The Pros of Advertising on Black-​Owned Radio Stations

BY Rachel Cagle
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Have your clients been wanting to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to supporting Black-​owned businesses? Maybe they also need radio intelligence when it comes to advertising. Many businesses claimed to back Black Lives Matter and similar organizations but have let those efforts fall to the wayside over the years. If your client would like to continue to support Black-​owned businesses AND get their money’s worth when buying advertising, they should consider teaming up with Black-​owned radio stations.

Advertising on Black-​Owned Radio Stations

Is Radio Advertising Worth It?

Your client’s first question when it comes to considering teaming up with a Black-​owned radio station is: Do people even respond to radio ads anymore? The answer is yes. According to a recent SalesFuel blog post, featuring data from the Harvard Business Review, “Traditional ads (primarily TV, radio and print) outperform digital ads in reach, attention and engagement compared to their cost.” It goes on to reveal that radio ads sway 71% of consumers who hear them to make purchasing decisions.

Another SalesFuel blog, featuring research from Dentsu, says that global radio ad spending will reach $36.1 billion this year. The COVID-​19 pandemic has also led to a rise in radio listeners. SalesFuel’s blog quoting Nielsen says that, “In October 2020, radio was at 97% recovery with 120.816 million average weekly listeners.” And habits developed during the pandemic have been sticking around. So, yes, radio ads are a solid investment for marketers.

Black-​Owned Radio Stations

According to a report by BIA Advisory Services and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), there are 97 Black radio ownership organizations in BIA-NABOB’s station ownership database (listed in the link). Overall, there are 220 Black-​owned radio stations:

  • 117 FM stations
  • 103 AM stations

And these stations are doing well. 28% have average revenues of between $1 million and $10 million. 2.4% earn more than $10 million in annual revenue. Additionally, 19.6% of these stations are in the Top 10 radio markets ranked by Nielsen. 45.2% are in markets 51 and smaller, 23.6% are in unranked markets and the rest are in markets between 11 and 50.

Other revenue analysis findings on Black-​owned radio stations by BIA include:

  • 2020 Local Commercial Share: The average Black Owned radio station generates 2.8 percent of the over-​the-​air revenue generated by commercial stations… the median revenue share in 2020 was 5.2 percent.
  • Power Ratio: Black Owned Radio stations had a Power Ratio with a median value of 0.9 percent. This metric indicates if a station is over-​selling or under-​selling their audience shares in the market.
  • Local Commercial Share: Black Owned Radio stations had an average Local Commercial Share of 2.8 percent and a median of 5.2 percent. The Local Commercial Share is the average share for the prior 12-​month period (beginning the previous Fall through the subsequent Summer Ratings period) adjusted for lost listening to out-​of-​market and non-​commercial stations.”

What Are They Playing?

Most Black-​owned radio stations feature Urban and Religious formats. Here are the format categories by popularity, according to BIA:

  • Urban: 101 radio stations
  • Religion: 61
  • Talk: 10
  • News: 6
  • Sports: 5

Are Your Client’s Target Audiences Listening to Radio Ads?

Still worrying about your client’s likelihood of investing in ads on Black-​owned radio stations? Show them their target audience’s opinions of radio ads! On AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel, you can look up advertising information on your client’s target audience. There, you’ll discover what percentage of the audience took action based on radio ads within the last year. You’ll also learn which types of stations they’re most likely to be listening to.

Photo by ConvertKit