Why Radio Impressions Are Worth More Than Digital

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Tuesday, Nov 02
Small retro red radio on a laptop keyboard.
The radio advertising industry is shifting from a ratings-based system to an impressions-based system, as used in digital. But despite the same metric, AM/FM radio and digital impressions are not created equal. Here are 3 reasons why radio impressions may be even more valuable than digital.


Greater trust
Research has shown consumers trust radio more than digital media. Inside Radio reports 55% of respondents consider the ads they hear on AM/FM radio trustworthy, versus 46% for ads they encounter on apps/websites and 36% on social media.

An impression from a trustworthy source will resonate more, and have a greater effect on consumers, than an ad that is deemed untrustworthy.

Greater engagement 

In order for a radio or TV impression to be calculated by Nielsen, a listener/viewer must engage with the medium for at least five minutes. By contrast, there is no set of standards for digital impressions. As Inside Radio reports, each platform from YouTube to Tik-Tok to connected TV has its own criteria for determining the delivery of impressions.

Greater control 

If you want the freedom to choose when your ad reaches consumers, AM/FM radio is a smart move. Most digital ads offer no way to choose the specific times your ad will appear, but AM/FM allows advertisers to control which dayparts will be purchased.


AM/FM radio has earned the trust of consumers, engages listeners, and offers greater control for advertisers. For even more reasons to advertise on audio, read our recent post, “Why You Should Triple Your Audio Ad Spend.” And to hear your ad on radio or podcasts, contact SMI today.

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