Tag Archives: Radio

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Motivating Listeners to Act in 2021

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Author: Tammy Greenberg, SVP/Business Development, RAB

Forecasts reveal that digital is driving the advertising rebound in 2021 and, according to Tony Hereau, VP of cross platform insights at Nielsen, “Radio is the soundtrack of America’s recovery.”

Radio, across all of its digital platforms, has and continues to experience exponential growth, earning significant share of media consumption throughout 2020 and the post-pandemic. While over the air AM/FM radio accounts for 76 percent of the daily audio time spent with any ad-supported platform, understanding consumer behavior as they move across platforms and what motivates listeners is critically important for marketers who are poised to succeed in the rebound.

Radio is seamlessly experienced throughout a consumer’s day, regardless of platform, with motivations for listening ranging from companionship to escapism to mood elevation. Listeners rely on the medium to connect them to the content they desire when they want it, how they want it, and where they want it.

A day in the life of radio listeners varies by motivations, demographics, and psychographics, but there are certainties that remain true. Between August and October 2020, Audacy conducted a groundbreaking study, “Audio Amplification: Defining Engaged Impressions,” in partnership with Alter Agents, and the results showed how audio across platforms draws audiences, moves them emotionally and leads to action. The study found that over-the-air (OTA) radio listening and streaming across all formats tend to be anytime occasions, with significant peaks in listening when people wake up in the morning, and while they are out and about or commuting to work and school. Podcast listening is reserved more for time alone. The Katz Radio Group identifies radio as “the soundtrack to listeners’ daily journey.” Listeners lean into the audio that suits their moods and interests. In turn, audio has the power to improve a listener’s mindset, moments, and receptivity.

Listeners are trusting and loyal to their radio stations, regardless of when or where they are listening. In order for brands to earn and maintain trust and loyalty among their target audiences, they need to not only look inward and toward their consumers, but to look at the environments for which their advertising is running.

Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, released end of March 2021, revealed that broadcast radio remains the No. 1 reach medium, and consumers trust the ads they hear on the radio more so than they do ads on any other media, with 60 percent of adults 35–49 and 54 percent of adults 18–34 considering radio spots very or somewhat trustworthy.

2020 also brought a renewed focus on the importance of local marketing. Nielsen’s Total Audience Report states that the vast majority of respondents agree that it is important to shop local and support local business, with 74 percent of urban dwellers feeling it was very or somewhat important to shop in person at local businesses, compared to 67 percent of suburban and 70 percent of rural residents.

It is a simple fact that the 15,000-plus local broadcast radio stations are rooted in the communities where listeners live, work, go to school or go about their day. According to the 2021 Jacobs Media Techsurvey, 49 percent of consumers strongly agree that one of radio’s primary advantages is its local feel, and nearly half say they tune in to radio to keep them company.

Localizing messaging and local advertising is more important now than it has ever been. Consumers recall advertising for locally owned businesses at a greater pace than national or online retailers. Radio is the solution for marketers to engage hometown consumers, providing the trusted environment that will build loyalty, influence decisions, and the local insight to create relevant connections. Read more.

Radio’s ability to influence and create relevant connections for brand partners brings another added benefit to them, which is generating significant word-of-mouth activity. According to Idil Cakim, SVP of research and insights at Audacy, and author of the book Implementing Word of Mouth Marketing, audio is uniquely positioned to propel word of mouth for brands. Cakim said “As our Engaged Impressions study shows, audio — including OTA, streaming OTA, and podcasts — is the most trusted medium, when it comes to product recommendations and advertising. Trust is what makes consumers pass along information with confidence.”

Jacobs Media has been measuring Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for the past 17 years as part of its annual Techsurvey. NPS is derived by asking consumers, on a scale of zero to 10, how likely they are to recommend a radio station to a friend, family member, or co-worker. In 2020, commercial broadcast radio earned the highest NPS it has ever achieved, and it has been strong in the past. In a year that was anything but usual, Fred Jacobs, president and founder of Jacobs Media, attributes these breakthrough scores to the fact that “consumers gravitated to personalities and programming they were familiar with and they could count on. Stations that did an exemplary job of reflecting the local vibe — supporting local businesses and essential workers — may have helped power these all-important Net Promoter Scores.”

A few of the most successful drivers of word of mouth included trusted influencers, organic content, and online reviews. Each of these are uniquely part of radio’s DNA. Radio influencers‘ proven track record to drive trust, build brands, and drive word of mouth is undeniable. They are live and local personalities delivering native content to their loyal listeners via their broadcast, social media, and digital audio megaphones. Audio endorsements by radio personalities increase receptivity and consideration with 80 percent of listeners trusting and valuing their favorite personalities opinion and 77 percent indicated they are influenced by a radio personalities brand and product recommendations.

The combination of understanding behavior, as consumers move across radio platforms and what motivates them to act, leads to an omnichannel conclusion. Digital growth, which stems from the incredible surge in search and e-commerce behavior, is important, and understanding the power that radio brings to that digital activity is perhaps even more important. Tony Wright, CEO of WrightIMC, a full-service digital marketing agency, spoke about this in a recent post for Search Engine Journal. “The agency’s clients that effectively use radio have significantly higher click-through rates than their counterparts who are not using radio. We’ve seen the data for clients who are Fortune 10 businesses, as well as start-ups, and know it to be the case.”

Wright added, “when consumers are searching for something and they see a name they have heard of, they are more likely to click on that listing.” Combine Wright’s insights with the trusted, locally relevant, influential, and organic content delivered by radio, and it is a winning combination for any brand.

Throughout 2020 and continuing through 2021, there has been a strong call to arms for brands to step up as a force for growth and a force for good. The marketers who have implemented strategies and further defined their values and purpose to support consumers are making a difference, earning trust among consumers, and contributing to a more “equal, just, and better world” in the places consumers’ call home. Radio, across all of its live, local, experiential, digital, and broadcast platforms, is the most trusted environment for those brand messages to connect and motivate listeners to act.

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A Look at Black and Hispanic Audio Consumption

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

The events of 2020 have magnified the importance of reaching ethnically diverse consumers. Advertisers across a wide array of categories, from Main Street to Madison Avenue, have increased their focus to reach Black/African American and Latino/Hispanic consumers. Knowing the media habits of each of these audiences is important to connect with them.

Based upon the available data from the latest Total Audience Report released by Nielsen, radio has the highest reach versus other media options for both Black and Hispanic consumers ages 18 and older. Broadcast radio reaches 87% of Blacks 18+ and 92% of Hispanics 18+.

Thanks to technology, radio can be tuned into beyond the home. As more people continue to leave their homes and commute to work, they are in vehicles and have various audio options available to them. Despite these options, AM/FM radio ranks the highest as an audio source ever used in vehicle, not only among the entire U.S. population, but also among African Americans and Hispanics.

According to Edison Research’s The Infinite Dial, done in partnership with Triton Digital, 64% of African Americans 18+ and 65% of Hispanics 18+ currently use radio in the car – significantly higher than owned digital music or satellite radio.

Consumers also tune into radio online. Online audio, defined as AM/FM radio station listening online and/or listening to streamed audio content only available on the internet, is also tuned into via a cellphone in car. African Americans 12+ will listen to online audio more in car than the total population (57% versus 50%) and Hispanics 12+ (43%).

When not in car, Blacks and Hispanics spend more time listening to online audio than the total population. Hispanics 12+ will spend nearly 19 hours each week listening to online audio and African Americans 12+ will spend just slight less at 17.9 hours, based on this same report. However, this time spent is much higher than the total population – 16.2 hours weekly.

When consumers tune in, advertisers should take note that the listener may not be alone. According to the Infinite Dial, 51% of the total population ages 12 and older frequently/sometimes listen to audio with other people. Blacks/African Americans tend to listen more with other people (52%) while 48% Hispanics say they do.

What does this mean? Audio, and radio specifically, has a role in the daily lives of Blacks and Hispanics. Not only does radio have higher reach versus other options, Blacks and Hispanics engage with radio across devices and platforms and may do so with others. Including radio within any ad campaign, both broadcast and online, is a must to reach these diverse consumers.

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Gen Z is Tuning into Radio – Social Media Platforms are Taking Notice

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Author: Madison Wright, Events and Communications Coordinator, RAB

You may be looking at this title and are thinking “Gen Z doesn’t listen to the radio; social media is where you reach them.” Did you know that radio reaches nearly 44,000 Gen Zers every week, according to Edison Research? While this group makes up around 20% of the U.S. population, per Statista, there is no denying the listening power of Gen Z.

Before diving into this blog, we need to better define who Gen Z is. Generally, Gen Z can be defined with varying end years (2010, 2012 and 2015 being the most common), for the purpose of this blog, we are going to focus on the 9-24 age group. While millennials grew up with the beginning of the internet as we know it today, it’s Gen Z who grew up with the social media ecosystem and the introduction to modern smartphones and smart speakers. Through these devices, Gen Zers are always connected with friends, family and social media influencers. With that being said, it is truly no surprise that, according to 2020 MRI-Simmons data, over 70% of 18+ radio-listening Gen Zers used Facebook in the last 30 days and over 72% of 18+ radio-listening Gen Zers used Snapchat in the past month. 

Gen Z connects with radio and radio personalities on-air. According to Nielsen’s RADAR data, 78% of them listen to AM/FM radio. While many listen in the car, radio listening also occurs across devices and platforms, via a smartphone, tablet, laptop and even a smart speaker. Radio reaches them through the tech they are accustomed to while delivering the news and entertainment they trust. In fact, in Edison Research’s “Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listenership,” some qualitative interviews they did with Gen Z radio listeners found that:

  • Radio provides a human connection, particularly during quarantine.
  • Radio offers the surprise of songs that have not been curated in streaming playlists.
  • Radio is a source for additional information about music and artists.
  • Radio is a source for news and information.
  • Radio is associated with nostalgia and good memories.

While Gen Z is listening to radio, they are also contributing to the growing listening patterns in other audio options, like podcasts. According to a Morning Consult survey, nearly 32% of Gen Zers consider themselves regular podcast listeners with categories like comedy, true crime and pop culture piquing their interests. 

Audio is hot! Even social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter are taking notice and are better serving users by including audio into the mix of their visual-heavy content. For example, on June 17, 2020, Twitter began experimenting with Twitter Audio, a function that allows users to upload audio as tweets to expand on its “280 characters” and TikTok, a fan favorite for Gen Z, has created a podcast called “For You Podcast,” hosted by one of its creators, Brittany Tomlinson – also known as Brittany Broski. But the big trend right now is audio apps, like the ever-exclusive Clubhouse platform. as well as new audio projects in development from Twitter, Twitter Spaces and Facebook announced it’s in the works of creating its own app to rival Clubhouse.

Gen Z artists are using social platforms like Soundcloud and TikTok for distributing music. Why? It is because they still value the experience of hearing their songs on the radio. If you know a  Gen Zer, you’ve probably heard the song “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo. When her song played on the radio for the first time, she was tuning in to a local radio station and shared the video on social media with the caption “heard my song on the radio for the first time the other day. somebody say sike rn [right now].” Her live reaction is a reminder that for young artists, being on broadcast radio is still a pivotal moment in their careers. 

Rishad Tobaccowala said in RAB’s most recent sizzle video, “Radio works because it is audio and audio is the most important way to tell stories and move people.” By telling stories and keeping listeners connected, radio holds its title as the first social medium; it keeps Gen Z tied to their local communities while delivering the information and entertainment they need from radio personalities they trust.

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Radio – Still the One

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Last week’s post highlighted radio advertising as trusted by consumers, according to a YouGov survey. The latest Total Audience Report from Nielsen not only confirms that finding, but also illustrates that radio ads are very/somewhat trustworthy among adults 18-34. Yes, they are listening, and they trust the ads they hear on radio.

According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, 19% of adults 18-34 consider radio ads very trustworthy and 35% somewhat trustworthy – highest among platforms, including TV and even social media.

This is an important factor to consider when media plans are created. In today’s environment, trust is everything, so including a medium that creates a trusted environment is important. Including a medium that reaches more people every week is crucial, and radio is still the one that does just that.

Radio reaches 88% of adults 18+ –  more than any other medium. Based on the same report, radio reaches 220 million adults every week. That is greater than other options, such as TV (live + time-shifted) or apps on a smartphone.

Why is this important? Today’s media landscape is fragmented, and consumers have more options available to them than ever before. Consumers can view, stream and download any form of entertainment, but based on this data, adults 18 years and older choose to tune into radio and engage with the content that AM/FM radio delivers. In fact, based on the trend of these reports by Nielsen, radio has been the top-reach medium for the past 23 quarters.

Radio provides content and entertainment via the more than 15,000 broadcast stations across the country through a multitude of formats and programming available on those stations.  So, like the Orleans song released in the 70s, radio is “still the one I want whisperin’ in my ear.”

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Purpose in Action with Radio Drives Business and Positive Change

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Author: Tammy Greenberg, SVP/Business Development, RAB

It has been well-documented that consumers, now more than ever, care deeply about how brands are addressing social and environmental issues. According to the 2020 Porter Novelli Executive Purpose Study, 89% of business leaders believe companies that lead with purpose have a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. In fact, 85% agree being a purpose-driven company drives profit. The bottom line is that in increasingly competitive markets, in just about every category of business, a brand’s contribution to society becomes the decisive point of difference for consumers.

Leading with purpose is not a new concept, but in the current social, medical, economic and political climate, the marketing shift has been ignited and fast-tracked. Throughout 2020, brands across all categories of business have expressed their humanity, by supporting consumers, small businesses and essential workers. These brands are contributing and leading social justice causes and using the power of their voice to publicly express their values and lead by example to inspire change and activate behavior.

Purpose can be defined as the motivation and focus that comes from a brand, business or individual’s values and visions. Action puts those values and visions into practice. The key to establishing lifelong and meaningful connections with consumers around purpose is by converting it to action. After all, purpose without action is pointless. Consumers know it and the adage “action speaks louder than words” is demonstrative of that. Without action, purpose is vulnerable to having negative effects.

Broadcast radio is no stranger to leading with purpose.

In exchange for obtaining a valuable license to operate a broadcast radio station that uses public airwaves, radio is required by law to operate in the public interest, convenience and necessity. This is simply the foundation.

Radio stations go well beyond what is required to unite audiences and present content across a wide spectrum of interests, giving consumers choices to consume what they want to hear and from whom they would like to hear it. Listeners in local communities rely on local radio brands for news and information, the music that soothes their souls, the conversation and companionship during both uncertain times and “normal” times.

According to an Accenture study, the opportunity for purpose-driven marketing lies in building more authentic relationships with consumers. This means meaningful relationships that shift the dialogue from “give me what I want” to “support the ideals we believe in.” Long-lasting relationships are grounded in a common purpose and built around a collective sense of belonging.

A focus group of consumers representative of varied demographics were asked by Jacobs Media Strategies, in their opinion, “what is radio’s job?” the answers ranged from providing security, camaraderie and connection, to providing the information and entertainment when and where they want to access it.

When brand leaders are asked about why radio matters, they say:

  • “Radio is a friend, colleague, it keeps me company. It is important to my local community, it is a facilitator, it is a driver.” Bob Liodice, Chief Executive Officer, ANA
  • “The personal relationship and the engagement that radio, in particular local radio, has with its daily listeners is authentic and intimate and unlike any other medium.” Doug Ray, CEO, Dentsu Media Americas
  • “Radio establishes one-to-one relationships in your skull like no other media can.” Kristy Carruba, Director, Audio Planning & Strategy, Macy’s
  • “Audio is the most important way to tell stories, move people and, therefore, move product.” Rishad Tobaccowala, futurist and author of the bestselling “Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data”
  • “Radio provides a sense of joy through sound.” Whitney McChane, Vice President, Marketing Communications, International Dairy Queen
  • “Local radio is a medium that is entrenched in the communities it serves and the community is strongly connected to their local radio station. I believe that one of the greatest foundations you can have is local radio and local television.” Byron Allen, Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group and the Founder of Entertainment Studios

Radio has always been known as a force for good that unites communities to act.

Consumers tune in to their favorite radio stations because they provide a reflection of who they are and help connect them to a community of shared values. Listeners rely on local radio personalities to entertain, inform and comfort them. They rely on these very real, very local, very relevant voices to share opinions and advice. Specific and niche groups of consumers rely on the change that mass-reaching radio broadcasts inspire in the local communities where they live.

COVID-19 profoundly impacted the way that media was consumed. As each state continued to usher in its own unique set of social-distancing guidelines, local communities banded together to stay updated, informed and actionable. Cox Media Group conducted a study to determine how this new sense of community fueled by micro-level legislation and health care impacted the way people consumed local audio. They learned that a massive 94% of consumers have listened to local radio since the outbreak began, while one-third said they had listened more. Tim Clarke, vice president of audience and content at Cox Media Group, said “listeners depend on our radio brands more than ever for local information, entertainment and companionship during this uncertain time. They are captive and immersed in our content on all platforms and our top personalities continue to deliver.”

Local communities leaned into their trusted companions and followed their lead to support healthcare workers, families in need, students, small businesses and the community at large. From PPE distribution events, to virtual learning and graduation events, food drives and advertising grants, radio stations rallied their audiences, united them, helped those that needed it most and protected local economies.

Systemic racism and corresponding social injustices have been brought to the forefront throughout 2020. According to a June 2020 Dentsu Pulse Navigator survey, while the COVID-19 outbreak and ensuing economic crisis remained the top national issues concerning Americans, those concerned about racial equality had doubled in June 2020 since the question was first fielded in May. It exceeded concerns about unemployment and social unrest. 72% of those surveyed agree that brands have a responsibility to drive social change, and 69% agree those that support racial equality can make a real difference. Nationwide surveys reflect overwhelming support for protests in defense of racial equality and a need for vocal community support from local media. NuVoodoo’s Media & Protest Weekly Perception surveys among people of all races. The survey indicates 59% of consumers have a positive impression of ads that support Black Lives Matter on the radio.

The marketing and media community is answering its calling like never before to promote the fundamental values of equity, diversity and inclusivity. Radio’s reach and engagement among communities of all races is unsurpassed. Every broadcaster takes their responsibility of providing information, conversation, content and support that is reflective of ALL people very seriously. Examples of radio’s responsibility in action abound. Examples include:

Following the murder of George Floyd, Beasley Media Group (BMG) Detroit collaborated with local community leaders to host a Solutions, Not Slogans Zoom event, where local radio talent brought together a group of local civic leaders, police and concerned citizens to talk about how to ignite change in the local community. This event was followed by an October event focused on voting in the Motor City. Solutions, Not Slogans events, part of BMG’s “Community of Caring” are designed to provide an opportunity for radio listeners to speak directly with city officials to create solutions that motivate people to act.

Salem Media Group takes on systemic racism with a deep focus on the massive injustices in the American prison system and the impact on the vast numbers of minority incarcerated prisoners and their families. Through partnerships with Prison Fellowship and Angel Tree, Salem helps to provide rehabilitation and life skills to minority prisoners and activates its listening audience to raise funds to support families. Over the past three years, listeners have donated over one and a half million dollars enabling Salem’s radio stations to send over 7,500 children of prisoners to summer camps.

Making a difference in ALL lives is standard practice and a core mission of every radio station across the US. Supporting the health, education and safety of local communities is job one and is in great part why so many turn to their trusted radio station in times of crisis.

Radio has been known to save lives, feed and clothe families, educate kids, support local businesses, national and local charities and so much more.

One such example is Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH), a banner organization responsible for raising money for 170 children’s hospitals in Canada and the United States. The organization is charged with filling the gap between what their partner hospitals are compensated for by patient care and what they truly need to save lives. The CMNH partnership with the radio industry and their radiothon platform, raised $38MM in 2019 alone. Maureen Carlson, chief program and marketing officer for CMNH stated in an RAB-hosted Open for Business with Purpose webinar, “Our partnerships with radio are very important to us, not only the reach of radio, but the ability to tell beautiful stories. Every dollar that is raised through our radiothons remain local, and it is very important to us to have partners, especially in media, that understand how to have local conversations, how to tell local stories and saturating a local market.”

Brands That Put Their Purpose in Action with Radio will Drive Business and Positive Change Forward

Shoppers are increasingly using their purchasing power as a way to support businesses with shared values. With more choices than ever before, consumers seek to align their purchase decisions with companies that exercise shared beliefs. 46% of surveyed US shoppers agreed that “I make a deliberate effort to shop at businesses that align with my values,” and 66% of US consumers who plan to shop during the 2020 holiday season said they will shop more at local small businesses, according to a Google-commissioned Ipsos COVID-19 tracker.

Shared values matter and taking action to drive those values forward happen locally, at home and in the consumer’s line of vision. Marketers are recognizing that and are driving change and making a difference with the help of radio.

P&G, the world’s largest advertiser, has doubled down on the power of radio to put their purpose in action to drive change by supporting Black-owned broadcasters and with their “Take on Race” initiative.

Unilever turned to radio to support their United for America program that provides community-based support and food-based relief for those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic effects.

CVS Health, a company that leads with empathy, does more in local radio than national because they can see specifically where they are relevant and not relevant and include messaging based on store formats and local consumer needs.

Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) in Los Angeles leans on radio to help drive awareness and provide critical advice to improve the quality of life for families in need and strengthen neighborhoods. Through their work, NHS has placed nearly five million families on the road to home ownership, employed over 238 neighborhood youth and reinvested nearly six billion dollars back into Los Angeles County’s most underserved neighborhoods. Their partnership with Black-owned broadcaster KJLH in Los Angeles has continuously played a major role in that success.

Frauenshuh Commercial Real Estate turned to Salem Media Group-Twin Cities to help feed a community that the brand deeply serves. Several local brand partners turned to Neuhoff Media Group in Decatur, Illinois, to help raise over $600,00 in 12 hours to donate over three million pounds of food to at-risk communities.

Now is the Time to Put Purpose in Action with Radio

Every action a brand takes reflects its purpose and its beliefs. While addressing a confab of nearly 6,000 brand marketers, marketing solutions partners and media professionals at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference, Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer for P&G, stressed “our jobs are to step up for a force for good and a force for growth.” His key message to his fellow marketers is “step up.”

Now is the time to use radio’s megaphone to deeply reach into local communities and demonstrate to loyal listeners across all demographics and cultures that the brand has their backs.

As we usher in 2021, radio will continue to fulfill the responsibility it has to its listeners and the communities it serves. Radio will also continue to fulfill its responsibility to its marketing partners to provide the targeted, trusted media environment to reach and engage consumers with the power of the brands’ purpose and the power of the brands’ actions.




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Happy Anniversary, Radio!

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

This month marks radio’s 100th anniversary. It’s an incredible milestone, and never has radio been more important, valued or recognized as it has this past year.

From the first commercial radio broadcast on KDKA, to radio station streams on laptops or via apps, radio continues to play an important role. It touches the lives of listeners daily and impacts communities across the country.

As a medium licensed to serve the community, broadcast radio does just that. During times of crisis, radio informs and unites. It allows listeners to voice their concerns and provides them companionship. Companionship and the sound of a friendly voice has never mattered more than it has this year.

With the pandemic, listeners turned to broadcast radio to fill the void and eliminate the sense of isolation and loneliness that affected so many. According to Bob Liodice, CEO, Association of National Advertisers, “Radio is kind of like a substitute human.”

Broadcast radio allowed listeners to share their thoughts, concerns and emotions over the violence and systemic racism that has occurred this past year. The personalities on those stations helped to drive the important connection that listeners – people of all ages, race and ethnicities, sought during this most unusual time. “We had engaging conversations with our listeners. We opened our mics to make sure that people had an outlet and a place to be heard,” stated Jeff Warshaw, founder and CEO of Connoisseur Media, on radio’s role in the local community.

Yes, radio drives sales, awareness and influences behavior, but radio also does so much more. It is broadcast radio that helped communicate that local businesses were open, held food drives to help those communities in need and informed listeners where to find safety and shelter from natural disasters and also kept young students in touch with their teachers.

Although radio may be celebrating its 100th anniversary, it is still in its infancy. Radio continues to redefine itself. It is no longer a device that sits on nightstands. Radio is an app on a mobile device, a stream via a laptop, a skill on a smart speaker and available on gaming devices and refrigerators.

At the Radio Advertising Bureau, we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate, not just radio’s past 100 years but its next 100 years. It couldn’t be more fitting that this month, RAB will also celebrate the 70th anniversary of its incorporation. We look forward to and are excited about radio’s bright future.

Join us in our celebration of radio’s anniversary by viewing the 2020 Sizzle Video and hear what radio means to broadcast and advertising professionals.

Won’t you share what radio means to you?

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Response Data is Rewriting the Way Radio is Sold and Bought

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Contributor: Rick Kestenbaum, General Manager, AnalyticOwl

As the old saying goes, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” This is especially true in radio selling and buying, where a reliance on expensive ratings data and audience demos leads to buys made on the description of an audience rather than the actions of an audience. Contrast this with digital selling, where plans are made based on historical response and ROI. It’s clear which gets an advertiser off to a better start and which leads to greater satisfaction. Now, thanks to the rise of response data, radio can be sold and bought on the same game-changing premise.

According to the current approach, the focus is identifying “the right audience,” based on audience characteristics such as size, age, income, education, etc. The problem there is that the focus is not on what the advertiser cares about most – response and resulting revenue.

When a buy is made on this premise, there’s no opportunity for a meaningful discussion on results, leaving only “gut feelings” as a barometer, doing no one any good. Time goes by, and without any tangible measure, sellers are left without much to say and advertisers are prone to disillusionment. Often, this leads to cancellations and non-renewal of advertising that is quite commonly working just fine.

According to the new approach, sellers take two minutes and produce a custom, timely report highlighting actual response to recent campaigns in their local market and in their advertiser’s industry and advertisers use those insights to make a strong, measurable plan.

For example, here is data drawn from the auto dealers category in the Buffalo, NY market for September 2020. All are relevant, not only in giving advertisers confidence that radio works in driving increased website and foot traffic, but also in helping pre-optimize a campaign for a stronger start:

  • The top daypart for response was midday
  • The top day was Tuesday, creating an opportunity to convince prospects and existing advertisers to add Tuesdays if they aren’t already doing so
  • The top ad duration was :30
  • The expected ROI for a dealer who sells one car every hundred website visits, with a profit of $2,400, was $3 for every $1 spent
  • Auto dealers saw more website traffic days on air than days off air
  • Each aired spot resulted in an average of seven VPA (Visits Per Airing™)
  • The Response Opportunity was 37%, indicating that there were other dealers on the air and that a strategic presence is required to be competitive
  • Website visitors viewed an average of three pages, spent an average of over four minutes and bounced (left after viewing only one page) at a low 8% rate, demonstrating that broadcast audiences are engaged buyers
  • 94% of visitors responding to a spot used a search engine, and very few visited directly by typing in a dealer’s website address (despite the call to action!)
  • The top hours for foot traffic were 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and the top day was Tuesday, again suggesting a good opportunity

These figures will vary, of course, based on market, time period and other filtering factors, but clearly this is a game-changing shift that provides strong actionable insights.

From there, the new approach has seller, agency and advertiser in regular contact, reviewing the impact on website and foot traffic, analyzing which creative, days and dayparts are working best and optimizing to even better response.

What does this mean for radio sellers and buyers? More buys made with realistic, trackable expectations set, less need for advertisers to consider cancellation and more opportunity for advertisers to comfortably invest more in radio. AnalyticOwl found that those who were presented with response data cancelled 50% less often and confidently spent an average of 20% more.

That’s a win for all parties involved.

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Listeners Will Make Registers Ring This Holiday Season

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Without a doubt, 2020 has been a most unusual year, and the need for good tidings and holiday cheer have never been apparent than now. Shopping this season will be a way that consumers will turn their focus from current events and concerns to celebrating the holidays and a hopeful return to the routines that they all miss.

According to the National Retail Federation’s Annual 2020 Holiday Survey, this year, consumers will spend $650 in gifts, $230 in nonholiday items, such as decorations, and $117 in other nongift purchases – each nearly flat to 2019 amounts.

Radio listeners are ready. They are ready to shop and spend time with family and friends this holiday season. According to the recently released third edition of Jacobs Media The Impact of COVID-19 on Radio Listeners, 70% plan spending money on clothing, and 66% plan on spending money on gift cards.

When it comes to 2020 holiday spending versus 2019, about 48% of radio listeners plan to spend the same or more. However, when you look at various generations, retailers would be suited to target Boomers and the Greatest Generation. Only 33% of Gen Z and 44% of millennials plan on spending the same or more – significantly less that their cohorts, with 51% of Boomers and 59% of the Greatest planning on spending the same or more than 2019.

As we have all seen, the role that local businesses play in communities has been magnified during the pandemic. When it comes to holiday shopping, the intent to patronize local business will be even greater this year. Based on this survey, 79% of radio listeners feel that they should support local/small businesses in their area. This sentiment was consistent among all survey respondents of all ages – from Gen Z to the Greatest Generation – local matters.

Gatherings are sure to be different this year as well for everyone. Fifty-nine percent of radio listeners strongly agree/agree that they will be having smaller holiday celebrations/get togethers than usual. The majority also plan on creating a festive environment in their homes – 70%. So, what influences them? Tops on the list are those that they will probably gather with this holiday, as recommendations from friends, family and colleagues influences their purchase decisions “a lot” or “a little.” Online user reviews are the second most influences, followed by AM/FM radio ads (65%). Recommendations from a favorite DJ/radio personality also influences their decisions.

2020 holidays are definitely going to be different, but the news is good for retailers. Radio listeners are ready to hear sleigh bells and make registers ring this holiday season.

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Being Thankful

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is here. It has been a very unusual year for everyone, and the pandemic has prompted many of us to stop and appreciate some of the things that we may have taken for granted in the past.

We’ve heard the impact that the pandemic has and hasn’t had on RAB members and readers of this blog. There are some areas/markets where businesses and communities are doing well. We also know that there are other areas where businesses and communities have been devastated, and there are markets that are somewhere in between. In any of these cases, broadcast radio and the on-air radio personalities have been there to help –communities, local businesses, students, etc. It is what over 15,000 local broadcast radio stations have always done and will continue to do.

It is interesting to hear what people are missing during these times. We’ve heard that people miss everything from commuting to work, to attending large conferences and even little things like a handshake or hug from colleagues and friends.

For those who celebrate, Thanksgiving will be different this year. However, the true meaning of Thanksgiving has never been underscored more. This year, despite the challenges and losses, we will all give thanks to heroes of 2020 – all those who have been on the front lines.

We are all thankful for the supermarket clerks who stock the shelves, delivery personnel transit workers and the places of worship with clergy that found creative ways to support their congregations. We are also thankful for the doctors, nurses and caregivers. Here’s to the organizations that have provided aid and food to local communities hit hardest by the pandemic. Thanks to listeners that tuned in to their local radio stations to find out where to shop, where to go and how to provide support. This year, we are thankful for friends, family and colleagues that have provided advice, guidance and support.

This holiday weekend, take some time to relax, unwind and give someone a heartfelt thanks and a hug – even if it’s a virtual one.

From everyone at the Radio Advertising Bureau, we wish you a heartfelt safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

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Smart Speakers – An Audio Opportunity

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

As holiday shopping goes into full swing, electronics will be one of the top items purchased this year. As many households continue to work from their remote locations, smart speakers are sure to be on many holiday shopping lists. As of this past June, NPD Group stated that nearly 30% of U.S. households were using smart speakers.

In study after study, smart speaker owners have stated that they are using their devices more during the pandemic – seeking out news, information and various content. Results from The Smart Speaker Report (Spring 2020), found that of those whose routine changed and are working from home, they continue to play music (85%), get the weather (71%), get news (54%) and listen to AM/FM radio (42%).

More recently, a market research and strategic advisory organization’s blog noted how the smart speaker is “leading to the reinvention of at-home audio” and references both broadcast radio, as well as podcasts. Within the blog post, the suggestion is that “smart speakers are the next frontier for consumer attention.” This is similar to something we have heard from Rishad Tobaccowala, senior advisor with Publicis Groupe, as the shift from “the colonization of the eyes to the colonization of the ears.”

There continues to be great opportunity for growth in the smart speaker space for advertisers to develop and tap into various ways to engage with smart speaker owners. Smart speakers can provide an additional means for advertisers to expand their brand activity in the way that they have used broadcast radio for brand building and increasing sales. Why? Smart speaker owners are radio listeners – 45% of smart speaker owners listen to AM/FM radio according to The Smart Audio Report (Spring 2020).

Based upon 2020 MRI-Simmons data, adults who have taken the following actions with smart speakers are radio listeners:

  • 83% have listened to live radio
  • 76% have gotten sports updates
  • 74% have purchased/ordered a product or service
  • 73% have gotten news updates
  • 72% have gotten local information, movie times, recipes, etc.
  • 70% have listened to a podcast

While we know that many consumers have returned to the roads to go back to work, there are still people working from home. As smart speaker sales and usage continues to grow, there are opportunities to reach radio listeners.

Alexa, play my favorite radio station!

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