Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why isn’t radio getting the respect (and ad dollars) that it deserves?


According to a recent study by the Council for Research Excellence, 77% of adults are reached by broadcast radio on a daily basis, second only to television. Among the coveted 18-34 year old target the percentage jumps to 80%. (“Radio Dominant Audio Device”, 2009).

As we have discussed in class, radio provides well-defined audiences on a local basis, and a 92% retention rate during commercials, at a low out-of-pocket cost. (“Radio Listeners Stay Tuned During Commercials, 2006).

Yet, CBS radio revenues fell -19% in the third quarter; and their predicament is not unique as the entire category experienced a -20% drop. (Sass, 2009).

If we are all still listening to radio, why aren’t advertisers continuing to advertise on it? Do you find radio advertising less persuasive than other forms of advertising? Have you ever bought something after hearing a radio ad?

Radio Dominant Audio Device. (2009, November 9). Retrived via email November 9, 2009.

Radio Listeners Stay Tuned During Commercials. (2006, October 23). Adweek.
inside front cover.

Sass, E. (2009, November 6). CBS Radio Revenues Fall 19%. Retrived November 11, 2009, from


  1. First off, let me state that I am in the 23% minority of adults who are not reached by broadcast radio. So, my opinions are biased. I can't remember the last time I listened to conventional radio. I do use the Pandora internet radio service though.

    I don't think radio advertising is very effective, I have never purchased anything after hearing a radio ad. My theory is that people have become quite good at filtering out noise. So, while 92% of the audience is tuned in, perhaps barely anyone is listening.

  2. It's kinda weird but I don't find myself listening to radio as much now that I don't drive. I'm a big music fan but just don't have the opportunity to listen often. I hear from the music side that record labels are seeing less and less return on investment from radio although it's still fairly viable. So, I'm wondering if because record labels are wavering a bit at radio that maybe advertisers are just following suit. It just seems, much like with print, there's less energy around radio which may prove to be even more detrimental moving forward. I'm not sure how to regain ground in traditional outlets and there's still a scramble about monetizing the web.