Is the radio star still alive or did streaming radio kill it?

Ok so I was just having a conversation with a fellow colleague a few weeks ago about when it’s appropriate to include radio pitches, PSA’s what have you, in a client’s integrated marketing plan. Initially, I have to admit my gut reaction to him was – simply (but politely) “Rarely.”

Couple things to consider:

1) I am not yet in my 50’s or 60’s
2) I regularly listen to XM radio (actually have a CNN addiction), Spotify and Pandora
3) The radio PSA’s I have purchased for clients in my opinion were expensive in comparison to the ROI we received

As the universe would have it quote unquote – Unprecedented National Research on the “State of Listening in America” was just released on May 10th. And of course my colleague sent me a link to the report in light of our most recent convo.

In case you are bored of reading already and want to make your own assumptions,  I will cut to the chase and just tell you that the research clearly showed that “Radio Remains Hugely Popular Across Multiple Platforms” – in fact 92% of respondents listen to the radio at least once per week.

Here is the complete report as well as an article re: the report

Tons of other stats are provided including:

– 69 percent agree “streaming services do not replace radio.”
– 80 percent say radio is helpful in discovering new artists or songs.
– 82 percent say the first thing they do when they get in a car is turn on the radio.
– 66 percent agree that their favorite radio stations reflect who they are as a person.
– 78 percent agree that radio has the power to make a difference in the community and 72 percent believe radio is more community-oriented than TV.
– 85 percent say radio is more accessible than at any time before and 78 percent say they can access radio anywhere.
– Radio advertising is viewed more positively than ads on TV, internet and mobile apps.
– 72 percent believe that radio feels more “human” than the internet and 65 percent believe it is more “personal” than TV.
– 71 percent say radio is a part of their daily routine.

And of course they go into how social media has helped re-energize radio – allowing listeners to contact the host or DJ via Twitter etc.

Here’s the one issue with this “never before” gathered info from the 1,000 survey participants – essentially no data is provided about who these people are – Oh I am sorry, Clear Channel does mention that “the results underscore radio’s continued widespread popularity amongst Millennials and Generation Z” – great, but literally no additional demographical info is provided such as – how much money the participants earn on average, where they live, etc. So you can see as a Marketing & PR Consultant how I am not swinging from the rafters ready to change my tune re: using radio more “frequently” if you will, in integrated marketing plans.

WHO is the target audience is all marketers and PR people really care about. So here is my advice – if you are going to use radio – and dump some effort into pitching the stations or purchasing PSA’s make sure that the listeners and the content the station pushes out is  99% in line with who you are trying to reach with your message. In fact, you could probably like their social media pages and post your info to their already established, loyal listeners, for free.

Great example – here in S. Florida we have WLRN – big focus on arts & culture – so if you have a cultural event and a few bucks for radio (BTW they offer reduced pricing for non profits) WLRN is the perfect fit for you.

Until the next radio research report of a lifetime gets published – happy listening to whatever it is that brings music to your ears.

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