The casket may have been built by skeptics in anticipation of broadcast radio dying off, but that casket is far from being put in the ground. In fact, traditional AM/FM radio remains the number one medium in terms of reach across the United States reaching 93% of the population according to Nielsen.
Radio remains relevant for a variety of reasons including the fact that listeners are usually on the go. According to Edison Research, 86% of Americans drive to work and broadcast radio accounts for 70% of in-car audio. This means, drivers are consistently listening to AM/FM stations on their daily commute giving advertisers a reliable medium to reach them through.
On top of that, Americans listen to the radio when they’re driving for reasons beyond going into the office. With more leisurely drive times, advertisers can entice listeners with timely, local, and influential messages.
Radio is also changing on the back end of things that remains a mystery to your everyday listener. The push of programmatic buying has begun and companies like iHeartMedia and Jelli are jumping on board quickly. Jelli has created a platform for the radio giant, iHeartMedia, giving them the ability to sell inventory across all 858 network stations reaching a quarter of a billion people.
“Smart Audio Audience” buys have some obvious pros and cons. Pros consist of the ability to reach a large amount of people, targeting an audience rather than a daypart & demo, and the data to conduct more sophisticated buys to name a few. On the flip side, with such a large geographic, programmatic lacks the ability to buy locally eliminating the option for advertisers to promote local deals.
Digital support has also immerged in efforts to keep broadcast radio alive. Entercom, a broadcast radio company, created 120 websites for each of its 120 broadcast stations giving listeners the ability to interact socially, engage with DJ’s, and be connected like never before. In fact, Kansas City’s own 96.5 The Buzz doubled their station listenership when they added a streaming component.
All of that to say, radio isn’t ready to wave the white flag. In fact, radio isn’t even close to calling it quits, and neither are advertisers who take advantage of the successful media outlet.