Should Podcast Advertisers Expand to AM/FM Radio to Grow Reach and Sales?

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Wednesday, Jun 15
light blue vintage radio on a blue background

Should podcast advertisers expand their marketing channels to include AM/FM radio? According to a new study Cumulus Media in conjunction with The Harris Poll, the answer is a resounding yes. 


The case study followed a meal kit delivery service who had used extensive podcast advertising to build their business. The brand wanted to see if AM/FM radio advertising would extend their reach and generate growth.

To determine the effectiveness of adding AM/FM radio, the meal kit delivery service ran a national AM/FM radio test campaign from January 31-February 27, 2022. The Harris Poll Brand Tracker examined the results of the pre-campaign (January 17-30, 2022), during the campaign, and the post-campaign (February 28-March 13, 2022).

Here are some of the key findings, as explained by Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer of the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group.


Heavy AM/FM radio listeners generated a 2X greater lift than average

Between the pre- and post- campaigns, heavy AM/FM radio listeners (those who listen to AM/FM radio more than 5 hours per week) generated immense brand equity growth, 2X greater than the average. (Brand equity is a composite of momentum, consideration, quality, and familiarity.) 


Familiarity for the meal kit delivery service soared among heavy AM/FM radio listeners

Heavy AM/FM listeners had the greatest opportunity to hear the campaign, and delivered the largest lifts for familiarity and consideration. 

There was nearly a +10-point increase in familiarity pre-campaign vs. post-campaign among heavy AM/FM radio listeners.


Heavy AM/FM radio listeners delivered substantial consideration growth for the meal kit delivery service.

Brand consideration (the likelihood of a consumer to buy the product) among podcast listeners was +44% greater than the general population as a result of the brand’s previous heavy use of podcast advertising.


The meal kit delivery service saw positive brand lift across the purchase funnel among both heavy AM/FM radio and podcast listeners.

Compared to the pre-campaign period (1/17/22-1/30/22), the meal kit delivery service’s usage among podcast listeners increased +51% in the post-campaign period (2/28/22-3/13/22). Among heavy AM/FM radio listeners, usage increased +10% in the post-campaign period, and familiarity with the brand increased +22%. “It all starts at the top of the funnel,” explained Pierre Bouvard, “because if you don’t have familiarity growth, you’re not going to get sales growth.”


Heavy historical use of podcast advertising resulted in significant awareness, consideration, and brand equity among the podcast audience for the meal kit brand.

Comparing podcast listeners to the general population, the meal kit delivery brand had much stronger brand equity (+43%), consideration (+34%), and familiarity (+34%).

The meal kit brand’s test of AM/FM radio advertising was very successful, and their results align with other major marketing effectiveness studies that have shown that adding media platforms causes effectiveness and ROI to grow.

A study conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation (the ARF) called “How Advertising Worksrevealed that return on advertising spend soars as the number of media are added. And According to the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), as more advertising channels are used, effectiveness goes up. Advertising across multiple platforms increases ROI. 

At SMI, we encourage a multifaceted approach to audio campaigns that includes both radio and podcasts. Do you want to improve your ROI by adding a new channel? Contact Strategic Media, Inc. today to hear your brand on AM/FM radio, streaming, or satellite radio, as well as podcasts.

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