Radio: Still the One

There is little doubt that we are in a golden age of media overall, as content is available everywhere and across all devices.  Yet, according to Nielsen’s second quarter 2017 Comparable Metrics Report, radio remains the top way to reach consumers across all media platforms – 93% A18+. And radio also provides advertisers with effective digital opportunities to compliment and extend its large over-the-air audience. Such as: streaming, on-demand podcasts, HD radio, NextRadio, and pure plays… the list continues to expand. Radio’s social media websites provide advertisers with new ways to relate to the enthusiastic radio audience. As smart marketers, we must look ahead to understand these drivers of change and signals of progress to navigate forward. The media landscape is vast, complex with technology changing the way consumer’s engage with media and radio remains the best way to reach consumers across demographics.

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Local Radio Reigns Supreme

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported on the shuttering of a chain of Eastside community newspapers. One article even went so far as to say, “Local and regional newspapers that serve Southern California are going through tough times, leading some to question whether traditional newspapers can survive.” Radio has always been there – now it is even more valuable! The importance of local radio to the local community can’t be understated.

The challenge for local Newspapers has been how to sustain a newsroom and make a profit when print advertising is fleeing to lower-cost space on the Internet.  Most digital ads are concentrated on Facebook and Google, not newspaper websites. These two Internet giants take in 60 percent of online ad revenues.

Radio was shown as the most trusted platform used after the impact of hearing about “fake news” in political coverage.  See below for the Kantar “Trust in News” study where it was revealed ‘mainstream news media’s’ reputation remained largely intact while social media and digital-only news platforms sustained major reputation damage. In addition, Facebook and other digital platforms are not designed to promote civic connection, but rather communities of interest often unmoored from particular geographies.

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Radio Delivers For Local Businesses


Small businesses are thriving and looking at 2018 in a positive way, and radio is the perfect vehicle to help them meet their 2018 revenue expectations and goals. Each year BIA/Kelsey conducts Local Commerce Monitor™ (LCM), a survey that tracks small-business advertising and marketing spending, buying preferences, and reported return on investment. Within the LCM, BIA/Kelsey also examines franchises. A franchisor licenses its know-how, procedures, intellectual property, use of its business model, brand, and rights to sell its branded products and services to a franchisee.

In the past year, strong economic growth has led to an increase in spending by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and franchisees on advertising and marketing.

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Digital Integration Pays Big Dividends For Radio

“Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off,” stated Erica Farber, President and CEO, RAB.  “As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers we expect to see continued growth.”

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Radio’s Influence on Music

Radio is the number one source for new music discovery. The raft of new technologies and devices are opening up new discovery methods, but also providing new ways for radio stations to deliver content – most notably via streaming. 37% of music listeners say that one of the things they like most about listening to traditional radio – and that adds to the enjoyment of the music – are the DJ’s (Nielsen Entertainment’s 2017 U.S. Music 360 Highlights).

According to the latest Nielsen Entertainment 2017 Music Year-End Report for the U.S., the surge in streaming continued throughout 2017, topping all forms of music consumption (Albums + Track Equivalents + On-Demand Audio streaming Equivalents). Streaming continued its leadership over downloads as the dominant music consumption platform of 2017, fueling the music industry’s overall volume growth of 12.5% year over year. The increase was led by a 58.7% increase in On-Demand Audio streams compared to 2016.

The addition of streaming data to the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which both reflects and drives hit radio playlists, means that streaming is now playing an important part in determining which songs are played on radio. Radio programmers today are influenced by traction demonstrated by artists and songs performing well on streaming services.

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The Big Game and Radio

The practice of listening to the home town team on the radio and watching the game on TV is as alive and well today as it ever was. The connection formed between the radio broadcaster and the listener is extraordinary! This is a trusting relationship only radio can provide. This connection can drive sales and help to build your brand.

The big game is a big deal for radio stations and it is here next weekend! And you can bet everyone across the country will be tuning in to hear the Pats and Eagles play-by-play. Westwood One will cover the game nationally. Listeners coast-to-coast can hear the game called by their favorite announcers including Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason, and this year also includes Hall of Fame reporter Ed Werder. Local announcers in Boston and Philadelphia include WBZ’s Bob Socci and Scott Zolak, and WIP’s Merrill Reese and Mike Quick.

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