Radio is Kicking Ass
Have you heard? Radio is kicking ass.
We opened in 2001 as “Radio Outhouse”. We specialized in radio, because radio was hopping. The average daily commute in our area was more than 60 minutes, more than 90% of the population listened to radio and it kept most of its audience during commercial breaks.
Eighteen years later, our name changed and how people engage with radio has too. But the numbers are almost identical. Between 92% -93% of the U.S. population listens to radio every week. Radio keeps about 92% of its audience during commercial breaks and, unfortunately, our metro area’s average daily commute is still over an hour. We still love radio and here are why:
A Better Connection
My late business partner used to say, “If the local DJ says. ‘the first fifty people to drive off the road get a free tee shirt,’ we’d have cars piling up everywhere.” People love and are loyal to their DJs. They become part of a daily routine and part of people’s lives. Loyalty to a station is stronger than to any other medium.
Unlimited creative with a limited budget
In our radio commercials we’ve built an ark (complete with two of every animal), drove dangerously on a major highway, traveled the world, skydived, blasted off in a space shuttle and climbed a mountain made of paper. With radio you can create any scenario and never have to book a plane ticket or hire an ark builder.
No media beats radio for community partnership. We’ve worked with nonprofits who use radio and have gotten well over a 1:1 dollar for dollar of added value compared to spend. What other media would offer you that? Station remotes are still part of a lot of experiential marketing campaigns and make any occasion a fun event. And the local content makes radio stations trusted members of any community.
Music is available on-demand through dozens of platforms. Radio stations, once the only way to hear new music, had to adjust. They still offer music, but they also offer personalities whom people love, contests that are fun and relevant, they bring in community members and promote the local scene. They test their music and structure their offering to people who want a curated experience.
That 92% reach still tops of all other media. Radio’s reach is pretty hard to compete with. Many times we will offer it as an alternative when we are targeting light TV viewers. You can finda a more complete picture of radio’s reach in this Nielsen report: https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2019/the-steady-reach-of-radio-winning-consumers-attention/
People predicted radio’s demise in the 1950’s when TV came around. Sometimes when we mention radio to people, they look perplexed like we just asked them to use a slide rule. But the truth is, radio has adjusted to changing times. Stations are active in social media, offer digital packages to go with broadcast and continuously create content that keeps people listening every day. They are even moving into the podcast space as many of the most listened to podcasts are replays of radio shows.
113 years after the first wireless broadcast, radio is still thriving. You don’t stick around that long unless you’re adapting and evolving.
For more info on research in the audio space, check out our podcast with Warren Kurtzman of Coleman Insights.