Where and When to Place Your Radio Ads

BY Rachel Cagle
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AM/​FM radio has its fair share of people who doubt its influence, but the fact of the matter is that it actually reaches 93% of adults in the U.S., according to Nielsen. If you’re unsure about the amount of belief you place in this research, let’s dive a little deeper and you’ll probably find that you contribute to this percentage more than you think.

Not surprisingly, roughly 67% of radio is consumed outside of the home, mostly between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Why is that? It’s likely because 76% of consumers ages 18 to 64 who listen to the radio are employed. They probably tune in to their favorite stations on their commutes to and from work and when they go out for lunch. This is reassuring news for radio advertisers, who obviously want their ads to reach consumers who have disposable incomes.

So, when should you encourage your clients to place their ads? The U.S. Census Bureau says that the average worker’s daily commute is about 26 minutes. So, that’s approximately two and a half hours during typical rush hour times, every week, that your clients will have the best chance of reaching an audience via radio ads.

87% of radio listeners tune in to only their top three favorite stations. Here’s how radio usage broke down according to Nielsen’s October 2017 Portable People Meter:

  • Favorite Station: 58% of all of an individual’s listening
  • Second Favorite: 19%
  • Third Favorite: 10%
  • Fourth Favorite: 14%

So, what’s the most likely answer to the burning question of, “What are the genres of these stations most likely to be?” Here are the top formats of radio listening throughout the U.S. in 2017:

  • Country: 13.6%
  • News/​Talk: 12.2%

If you’re selling radio, these statistics give you fresh ammunition to present to prospects. Put together a list of the businesses you plan to approach in 2018 and share the results of this study with them.