airwaves, broadcast radio stations are required by law to operate in the public interest. This is simply the foundation. Radio stations go well beyond what is required to unite audiences around common interests and social and community values.

Radio, across its platforms, is a go-to source for its great storytelling, the emotional connections it provides, the talent that consumers consider to be their friends and the trusted information and entertainment, whenever and wherever the listener wants and needs it. From rock to religion, from country to hip-hop, in Spanish, English or another language, radio is there offering diversity of content to a diverse listening audience.
No other media option can do all this. No other media offers this to consumers for FREE. The reality is quite simple, time spent with AM/FM radio is time well spent.

In Spanish: El Tiempo con la Radio es tiempo bien invertido.

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

  • Everyweek, Radio reaches 86% of small business owners.1
  • Every week, Radio reaches 86% of adults 18+ who are self-employed.1
  • 41% of professional/managerial employed adults typically listen to the radio at home during the weekday.5

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. 2
    • Radio increased brand relevance by 64% for those exposed to radio ads versus those who were not.2
    • Radio increased brand consideration by 37% for those exposed to radio ads versus those who were not.2

Radio is a source for education as well as entertainment for Business Service occupations:

  • 45% attribute radio to putting them in a good mood.3
  • 44% stated radio is pure entertainment.3
  • 43% stated radio keeps them informed/up to date.3
  • 32% indicated that radio is a good escape.3
  • 30% said radio makes them think.3
  • 30% said radio is a good source for learning.3
  • 18% said radio is their main source of entertainment.3
  • 16% identified radio for giving them good ideas.3
  • 13% enjoy the ads on the radio.3

Radio is an aid for many self-employed business owners:

  • 44% stated that radio keeps them informed and up to date.4
  • 34% attribute radio for learning4
  • 17% believe radio gives them good ideas.4

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 storytelling 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.

Sources: 1) Scarborough USA+ 2022 Release 1 Total (Dec 2021-May 2023); 2) radioGAUGE from the RAB U.K [strongly agree scores]; 3) 2023 MRI-Simmons Spring Doublebase; Adults 18+; type of business: business service; Media Attitudes; 4) 2023 MRI-Simmons Spring Doublebase; Adults 18+ who are self-employed in their own business; Media Attitudes; 5) 2023 MRI-Simmons Spring Doublebase; Professional/Managerial Self-Employed; Typical Weekday Home

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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

www.MediaDynamicsInc.com

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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 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.

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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)

  • Use frequently to generate top-of-mind awareness when selling a commodity in a crowded market arena
  • To add additional frequency to a schedule that is delivering barely sufficient frequency of your :60 or :30 message

Source: "Radio Ads: How Long Should They Be?" by Roy Williams, founder and president of The Wizard of Ads

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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"

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As the audio landscape broadens, connecting with listeners’ ears is more important than ever.  It is important for advertisers and marketers to not only reach listeners but also understand the impact and effectiveness of various ad lengths.

So, is there a difference in effectiveness between a short or long form ad? The answer? It depends.

  • Which length impacts brand, store traffic and online lift?
    • A seasoning brand used both short and long form ads. While both versions showed brand lift increases, the short form was more effective.
    • An online fare and accommodations travel site used three lengths: 10, 15 and 30-seconds. The 15 and 30-second ads were effective at driving online traffic. The 10-second ad was more effective at driving more people to use the site/convert.
  • Do different age groups respond equally to various ad lengths?
    • Ad length effectiveness does not vary by age group. The effectiveness is determined by the brand/campaign.
      • A snack company used both 10 and 30-second ads and each ad delivered a return on ad spend. The 10-second spot drove a higher ROI against 35-49 year olds and it also increased awareness among 18-34 year olds.
  • Are 30-second spots effective?
    • As noted in another FAQ, longer length ads should be used when the product is understood and has a single brief message.
    • An insurance company used both 10 and 30-second ads promoting its services. While the 10-second ad initiated requests for more information, it was the 30-second ad that drove greater customer acquisitions.

Source: Integrating Short-Form Audio Ads Into Your Strategy, Pandora, 2019

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Smart speakers are amplifying the audio experience as more Americans are adding them to their households annually.

  • Smart speaker awareness and ownership
    • 35% of P18+ (around 100M people) own a smart speaker in 2022, which has grown significantly from 32% in 2021 (around 82M people).7
    • 64% of AM/FM radio listeners 18+ currently own a smart speaker at home.6
    • In 2023, 43% of P12+ own one smart speaker, 20% own two smart speakers and 38% own three or more.1
      • The percentage of owners that have three or more smart speakers at least tripled from 11% in 2018.1
    • As of February 2023, 26% of AM/FM radio streaming is done via a smart speaker.8
    • 91% of smart speaker owners reported listening to streaming audio in the past month.12
    • 63% of smart speaker owners are listening to audio content more frequently since obtaining their smart speaker.12
    • 66% of smart speaker owners obtain news updates at least weekly from their smart speakers.12
    • 45% of smart speaker owners listen to more news now that they have a smart speaker.12
    • 36% of smart speaker owners obtain news updates exclusively through smart speakers.12
    • Smart speaker owners listen to audio for four hours and 46 minutes per day.13
  • Sixty-three percent of smart speaker owners have a household income of $75,000+.6
  • Top reasons for getting a smart speaker.7
    • Listen to music.
    • Ask questions without the need to type.
    • Seems like a fun new gadget.
  • Top 10 smart speaker ownership by brand in the U.S. as of June 2023:10
    • Amazon Echo: 65%
    • Google Home: 26%
    • Apple HomePod: 21%
    • Bose: 17%
    • Google Nest: 17%
    • Sony: 11%
    • JBL: 9%
    • Eufy Gene: 8%
    • Fabriq: 7%
    • Harmon Kardon: 6%
  • Increased time with smart speakers7
    • Share of time spent listening to audio through a smart speaker among the U.S. population 13+ has grown 400% - from one to five.
    • Share of time spent listening to podcasts through a smart speaker has grown 200% - from two to six.
  • Reasons for wanting a smartspeaker:7
    • 49% of people say that smart speakers can entertain their children.7
    • 63% of people say that they can discover new songs on it.7
    • 47% of people say that they can use it to listen to podcasts on it.7
    • 51% of people say that they want to replace an old radio.7
    • 53% of people say that they want to control smart home devices.7
    • 30% of people say that smart speakers can help an elderly person.7
    • 24% of people say that smart speakers can help with a disability.7
  • Based on smart speaker owners, the percentage who listen to audio on smart speaker most often: 7
    • A18-24 - 4%
    • A25-34 - 17%
    • A35-44 - 18%
    • A45-54 - 28%
    • A55-64 - 16%
    • A65+ - 21%
  • Smart speaker streaming and usage:
    • AM/FM radio is No. 1 in ad-supported audio time spent on smart speaker devices (36%), followed by podcasts (26%).3
    • 31% of adults 18+ who frequently use their smart speakers are listening to music from a radio station.4
    • Top category purchases made via a smart speaker between 2019-2021 were health and beauty, electronics, household appliances, home and garden, arts, crafts and party supplies.2
    • Smart speaker owners request about 10.8 different types of tasks on their smart speaker in a typical week.5
    • 37% of smart speaker owners have a smart speaker with a screen.5
    • 50% of smart speaker owners have heard an advertisement on their smart speaker.7
  • How consumers discover new skills/actions for their smart speakers
    • Trial and error: 38%5
    • Family/friends recommendations: 35%5
    • E-mails from smart speaker brand: 25%5
    • Searching smart speaker app: 23%5
    • Recommendations from smart speaker: 21%5
    • News/tech sites: 19%5
    • Company advertisements: 11%5
  • Top five smart speaker requests
    • Play music.5
    • Check the time.5
    • Receive reminders.5
    • Tell a joke or something else funny.5
    • Set a timer/alarm.5
  • Smart speaker owners who are radio listeners have done the following:
    • 79% listened to live radio.6
    • 68% obtained news updates.6
    • 67% made a phone call.6
    • 67% played a game.6
    • 66% purchased/ordered a product or service.6
    • 65% listen to a podcast.7
    • 63% obtained information like local information, movie times, recipes, etc.6
    • 62% listen to music via a streaming service.6
    • 61% have controlled smart home devices.6h
  • Smart speaker owners who are radio listeners believe that radio:
    • Puts them in a good mood - 48%6
    • Is pure entertainment - 45%6
    • Keeps them informed/up to date - 44%6
    • Is a good source of learning - 31%6
  • Among smart speaker owners:
    • 82% own an Amazon Alexa3
    • 30% own a Google Home3
    • 12% of homes own both an Amazon Alexa and a Google Home3
  • Share of ad-supported audio time spent on the smart speaker, among persons 18+:
    • AM/FM radio - 51%9
    • Podcasts - 32%
    • Ad-supported Pandora - 10%
    • Ad-supported Spotify - 4%
    • Ad-supported SiriusXM - 3%
  • Time spent listening to the news on smart speaker in a typical week:
    • Less than an hour - 22%7
    • One hour to less than 3 hours - 44%7
    • Three hours or more - 34%7
  • Smart speakers' frequency of use in the U.S. in 2023:11
    • Daily - 50%
    • Monthly - 26%
    • Never/Rarely - 24%

Sources: 1) The Infinite Dial 2023, Edison Research/Amazon Music/Wondery/ART19; 2) eMarketer; comScore; December 2021; 3) Edison Research, Share of Ear Q1-Q4 2022; 4) Jacobs Media Tech Survey 2023, Radio in the Post-Pandemic Era; 5) NPR, Edison Research, The Smart Audio Report, Spring 2020; 6) 2023 MRI-Simmons Spring Doublebase; 7) NPR, Edison Research, The Smart Audio Report, Spring 2022; 8) Triton Digital, Webcast Metrics, all times/dayparts; 9) Edison Research, "Share of Ear," Q3 2022 - Q2 2023. Persons 18+; 10) Statista Consumer Insights, June 2023; 11) Enterprise Apps Today, 2023; 12) Audio Megatrends Survey, December 2022; 13) Edison Research, "Share of Ear," Q1 2023

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A podcast is a series of on-demand audio files that focus on a certain topic or have an overall theme. They are free to listeners and can be downloaded online, via smartphones, computers, or tablets. Thousands of podcasts are produced weekly, and listeners can subscribe to their favorite podcasts to get notified when a new episode becomes available. As of Q1 2023, podcasts have a 17% share of ad-supported audio by adults 18+. 9

  • 237 million (83%) P12+ are familiar with audio podcasts, while 183 million (64%) have ever listened to a podcast.1
    • 85% of African Americans and 68% of Hispanics 12+ are familiar with podcasts.2
    • 42% of P12+ listened to podcasts in the last month - double from 21% in 2016.1
      • 31% listened in the last week.1
    • 45% of African Americans and 34% of Hispanics listened in the last month.2
      • 28% of African Americans and 25% of Hispanics listened in the last week.2
  • U.S. monthly podcast listeners 18+ by gender:8
    • Men: 52%
    • Women: 48%
  • Monthly podcast listeners by age in 2023:1
    • Ages 12-34: 55%
    • Ages 35-54: 51%
    • Ages 55+: 21%
  • Median age of podcast listeners: 34 years old.4
  • 89 million people listen to a podcast weekly.1
    • Podcast listeners averaged about nine podcast shows in the last week.1
    • 31% of the U.S. population listen to podcasts on a weekly basis.1
  • Among weekly podcast listeners: 3
    • 42% started listening 4+ years ago.
    • 25% started 2-3 years ago.
    • 33% started within the past year.
  • Percentage (%) of people who listen to podcasts daily:14
    • Ages 18-24 - 35%
    • Ages 25-34 - 42%
    • Ages 35-44 - 34%
    • Ages 45-54 - 19%
    • Ages 55 -64 - 13%
    • Ages 65+ - 10%
  • Of those adults 18+ who have listened to a podcast in the last 30 days:15
    • 65% are homeowners
    • 58% work full-time jobs
    • 50% are married
    • 48% have received a bachelor's or graduate degree
    • 37% have a child living at home 17 years old or younger
  • Podcast listeners have been influenced by a podcast:3
    • 60% have watched a movie, read a book, or listened to music because of a podcast.
    • 52% have followed the social media account of their favorite podcast or its host(s)
    • 36% have made or tried a lifestyle change (e.g., a new workout, new diet, or journaling).
  • 46% of U.S. weekly podcast listeners say they have purchased a product or service because of hearing a podcast advertisement.13
  • Podcast listeners spend 5 hours and 54 minutes listening to podcasts daily.4
    • 9% of adults 18+ have spent listening to podcasts daily.5
    • 16% of adults 18+ have spent listening to ad-supported podcasts daily.5
  • Locations and time where podcast listening occurs throughout the day:4
    • Where:
      • Home - 70%
      • Work - 13%
      • In the car - 12%
      • Other - 5%
    • When:
      • 10am - 3pm - 31%
      • 6am - 10am - 23%
      • 7pm - midnight - 20%
      • 3pm - 7pm - 17%
      • Midnight - 6am - 9%
  • Reasons for listening to podcasts:4
    • For entertainment - 60%
    • To learn - 55%
    • Something to listen while doing something else - 52%
  • Top 2023 10 Podcast Genres:13
    • News - 22%
    • True Crime - 18%
    • Comedy - 15%
    • Society & Culture - 10%
    • Other - 9%
    • Business - 4%
    • Health & Fitness - 3%
    • History - 2%
    • Arts - 2%
  • The top 10 podcast networks, in sales, 2023:19  
    • SiriusXM Podcast Network - 51.5M
    • NPR -32.7M
    • Wondery - 31.1M
    • Audacy Podcast Network - 25.1M
    • Audioboom - 17.0M
    • Cumulus Podcast Network - 15.1M
    • NBCUniversal News Group - 12.0M
    • Soundrise - 5.7M
    • Paramount - 5.6M
    • WarnerMedia - 5.3M
  • Top 10 podcasts in the U.S. for 2023:19
    • NPR News Now (NPR)
    • Crime Junkie (audiochuck)
    • Dateline NBC (NBCUniversal News Group)
    • Up First (NPR)
    • The Ben Shapiro Show (Cumulus Podcast Network)
    • Morbid (Wondery)
    • The Don Bongino Show (Cumulus Podcast Network)
    • Fresh Air (NPR)
    • Smartless (Wondery)
    • My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark (Wondery)
  • Duration of podcast episodes:16
    • Less than 10 minutes - 15%
    • 10 - 20 minutes - 15%
    • 20 - 40 minutes - 32%
    • 40 - 60 minutes - 21%
    • Over 60 minutes - 16%
  • Frequency of published episodes:16
    • 0-2 days - 7%
    • 3-7 days - 33%
    • 8-14 days - 40%
    • 15-29 days - 19%
    • Over 30 days - 2%
  • Platform used most by weekly podcast consumers:17
    • YouTube - 31%
    • Spotify - 20%
    • Apple Podcasts - 14%
  • Why weekly podcast consumers started watching podcasts on YouTube:17
    • I like the video part of the podcast - 24%
    • YouTube is my primary destination for information and entertainment– 16%
    • I like YouTube's recommendations for related content - 15%
    • I like the comments and/or community on YouTube - 13%
    • I manage my podcast subscriptions on YouTube - 11%
    • I like YouTube's autoplay feature - 10%
    • These podcasts are not available elsewhere - 9%
    • I don't watch/listen to podcasts elsewhere - 3%
  • Podcast preferences between podcast newcomers and pioneers:17
    • Podcast Newcomers (Those who started listening to podcasts within the past year):
      • Audio only w/o any video - 31%
      • Video you play in background/minimize - 29%
      • Video you actively watch while listening - 40%
    • Podcast Pioneers (Those who started listening to podcasts 4+ years ago):
      • Audio only w/o any video - 46%
      • Video you play in background/minimize - 27%
      • Video you actively watch while listening - 27%
  • Electronics and platforms used to listen to podcasts:18
    • Mobile Phone:
      • YouTube - 58%
      • Apple - 86%
      • Spotify - 80%
    • Computer/Laptop:
      • YouTube - 21%
      • Apple - 4%
      • Spotify - 9%
    • TV:
      • YouTube - 13%
      • Apple - .4%
      • Spotify - 2%
    • Tablet:
      • YouTube - 6%
      • Apple - 6%
      • Spotify - 4%
  • Podcast advertising grew to $1.8B in 2022.10
    • Forecast to exceed $2.2B in 2023 and reach to over $3.9B by 2025.10

Female Podcast Listeners

  • 56% of U.S. Women 18+ have listened to a podcast.6
    • 43% are between the ages of 18-34.6
    • 30% have a household income of $100k or more.6
    • 61% have a college degree.6
    • 21% "frequently" recommend podcasts to friends/family members.6
    • 71% started listening to podcasts within the last 3 years.6
    • 90% started listening to at least one podcast hosted or produced by a woman.6
  • Top 10 listened to topics by women:6
    • Comedy - 40%
    • True Crime - 37%
    • Love & Relationships - 32%
    • Entertainment, Celebrity, & Gossip - 31%
    • News/Information - 30%
    • Wellness/Self-improvement - 30%
    • Music - 27%
    • Food/Cooking - 25%
    • Society & Culture - 25%
    • Mystery/Thriller - 23%
  • Activities done by women while listening to a podcast:6
    • Doing housework or chores - 69%
    • Cooking or baking - 59%
    • Doing laundry - 57%
    • Getting ready for the day - 55%
    • Eating - 52%
    • Getting ready for bed - 48%
    • Running errands - 42%
    • Waiting for an appointment - 37%
    • Crafting - 32%
  • Reasons that female podcast listeners would recommend podcasts to others:6
    • 85% thought that the other person would like the topic.
    • 79% thought that the other person could relate to the topic.
    • 76% thought the podcast made them laugh.
    • 75% said that the podcast inspired them.
    • 69% think that the other person would like the host.
    • 61% said it reminded them of the other person.
    • 58% thought that the other person would like the celebrity/guest.
    • 56% wanted to teach someone something.
    • 47% said it helped them explain their feelings to someone else.
    • 47% wanted to have a deeper/better connection with someone else.
    • 34% said that the podcast made them cry.
  • How female podcast listeners listen:6
    • 74% listen to a podcast with any video.
    • 40% frequently listen with headphones.
    • 61% listen in a car or truck.
    • 67% listen at home most often.
    • 74% listen via smartphone or tablet most often.

Gen Z Podcast Listeners

  • 77% of U.S. people ages 13-24 (Gen Z) have listened to a podcast in 2023.7
    • 47% listen to podcasts monthly in 2023.7
    • 84% of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners listen to or watch podcasts with a video component.7
      • 71% consume podcasts with video that they actively watch while listening.
      • 49% say video gives better understanding of context/tone through facial expressions and gestures.
      • 45% feel more connected to the podcaster(s) through video podcasts.
    • 78% of Gen Z monthly listeners often binge podcats.7
    • Gender of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners:7
      • Men - 53%
      • Women - 46%
    • Ethnicity of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners:7
      • White - 63%
      • Hispanic/Latino - 20%
      • Black/African American - 15%
      • Asian - 4%
      • Other - 2%
    • 75% of Gen Z podcast listeners have listened to a podcast within the past week.7
      • 80% from ages 13-17
      • 73% from ages 18-24
    • 88% of those who started listening to podcasts as a child often binge listen.7
    • Top 10 topics that Gen Z monthly listeners listen to:7
      • Comedy - 48%
      • Entertainment, celebrity, & gossip - 40%
      • True crime - 38%
      • Music - 36%
      • Games/Hobbies - 35%
      • Pop culture - 35%
      • Society & culture - 30%
      • Wellness/Self-improvement - 30%
      • Sports - 28%
      • Mystery/Thriller - 26%
    • Social media and monthly Gen Z podcast listeners:7
      • 99% of the listeners have used one social media service.
      • 84% engage with podcasts through social media.
      • 24% chose to listen to their first podcast because it was hosted by someone they like.
    • Influence of podcast advertisements among Gen Z:7
      • 84% find products/services that are discussed by the host to be useful.
      • 82% have taken action as a result of hearing a podcast advertisement.
      • 80% find sponsorship messages to be useful.
      • 76% find pre-recorded advertisements to be useful.

Black Podcast Listeners

  • By age in 2022:8
    • Ages 18-34: 42%
    • Ages 35-54: 36%
    • Ages 55+: 22%
  • Black monthly podcast listeners 18+ by gender:8
    • Men: 45%
    • Women: 55%
  • What they listen to:8
    • 49% - comedy podcasts.
    • 47% - music podcasts.
    • 33% - sports podcasts.
    • 30% - true crime podcasts.
  • Where they listen:8
    • At home: 95%
    • In a car/truck: 64%
    • While walking around/on foot: 57%
    • While riding public transportation: 43%
    • At work: 43%
    • At a gym/while working out: 40%
  • 75% say they "frequently" or "occasionally" follow or seek out content that focuses on Black stories and perspectives on podcasts.8

Latino Podcast Listeners

  • 52% of U.S. Latinos 18+ have listened to a pocast.11
    • 38% have listened to a podcast in the past month.11
    • 31% report listening to podcasts in the past week.11
  • Latino weekly podcast listeners by age:11
    • Age 18 - 24 - 20%
    • Age 25 - 34 - 30%
    • Age 35 - 44 - 22%
    • Age 45 - 54 - 18%
    • Age 55+ - 10%
  • Top 10 Podcast topics:11
    • Comedy - 57%
    • Health and Fitness - 40%
    • Music - 39%
    • Education - 38%
    • Business/Economy - 36%
    • History - 34%
    • True Crime - 32%
    • TV & Movies - 31%
    • Sports - 31%
    • Politics - 27%
  • 41% of Latino weekly podcast listeners report listening to a podcast that was hosted by a Latino in the last week.11
  • 23% of U.S. Latinos have listened to a podcast that was mostly in English in the last week.11
  • 13% of U.S. Latinos have listened to a podcast that was mostly in Spanish in the last week.11
  • Ways Latino weekly podcast listeners have interacted with podcasts:11
    • 35% have signed up for a newsletter.11
    • 31% purchased branded merchandise.11
    • 22% attended a virtual event.11
    • 21% donated or given money.11
    • 18% attended an in-person event.11
  • Most preferred podcast platform by age:12
    • Radio:
      • 13% - Ages 18-24
      • 13% - Ages 25-34
      • 17% - Ages 35-44
      • 21% - Ages 45-54
      • 26% - Ages 55-64
      • 29% - Ages 65+
    • Spotify:
      • 59% - Ages 18-24
      • 53% - Ages 25-34
      • 42% - Ages 35-44
      • 37% - Ages 45-54
      • 28% - Ages 55-64
      • 17% - Ages 65+
    • Apple Podcasts:
      • 22% - Ages 18-24
      • 33% - Ages 25-34
      • 33% - Ages 35-44
      • 29% - Ages 45-54
      • 23% - Ages 55-64
      • 21% - Ages 65+
    • Google Podcasts:
      • 7% - Ages 18-24
      • 11% - Ages 25-34
      • 15% - Ages 35-44
      • 17% - Ages 45-54
      • 20% - Ages 55-64
      • 21% - Ages 65+
    • Audible:
      • 9% - Ages 18-24
      • 11% - Ages 25-34
      • 13% - Ages 35-44
      • 12% - Ages 45-54
      • 11% - Ages 55-64
      • 9% - Ages 65+
    • NPR:
      • 6% - Ages 18- 24
      • 7% - Ages 25-34
      • 11% - Ages 35-44
      • 12% - Ages 45-54
      • 13% - Ages 55-64
      • 16% - Ages 65+
    • Sirius:
      • 5% - Ages 18-24
      • 6% - Ages 25-34
      • 11% - Ages 35-44
      • 13% - Ages 45-54
      • 15% - Ages 55-64
      • 13% - Ages 65+
  • Hosts vs. Topic:12
    • 33% of listeners indicate their rationale is split between host and topics when listening to a podcast.
    • 62% of listeners say that they are solely focused on the podcast host.
  • Enjoyment of Podcast Ads:12
    • 48% of people ages 18-44 don't mind podcast ads.
    • 53% of people ages 45+ don't mind podcast ads.
    • 49% of females don't mind podcast ads.
    • 51% of males don't mind podcast ads.
    • 50% of those who attended college don't mind podcast ads.
    • 50% of those who did not attend college don't mind podcast ads.
  • Most likely to rely on for podcast recommendations:12
    • Friends/Family - 52%
    • Social Media - 47%
    • Streaming - 30%
    • Ads during other podcasts - 16%
    • Influencers - 16%
    • On the Radio - 16%
    • News Websites - 12%
  • Activities done while listening to podcasts:12
    • Doing household chores - 30%
    • Driving around - 30%
    • Commuting to/from work - 26%
    • Unwinding after a long day - 24%
    • Taking a walk - 24%
    • Working - 22%
    • Eating a meal/lunchbreak - 18%
    • Getting ready for the day - 17%
    • Working out - 17%

Sources: 1) The Infinite Dial 2023-Edison Research/Amazon Music/Wondery/ART19; 2) The Infinite Dial 2023-Edison Research/Amazon Music/Wondery/ART19: A Look at African Americans & Hispanics; 3) Pew Research, Survey of U.S. adults conducted Dec 5-11, 2022; 4) Edison Research, "Share of Ear," Q1-Q4 2022.; 5) Edison Research, "Share of Ear," Q1 2023; 6) Edison Research, Women's Podcast Report 2022, A18+; 7) Edison Research, Gen Z Podcast Listener Report 2023; 8) Black Podcast Listener Report 2.0, Edison Research; 9) Edison Research, "Share of Ear," Q2- 2022 - Q 1 2023; 10) PwC/IAB Full Year 2022 Podcast Ad Revenue Study; 11) Edison Research, Latino Podcast Listener Report 2023; 12) Disqo Report, Proving the power of podcast ads, May 2023; 13) Average Monthly Downloads of Networks measured by Triton Podcast Metrics from January - December 2023; 14) Edison Research, "Share of Ear," Q2 2017 - Q2 2023; 15) 2023 MRI-Simmons Spring Doublebase; 16) Podcast episode trends, Buzzsprout Platform Statistics, March 2023;  17) Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights' Podcast Download - Fall 2023 Report; 18) Edison Podcast Metrics Q2 2022 - Q1 2023; 19) Triton U.S. Podcast Ranker Average Weekly Downloads from January - December 2023

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NOTE: In 2023, the FTC updated endorsement ad guidelines*

  • Definition: an endorsement is an advertising message that consumers are likely to believe reflects the opinions or beliefs of someone other than the sponsoring advertiser.
  • Endorsements must contain disclosures in radio/podcast ads.

Brands seek celebrity or radio personality endorsers because they are well-known in their communities and listeners feel a certain bond with radio hosts.
Radio, with its human voice to convince, can be used to persuade and influence listeners.

  • 60% of A18+ listen to AM/FM radio because of the DJs/Hosts/Shows.1
    • 63% female1
    • 57% male1
  • A18+ who listen to AM/FM radio because of the DJs/Hosts/Shows by generation:
    • 65% Gen Z1
    • 65% Millennials1
    • 63% Gen X1
    • 56% Boomers1
    • 48% Greatest1

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

  • 1 in 2 radio listeners have a favorite radio personality whom they've been listening to for an average of 8 years.2
  • 84% of radio listeners would follow their favorite radio personalities to a new station.2
  • 87% of radio listeners know any personal detail about their favorite on-air radio personalities/DJs.2
  • 83% of radio listeners have visited a radio personality's website in the past month. 4
  • 75% of radio listeners know about the marital status of their favorite radio personality.2
  • 68% of listeners know if their favorite radio personalities have children or not.2
  • 53% of listeners know the hobbies & interests of their favorite radio personality.2
  • 21% of radio listeners listen to radio for their on-air personality.10

Listeners have an emotional connection with on-air personalities.

  • 81% consider DJ's a friend, family member or an acquaintance.2
  • 59% of listeners follow their favorite radio personality on social media.2
  • 83% value & trust their favorite personality's opinion.2
  • 77% of radio listeners would try a brand recommended by their favorite radio personality.2
  • 78% talk to friends about what they hear from their favorite Radio personalities.2
  • 64% of A18+ strongly/somewhat agree that if their personality went to another station, they'd probably follow them.3
  • 61% of A18+ strongly/somewhat agree that their favorite AM/FM personality makes them think.3
  • 14% of radio listeners listen to radio because they are looking for companionship.10

Listeners trust their favorite on-air personalities.

  • 53% of adults 18+ agree that they trust the information that they get from their favorite on-air personalities. 5

During times of crisis, on-air personalities are an important connection seen as a relied upon connection.

  • 53% of adults 18+ agree that their favorite on-air personalities make them feel more informed about the things they need to know. 5
  • 46% of listeners agreed that it helped them to know what stores were open and where to shop.5
  • 46% agreed that their favorite on-air personalities make them feel more connected to their community.5
  • 44% adults agree that their favorite on-air personalities make them less alone.5

Listeners form meaningful connections with AM/FM radio personalities.

  • 90% of radio listeners agree that their favorite DJs make them laugh.8
  • 73% agree that personalities understand what makes their city/town unique.8
  • 64% agree that personalities make them think.8
  • 64% would follow their favorite DJs to another station if they moved.8
  • 53% pay more attention when their favorite DJ reads an ad.8
  • 46% believe that their favorite personality or show are opinion leaders that they trust.8

AM/FM radio personalities drive listener action.

  • 51% have visited the DJs web page.8
  • 48% follow their favorite DJ, personality, or show on social media.8
  • 34% have called into the AM/FM station while the personality was on air.8

Where radio listeners like to listen to their favorite personalities/talk shows.

  • At home - 42%11
  • In the car - 42%11
  • At work - 44%11
  • Any other place - 54%11

Since listeners feel connected with radio personalities, their statements about brands and product recommendations are assumed to be based on personal preferences.

  • 83% of listeners value and trust their favorite personality's opinions.2
  • 77% of listeners would try a brand recommended on-air.2
  • 63% of listeners have talked to their friends about what they heard on the show. 8
  • 30% of listeners have searched for a product or service that the personality had recommended.8

As the original social media influences, DJ endorsements work well to build trust, drive business and website traffic for advertisers.

  • 79% of marketers consider radio station on-air personalities as celebrity influencers. 6
    • 85% say trust is the most important quality they look for in an influencer. 6
  • A regional utility company used radio and included radio personality endorsements. The endorsements outperformed campaign averages by 13%.7

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 additional case studies .

* FTC Endorsement Guides are available here and FTC Endorsement Guides FAQs can be found here.

Sources: 1) Jacobs Media Tech Survey 2023, Radio in the Post-Pandemic Era; 2) Katz Media Group, Inside the Power of Local Radio Personalities, 2019; 3) Vision Critical / MARU Nation Study, November 2017; 4) 2023 MRI-Simmons Spring Doublebase; 5) Custom Nielsen Study conducted March 2020 via an online survey, weighted sample of 1000 adults 18+; 6) RAB Audio Pulse Poll October 2019, June 2020; 7) Katz Radio Group, AnalyticOwl 2020; 8) MARU/Matchbox National Study, Adults 18+ November 2019-January 2020, 1571 respondents; 9) Federal Trade Commission, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising; 10) Provoke Insights, The Latest Trends on Alcohol & Restaurants, August 2023; 11) Edison Research, "Share of Ear", 2023

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The U.S. 12+ population base increased from 316.1 million in 2013 to 334.9 million in 2023 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As of December 2023, one of AM/FM radio's key factors is its ability to reach 231 million listeners.

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 159, December 2023, Monday - Sunday 24-Hour Weekly Cume Estimate)

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An important element of any campaign is to ensure that it is effective.
Frequency is a key component.

  • Ad exposure within a purchase cycle matters.1
    • 3x is ideal.
      • Three exposures at minimum within a purchase cycle over a 4-8-week period will deliver the greatest effectiveness.
    • There is data that supports that two exposures are sufficient while one exposure may be effective in only the rarest of cases.
    • Three or more exposures will continue to build effectiveness but at a slower pace (and will not diminish impact).
  • 3+ frequency influences online and in-store behavior.2
    • Based upon a Nielsen study, consumers exposed and recalled 3+ radio ads (vs. those who did not recall):
      • 21% increase in store visits
      • 75% increase in website visits
      • 159% increase in click-throughs
      • 41% increase in additional product information
      • 100% increase in product in-store purchase
      • 300% increase in retailer product web purchase
  • How to determine the right frequency level.3
    • Use 2+ frequency:
      • Maintain awareness and attitude for a known campaign with unique and newsworthy messaging.
      • Competitive advertising should be at a minimum.
      • Highly recognized brand with low brand loyalty for competitive products/services.
    • Use 4+ frequency:
      • To create/increase awareness and strengthen current brand/product attitudes.
      • Ideal for a new campaign and/or a simple message.
      • Competitive advertising should be moderate.
    • Use 6+ frequency:
      • To create attitudes and for complex messages used in a competitive market and/or a low interest category/product.

    Sources: (1) RAB analysis of Mike Naples “Effective Frequency” (2) Nielsen, 2016 - total 898 (3) FCB Research)

    Frequency Wearout - Download Slides

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Calculating Reach vs Frequency
When gearing up for a campaign, it’s essential to be able to communicate to an advertiser how many people will hear their advertisement and how often throughout the radio campaign. Here are the definitions and formulas you need to give provide this information.

  • Average Quarter-Hour Persons (AQH Persons)
    • Average number of people listening to a particular station for at least 5 minutes during a 15-minute period.2
  • Average Quarter-Hour Ratings (AQH Ratings)
    • Average Quarter-Hour Persons estimate expressed as a percentage of the population being measured.2

How to Calculate:

AQH Persons ÷ Population = AQH Rating %2

  • Gross Impressions (GIs)
    • Sum of Average Quarter-Hour Persons audience for all spots in an ad schedule; total number of times a commercial will be heard.1

How to Calculate:

AQH Persons x # of commercials in ad schedule = GIs%1

  • Gross Rating Points (GRPs)
    • Sum of all rating points achieved for a particular spot schedule.1

How to Calculate:

AQH Rating x # of commercials in ad schedule = GRPs1

  • Reach
    • The number of persons reached or exposed to a spot in any given ad schedule.3

How to Calculate:

GRP's (%) ÷ Frequency = Reach (%)3

  • Frequency
    • The average number of times a person or household is exposed to a radio spot.2

How to Calculate:

Gross Impressions ÷ Net Reach = Frequency2

For additional radio terminology, click here
For additional radio formulas, click here

Sources: 1) AAAA, RAB, Universal Spot Radio Buying and Selling Terms; 2) Nielsen Terminology and Definitions for Nielsen Radio Diary Service; 3) Fortune-Media Planning & Placement, Media 101

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  • Audio content leader
    • #1 ad-supported audio source across all ages.3
      • 13-24: 33%
      • 25-54: 55%
      • 55+: 78%
    • Greatest share of ear versus streaming audio in the car as well as outside the car3
      • 88% of time in the car is spent with AM/FM radio
      • 64% of time outside the car is spent with AM/FM radio
  • Streaming
    • An estimated 214MM (75%) persons 12+ listened to online audio in the last month.1
      • 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 - allows listeners the ability to control fame or flame.
    • Citizen journalism.
  • HD Radio
    • Improved audio and expanded content.
    • Interactive/data/visual/time shifting.
    • On-demand features.
    • Real-time traffic on navigation systems.
    • There are about 2,600 HD radio stations broadcasting in the U.S.2
    • As of June 2022, there are more than 2,200 multicast channels that are offered using digital technology.2
    • 193 vehicle models offer HD Radio technology as standard.2
      • 59% of all new cars sold in 2022 came with factory-installed HD radio receivers.2

Sources: 1) The Infinite Dial 2023 - Edison Research/Amazon Music/Wondery/ART19; 2) HD Radio - Xperi/NAB Petition for Rulemaking, June 2022; 3) Edison Research - Share of Ear Q1-Q4 2022

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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 2023:1

  • 73% of A18+ that have driven/ridden in a car past month have tune into AM/FM radio.
  • 26% of A18+ have driven/ridden in a car that has in-dash information and entertainment system.
  • 16% of A18+ have Apple CarPlay in their vehicles while 11% have Android Auto.
  • 53% of people 12+ listen to online audio in their car through a cell phone.

According to Jacobs Media Tech Survey 2023:

  • Broadcast radio still leads with percent of time spent in car during the average weekday:5
    • AM/FM radio - 54%
    • SiriusXM - 19%
  • According to a Voicebot study, about 21% of adults use in-car voice assistance to start playing a radio station.4

Radio's Share of Ear In-Car.

  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of all radio use during morning and afternoon drive happens in the car. 7
  • 58% of radio car listeners ages 13-24 listen to radio only in-car. 2
  • Americans ages 13-24 spend 51 minutes per day listening to audio in-car. 2
  • 50% of AM/FM radio's proportion of listening occurs in the car among adults 25-54.10
  • 85% of share of ad-supported audio time spent in the car, among persons 18+, came from AM/FM Radio.11

Reasons for listening to AM/FM Radio in the Car (Age 13-24):6

  • 85% because it is free.
  • 69% it's easier to listen to in the car than any other type of audio.
  • 68% it's part of their daily routine.
  • 50% they want to hear specific programs and personalities.
  • 49% they want to hear local news and local information.

Between AM/FM Radio and Streaming Audio (Ages 13-24):6

  • Quicker to turn on and off in the car:
    • 70% AM/FM radio.
    • 30% streaming audio.
  • Easier to use in the car:
    • 61% AM/FM radio.
    • 39% streaming audio.
  • More convenient to listen to in the car:
    • 54% AM/FM radio.
    • 46% streaming audio.

When outside of home, most of radio listening happens in the car:8

  • 68% of radio listening happens in the car during the week.
  • 65% of adults listen to the radio in the car during the weekday.
  • 79% radio listening happens in the car during the weekend.

Share of Time Spent In-Car Listening

Among listeners ages 13+ who don't have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto:9

  • Listening to AM/FM Radio - 67%
  • Audio streaming - 9%
  • Listening to SiriusXM - 12%
  • Listening to podcasts - 4%
  • Other - 8%

Among listeners ages 13+ who do have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto:9

  • Listening to AM/FM Radio - 46%
  • Audio time streaming - 18%
  • Listening to SiriusXM - 19%
  • Listening to podcasts - 7%
  • Other - 10%

In car share of ad-supported audio spent by age and demographic:9

  • Persons 18-34 - 79%
  • Persons 35-64 - 87%
  • Women 18-34 - 81%
  • Women 35-64 - 89%
  • Men 18-34 - 77%
  • Men 35-64 - 85%

Sources: 1) The Infinite Dial 2023 - Edison Research/Amazon Music/Wondery/ART19; 2) Edison Research, Share of Ear, Q1-Q4 2022; 3) Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2020, New Music Seekers; 4) Voicebot, In-Car Voice Assistant Consumer Adoption Report, January 2020; 5) Jacobs Media Tech Survey 2023, Radio in the Post Pandemic Era; 6) Edison Research Survey 2023; 7) Edison Research, Share of Ear, Q1 2023; 8) Nielsen, Audio Today, June 2023; 9) Edison Research, "Share of Ear," Q3 2022 - Q2 2023. Persons 18+; 10) Edison "Share of Ear" AM/FM Radio proportion of 25-54 listening occurring in the car.; 11) Edison Research, "Share of Ear," Q4 2022 - Q3 2023)

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  • Radio has the human voice to convince
    • 81% of consumers agree that a “human voice can establish a connection like nothing else can.”1  
    • 77% of listeners would try a brand recommended by their favorite radio personality.1
  • Radio builds brands
    • In a radio campaign, two breakfast products grew +7% and +12% in brand awareness.5
      • 13% increase in parent company brand purchases.5
  • Radio creative matters
    • Radio creative is a key component to branding
      • A powerful way to create an emotion is through sonic branding - using sounds to differentiate brands.3
      • Sonic branding is critical to creative and creative is vital to driving sales.2
      • A Nielsen study showed that creative ads drive an almost 50% sales lift.2
    • Brand mentions are important
      • An insurance company mentioned their brand name in the first few seconds of ad; 2x in :15 spots and 3x in :30 spots.2
        • Their branding structure generated +11% likeability, +10% optimism, +7% trustworthiness and +6% purchase intent.2
    • Voices, tone and music influence purchase intent
      • The average audio logo does not contain a brand mention and is melodic, per Veritonic.7
        • 71% of audio logos do not contain a brand mention and 78% of audio logos are melodic.7
      • 45% of respondents that identified a correct brand associated with the logo have a logo containing the brand name.7
        • 20% of brand logos are melodic.7
        • 10% of brand logos are nonmelodic.7
        • 6% of brand logos do not contain their brand names.7
      • A Veritonic ad study found that audio logos that mention brand names have an audio score of 69.3
        • Brands that did not mention their brand name had a 55 audio score.3
        • Audio logos that had a melody had a 77 audio score.3
        • Audio logos that did not have a melody included had a 60 Veritonic score.3
  • Radio delivers a strong return on investment (ROI)
    • Average radio payback per investment is $10:$1.6
      • In a study, a parent brand saw an $11.96 return on ad spend per $1, while their men’s personal care brand saw a $1.23 return on ad spend.4
      • The parent brand gained an 8% increase in sales among households where men were exposed to radio.4
  • It is the originator of experiential marketing
    • Radio station-produced remotes or events allow for sampling opportunities, increasing brand awareness.

Sources: 1) Katz Media Group, Our Media, 2019; 2) Westwood One, Cumulus Media VERITONIC, Do Disclaimers Ruin Tier Two Auto Ads, May 2018 3) Westwood One; VERITONIC, Audio Logo Index 2021; 4) Westwood One, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Groundbreaking Research Proves AM/FM Radio Delivers Strong ROI for Personal Care Brand, 2018; 5) Westwood One, Maru/Vision Critical, New Breakfast Brand Successfully Uses AM/FM Radio to Build Awareness and Drive Purchases, 2019; 6) Nielsen Studies 2014-2016; 7) 2022 Audio Logo Index by Veritonic

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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.

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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.

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Media Monitors
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  • 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.

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  • Radio drives web traffic
    • Analysis of 18,200 recruitment advertisements showed that radio ads drove a 19% increase in web traffic.2
      • Radio recruitment ads increased new visitors from ads by 44,300 people and had an average of 2.4 visits per airing. Total new users per the campaign were 2.45 million.2
    • Radio also drives in web lift for real estate agencies and brokers.9
      • Radio delivered 75% and half of new visitors/users midday and delivered 8,600 new users overnight.9
  • Radio drives search
    • An analysis of over 38.2K appliance spots showed that radio drove a 7% increase in new online users.3
      • In-person traffic increased by 41% when the radio spots ran.3
    • Across 59.8K furniture spots, radio drove a 17% increase in new online users.3
      • There was a 1.9MM new website users throughout the entirety of the campaign.3
    • A study across eight brands and 2,157 ads revealed that radio drove a 29% increase in Google searches.1
  • Radio improves brand perception
    • Radio drives growth and impact for NFL radio campaign.
      • An NFL streaming subscription radio campaign generated 18% growth in brand recommendation and 26% growth in brand attribution.4
        • 45% said they would probably/definitely subscribe to NFL streaming service in the next 30 days.4
        • 54% said they would probably/definitely subscribe in the next six months.4
    • AM/FM radio ads generated major impact for automotive brands.
      • +88% increase in advertising awareness.8
      • +33% lift in brand relevance.8
      • +32% greater brand trust.8
      • +31% growth in brand consideration.8
  • Radio boosts business
    • As COVID-19 hit small businesses hard, Impact Radio Group (IRG) set out to help.
      • IRG ran a campaign with free high frequency simultaneous media schedules across seven IRG stations for one week.7
      • Each advertiser experienced a reach of about 140K A18+ with about 400K impressions.7
      • Radio advertisers who continued their campaigns had a 20% conversion rate.7
  • Radio personalities influence behavior
    • 77% of listeners would try a brand recommended on-air by their favorite radio personality.6
    • 83% of listeners say their favorite radio personality has opinions they value and trust.6
    • A restaurant incorporated DJ endorsements as part of a campaign, which resulted in increased store traffic as well as increase in sales.5

Sources: 1) Media Monitors, Sequent Partners, In4mation Insights, RAB, Radio Drives Search, 2017; 2) NumericOwl Recruitment Jan 2021-Apr 2021; 3) NumericOwl, RAB Radio Delivers For Furniture and Appliance Retailers, Jan 2021-Oct 2021; 4) Nielsen Campaign Effect Study - A Leading Video On Demand Streamer/NFL on WestWood One 2020; 5) Norbella for Bertucci’s case study; 6) Katz Radio Group, Our Media, 2019; 7) Impact Radio Group, Iliad Media Group, Boost Idaho Business Case Study; 8) Big Audio Datamine - WestWood One 2023; 9) NumericOwl, Real Estate Agencies/Brokers, 2021

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  • Radio increases TV’s reach
    • In a TV-only campaign, 10% of the budget was shifted to radio.1
      • Increased reach by +41%.1
      • Reach increased 57% to 80% with the same budget with the 10% radio allocation.1
    • Nielsen’s analysis of a major wireless company’s campaign showed increased reach, particularly with younger demos.5
      • The TV ads reached about 58% of P18-34. Radio reached an additional 20%, producing an +35 increase in overall audience reach.5
  • Radio reaches light TV viewers
    • Light and non-TV viewers are hard to reach.4
      • 44% of Americans represent only 10% of total TV commercial impressions.4
      • The solution lies in radio, as it reaches 92% of light TV viewers making its addition to TV-only plans effective.4
  • Radio influences behavior and response
    • A study of over 92K lawn and garden retailer radio ads generated a 4% increase among new users online.2
      • The ads delivered an average of 4.0 new online visits per airing.2
    • In an auto study, radio increased brand perception by 70% versus unexposed radio listeners.3
      • 78% said the dealership had a great selection of cars.3
      • 72% said the auto company offers competitive pricing.3
      • 72% said that they have a higher likelihood to recommend the dealership.3
      • 70% said they trust that dealership.3
      • 67% said they offer attractive financing terms.3
      • 47% said that they favor the dealership more.3
  • Radio’s appeal is that it’s local6
    • Radio informs listeners on traffic, weather and events.6
    • 87% of listeners strongly agree that radio’s primary advantage is its local feel.6
    • 33% of listeners listen to local radio to be updated on emergencies.6
    • 35% listen to be informed on what’s going on locally.6
    • 36% listen to stay updated on news.6
  • Radio connects emotionally, creating a receptive environment
    • 83% value and trust their favorite radio personality’s opinions.7
    • 81% of listeners consider DJ’s a friend, family member or acquaintance.7
    • 52% of listeners feel a connection with radio.6
    • 46% say the radio keeps them company.6
    • 38% of listeners listen to get in a better mood.6
    • 32% of listeners listen to the radio to escape pressures of everyday life.6

Source: 1)Westwood One, National Nielsen Media Impact August 2019 campaign; 2) NumericOwl, RAB, Radio Grows Site Traffic for Lawn and Garden Jan-Dec 2021; 3)Nielsen, SBCA, The Value of SoCal Radio to the Auto Industry, 2019; 4) Westwood One, Nielsen, AM/FM Radio Makes Your TV Better 2018; 5) Nielsen PPM Custom Analysis, July 1-28, 2019 / P6+ unique audience exposed to a major wireless campaign on TV & Radio; 6) Jacobs Media, Tech Survey 2022; 7) Katz Radio Group, Our Media, 2019

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  • 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

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  • Radio is an effective medium.
    • The top choice for audio and entertainment - at home, in-car and on the go.
  • Radio’s reach
    • Radio reaches 92% of Americans 18+ monthly.1
    • Radio continues to have a high reach among traditional media every week.1
      • 18+: 86%
      • 18-34: 80%
      • 35-49: 88%
      • 50-64: 91%
  • Radio - a trusted ad medium
    • Americans trust traditional media the most.
      • 45% of Americans said they somewhat or very much trust advertisements heard on the radio.7
  • Listeners value radio - for news, entertainment and companionship
    • 47% of A18+ said radio puts them in a good mood.4
    • 45% of A18+ say that the radio relaxes them.4
    • 44% of A18+ say that radio is pure entertainment.4
    • 42% of A18+ say that radio keeps them informed/up to date.4
    • 52% state that they feel a connection while listening to the radio.5
    • 37% state that radio keeps listeners informed about local news.5
    • 31% state that radio allows them to escape pressures of everyday life.5
  • Radio is a part of everyday life.
    • 46% of A18+ listen to radio one to five hours weekly while 33% of radio listeners listen six+ hours per week.3
  • Radio is available across platforms and devices.
    • 214MM P12+ have listened to online audio (includes AM/FM streams) in the past month.6
    • 75% of A18+ that have driven/ridden in a car past month have ever used AM/FM radio.6
    • 67% of radio listeners say that it is easy to listen to while in-car.5
  • Radio builds awareness among heavy radio listeners
    • Adults 18+ who are heavily exposed to radio (180+ mins/day) are 189% more likely to have shopped a jewelry store in the past four weeks compared to those with no radio exposure.8
      • 183% are more likely to have shopped a sporting goods store.8
      • 160% are more likely to have shopped an auto parts store.8
      • 137% are more likely to buy/lease a vehicle.8
  • Radio personalities connect with and influence listeners.
    • One in two listeners have a favorite radio personality whom they have been listening to for an average of eight years.9
      • Listeners (78%) share what they hear from their favorite personality with their family and friends.9
      • 77% of listeners would try a brand recommended by their favorite radio personality.9
      • 83% of radio listeners value and trust their favorite personalities opinions.9
      • 60% of radio listeners claim that they listen to the radio is because of the DJ/Hosts/Shows.5
      • 60% of radio listeners claim that they listen to the radio because they like a particular show or hosts.5
  • Radio drives online activity.
    • An analysis of 92K lawn and garden retailer ads exhibited an impact on web traffic.10
      • Increased visitor life average by 4%.10
      • There was an average on 4.0 new website visits per airing.10
  • Radio influences consumer behavior.
    • 21% increase in new users when radio ads were on air versus off air.10

Sources: 1) Nielsen Audience Insights, December 2022; 3) RAB; Statista, Radio Listener Monitor 2020; 4) 2023 MRI-Simmons Spring Doublebase; 5) Jacobs Media Tech Survey 2023 - Radio in the Post-Pandemic Era; 6) The Infinite Dial 2023 - Edison Research/AmazonMusic/Wondery/ART19; 7) YouGov, Global study: Which types of ads do people trust, 2021; 8) The Media Audit 60 Market Aggregate 2020; 9) Katz Radio Group, Our Media, 2019; 10) NumericOwl, RAB Radio Grows Site Traffic for Lawn and Garden 2021

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  • Optimum Effective Scheduling (OES) is a concept created to reach the majority of a radio station’s listeners 3 or more times by distributing ads evenly throughout a week.
    Message retention and recall begins after three exposures. This is referred to as effective reach. The principle behind OES is concentration and repetition.1 An OES schedule generally consists of 35-60 commercials per week.1

    Three-Step OES Formula:1

      • Calculate turnover ratio for a broad demographic, Mon-Sun 6am-12mid.1
        • Turnover ratio is an index of how long a station’s audience spends with them and is driven by format.1

    How to Calculate:

    Radio Station Cume Audience ÷ Average Quarter-Hour Audience = Turnover Ratio

      • Determine the number of spots per week.

    How to Calculate:

    Turnover Ratio x 3.29 = Spots Per Week

      • Run the spots with even distribution across all days and dayparts, Mon-Sun 6am-12mid.1
    • OES concentration and repetition
      • The key to OES is concentration and a campaign can be concentrated in the number of weeks, days, dayparts and the number of stations.
        • Weeks - If an advertiser only has a budget for a 12-spot week campaign for the month - put this entire budget into one week of a month for a single 48-spot OES week.1
        • Days - concentrate spots in 2 or 3 days. This would be effective for a one-day sale or event.1
        • Dayparts - Concentrate spots into a single daypart. If a business is trying to grow their breakfast traffic, concentrating spots in the morning is important.1
        • Stations - reduce the number of stations being used for the campaign, concentrate spots on one station for the highest return.1


    Source: 1) Radio Advertising’s Missing Ingredient: The Optimum Effective Scheduling System, Steve Marx and Pierre Bouvard

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    To better articulate the number of weekly spots an advertiser should run during their campaign depends on understanding the advertiser’s goals and what is important for them to achieve during their campaign. There are four levels of radio campaign scenarios. Each deliver various results contingent on the campaign goal.

    Very light and light schedules are ideal for maintaining a campaign message with low reach and frequency - general awareness. Medium schedules are ideal for promotional campaigns, seasonal products, or general sales events. A heavy schedule can be used for a major sales event, grand opening, or a product launch where the advertiser wants to reach the most amount of people.

    For each level, the number of weekly ads needed vary, based on Nielsen reach and frequency reports (on a typical radio station in a diary market) include:

    • Very light
      • Reach: 34% of station’s audience
      • Frequency: 1.4 times
      • 12 ads needed
    • Light
      • Reach: 50% of station’s audience
      • Frequency: 2 times
      • 25 ads needed
    • Medium
      • Reach: 66% of station’s audience
      • Frequency: 3 times
      • 49 ads needed
    • Heavy
      • Reach: 78% of station’s audience
      • Frequency: 4.3 times
      • 83 ads needed

    To calculate how many spots advertisers should run on a particular radio station is based on the individual radio station’s turnover rate: Station Cume ÷ Average Quarter-Hour Persons = Station Turnover

    The turnover ratio signifies the number of different people reached by a station weekly. A higher turnover rate means the audience spends a shorter time listening and a lower turnover rate means the audience spends a longer time listening. It is helpful to understand how many ads or promotional messages are needed to reach a station’s listening audience.

    With the station turnover rate in hand, determine the number of spots an advertiser should run in one week, on that particular station when creating a Monday-Sunday 6AM-12AM schedule.

    • Very light
      • 1/2 of radio station’s turnover rate
    • Light
      • Radio station’s turnover rate
    • Medium
      • Double radio station’s turnover rate
    • Heavy
      • Multiple radio station’s turnover rate by 3.4

    According to Nielsen, the number of weekly spots needed for the four levels on reach vary based on a radio station’s format.

     

    For additional information or hot to calculate in a PPM market, click here.

    Source: Radio Advertising Bureau, CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One, How Many Ads Should a Radio Station Run to Get Results, 2020