Radio Advertising Audiences are Growing

Written By

SMI Staff

Published On

Thursday, Mar 13


When we tell friends or people we meet socially that we are a radio agency working in the direct response radio advertising space, often the response is “oh, isn’t radio … dying?”

The answer (which we know from looking at our results every day) is a very confident “no”.

Arbitron’s recently released report on radio listening bears this out. Their June 2012 Radio RADAR report shows that “radio’s audience increased slightly year over year by 590,000 persons aged 12 and older, representing nearly 93% of the population.”

Some other highlights from this report, which is useful for radio agencies and radio advertisers alike, include:

  • More than 95% of adults aged 18 to 49 with a household income of $75K or more and a college degree tune in to radio on a weekly basis
  • Significant growth in Hispanic (2.5 million) and Black (one million) listeners year over year
  • And perhaps most interestingly, adults aged 18 to 34 showed the largest increase year over year, adding 845,000 weekly radio listeners. This shows that radio continues to reach the younger audiences.

Note: The sample size for the Arbitron report was 395,655 persons aged 12 or older, which is quite large (for the non-stats people out there, a large sample means the data yielded is better, or you could say more accurate). As data lovers (with a sense of humor) we say “In God we trust, all others must bring data.”

Will direct response radio work for you? That question can be answered rather easily and inexpensively with a simple test. But what we don’t need a test to find out – is whether radio advertising is going anywhere.

In fact, not only are radio audiences growing, “radio” as it has been known, is going through an exciting transformation as a large number of streaming options combine with new devices to make audio entertainment more and more ubiquitous. The definition of “radio advertising” is expanding beyond “terrestrial” national radio advertising and local market radio advertising to include Internet radio advertising.

As a radio agency and certainly as direct response radio advertising experts who’ve been working in this field going back to the mid 1990’s, we are seeing a lot of interesting new opportunities as we help our clients tap into new avenues and acquire new customers with direct response radio. 

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