Radio dominates in advertising impact survey

How many people listen to the radio?

If you were to pay attention to technology pundits and the general news media, you would come away with the conclusion of, “well, practically nobody”. According to them, all those people who used to be radio listeners are bypassing that “old” technology for new offerings that the Internet has brought to bear, such as Pandora and Spotify. Cellphone playlists. Satellite radio, even, still makes a claim for being a popular alternative to traditional radio listening.

The Radio Station: Broadcast, Satellite and Internet
The Radio Station: Broadcast, Satellite and Internet

Well, maybe all those pundits and news reporters have it wrong.

According to an Arbitron report entitled WHERE RADIO FITS: RADIO’S STRENTHS IN THE MEDIA LANDSCAPE, radio is doing just fine, thankyouverymuch.

How can that possibly be, you ask?  Let’s take a look at what the report has to say when it comes to radio’s impact on a consumer’s purchases:

  • Radio reaches 31% of consumers in the targeted age group of 25-54 in that “ideal” shopping time of 1pm-2pm.  Why 1p-2p is considered the Peak Shopping Period is not made entirely clear.  During that same timeframe, TV’s reach is only 17%.
  • Traditional radio offers eight times more listening than satellite radio, and seventeen times more listening than Internet streaming.  Web Watch can see the Internet streaming option trending upwards, as more people incorporate their mobile device with their car radio systems.  Of course, would people still spend their cellphone minutes listening to a streaming version of the same station they can pick up via the car antenna?
  • While TV reaches 80 percent of the ideal targeted consumer age group, radio reaches 59% of those same consumers.  The Internet comes in third in reach, at 49%, with social networking at 19% and 16% being mobile web/app usage.

So what does this mean to the average consumer?  Nothing – keep doing what you’re doing.

But for the marketer and advertiser?  Ah, they’re the ones who should be paying attention to where people’s focus has been, and ensure that they have spent appropriate marketing dollars in those areas.  Internet and other spending is still critical, but don’t forego traditional advertising methods – they’re still proving to be effective.

Will that still be the case tomorrow?  Maybe, maybe not.  Only time will tell.