The Future of Radio Ads

By Rebeka Spiwak
June 15, 2018

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As an account manager, I’m frequently asked about my thoughts on radio and if it’s still a relevant advertising medium. While some might say radio ads are an outdated form of advertising, we are going to see (or rather hear) radio ads make a modernized comeback!

Consumers Are Actually Listening More

Radio is no longer restricted by its outdated AM/FM stereotypes (see what I did there). In fact, streaming radio via the internet is far more common than one might think. Moreover, with continued digital advances and the increasing popularity of in-home artificial intelligence devices such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple’s HomePod powered by Siri, radio advertising’s potential reach isn’t shrinking- its growing.

According to a new report released by Nielsen Music, on average, Americans now spend just slightly more than 32 hours a week listening to music- which is a huge increase from last year’s 23.5 hours. When I speak to my clients about radio ads, I remind them of how quickly auditory messaging is being integrated into the consumer’s daily schedule.

When Are Consumers Listening? Almost Always.

Think about your daily routine, the first thing you do when you get into your vehicle in the morning is turn on a local morning show, stream Spotify, or listen to some sort of music service containing integrated radio advertising. While at work, you may switch to streaming Pandora on your computer, or start listening to your favorite podcast. Then, when you’re at home cooking dinner, you might ask Alexa, Echo, or Siri to play your favorite local radio station.

For a too many reasons to count, consumers like having some sort of soundtrack to their day. It’s extremely important that businesses realize the growing potential of this space and utilize its expanding reach.

Are Radio Ads Effective? Now More Than Ever.

Ask yourself, are you using radio to reach your potential customers? If the answer is no, it’s time to consider the value of reaching your ideal demographic throughout their entire day. New tech has phased out radio’s old shotgun style targeting approach and now integrates finer consumer data points like: mood, location, devices, algorithm generated audience profiles, and much more.

Online streaming radio services, like Pandora and Spotify, are perfect examples of this type of targeting- they allow users to build playlists based on their mood, personal preferences and even their location. Moreover, with the ability to access these platforms across all devices, there is opportunity to target the listener by device- which carries its own list of targetable metrics. Giving users the ability to fully customize their listening experience allows us advertisers to get your radio ads to your perfect target. Many advertisers don’t take advantage of this medium, or worse- continue to make the mistake of using generic 30-second radio ads across all platforms when instead, they should be customizing their ads by device and audience.

As in-home AI like Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s HomePod become more popular, it’s safe to assume further radio ad integration opportunities are coming soon. Not sure where to start with an radio advertising campaign? Need some guidance on how to tackle radio advertising’s growing potential? Contact your account manager at RCP Marketing to take the next step!