This is a fantastic posting by Bob McCurdy of Katz Marketing Solutions. I thought I’d share it for all you radio sales folks out there…and potential sponsors and advertisers:
Bob McCurdy, president of Katz Marketing Solutions, authored the
following commentary on the sometimes-overlooked strengths of radio in the June
28 edition of Marketing Daily.
David Ogilvy once remarked: “On the
average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” And
for us in the ad business, that’s probably a gross understatement due to the
sheer volume of material we read each day to stay current.
with many ad writers’ penchant for glorifying the next “big thing” and it’s easy
to see how advertising pros can get a distorted perception regarding the media
To help you determine what audio facts are real, here is a
healthy dose of 2013 audio reality. Hopefully, it will prevent you from jumping
to any conclusions that might be harmful to both your clients’ media plans and
your professional health. All of the data referenced has been extracted from the
Media Behavior Institute’s 2013 USA TouchPoints study.
(19%) of media time (U.S. adults) is spent with radio. The average adult
spends more time with radio each day than with DVDs, iPods/MP3s, CDs, books,
satellite radio, game consoles, newspapers, music streaming services,
video-on-demand, magazines and streaming movies combined.
daily usage is comparable to that of network TV’s audience. Close to 90% of
all TV viewers who watch any of the five major TV networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox
and the CW) each week can be reached via radio. The same holds true for those
who tune in to the combined audience of all English-language cable
Speaking of reach, it’s what every advertiser wants and is
often willing to pay huge sums for, as evidenced by the annual upfront buying
frenzy. “Advertising remains a reach-focused business,” said Jack Myers
recently, and we agree.
Radio is appointment listening. Radio is
more than reach — it’s a habit. The average listener tunes in to radio five
days per week, on average 3.5x per day, versus going online four days per week,
turning on the tube six days per week, and opening up a magazine or newspaper
twice per week. How many of us do anything five days a week, not to mention more
than three times per day? Due to busy travel schedules, it’s a safe bet that
many of us don’t even see our families five days per week.
of usage enables an advertiser to generate reach as well as frequency, which is
so vital to a brand’s success. Clear Channel’s CEO Bob Pittman often describes
radio as America’s companion, and he’s right.
AM/FM radio accounts for
the vast majority of this country’s total audio entertainment. AM/FM radio
listening (terrestrial or streamed) accounts for two-thirds of total audio
consumption for the average adult each week, with the other four audio options
(satellite radio, CDs, MP3s and online streaming) making up the other 34%. For
18-34 adults, listening to AM/FM radio counted for 56% of all of their weekly
AM/FM radio usage continues to far exceed the
combined usage of all streaming music options. For every USA TouchPoint
respondent who indicated that they were listening to any of the streaming music
services, such as Pandora, Slacker, iHeartRadio, etc., 17 respondents reported
they were listening to AM/FM radio. A 17 to 1 ratio is dominant by anyone’s
We understand that writers are paid to focus on what’s new
and that most readers are not interested in reading a headline that touts “more
of the same.” But even with new audio options popping up daily, when it comes to
AM/FM radio’s dominance, it is more of the same, as it continues to play an
important role of people’s lives.
Radio alone delivers to listeners
something very unique — a personal and local entertainment experience that
other media are hard pressed to replicate.