New Research, Same Results: Radio Still Going Strong

It's no surprise. The latest research confirms something we’ve known all along -- radio continues to play a key role in consumers' lives, regardless of alternative audio options and the newest “cool” devices. Media research methodology continues to evolve and improve, but when it comes to radio, the results are the same.

In 2010, the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement chose the Media Behavior Institute as its partner in developing an innovative, consumer-centric, cross-media, contextual and planning initiative. CIMM, as it is known, is comprised of many of the nation’s largest and most sophisticated advertisers and agencies. The Media Behavior Institute was selected to conduct the study primarily because of its methodology: the USA TouchPoints 10-day eDiary, which utilizes a smartphone app that was used successfully for several years in the UK.

As Managing Director of CIMM Jane Clark stated: “We searched the globe to find the most consumer-centric platform approaches -- UK TouchPoints is by far the most comprehensive, and provides the best way to link cross-media measurement and provide an understanding of media usage in context.”



The primary goal of the study was to enable advertisers and agency planners to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the entire consumer media experience -- to provide insight into the consumer's mood and mindset while consuming media and experiencing advertising, as well as where and with whom it is being consumed. Understanding the contextual components of media usage can provide key insights, such as the timing of message delivery as well as the type of creative that will resonate and deliver greater ROI.

The USA TouchPoints pilot ran from October 1, 2010- March 1, 2011, and consisted of a sample of 1,000 adults ages 18-64. The following is a brief recap of some of the initial USA TouchPoints findings:

*Radio reaches more Millennials, Gen-Xers and Boomers each day and throughout the week than the four television networks, NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox, combined.

*Radio is the #1 medium with Millennials, Gen-Xers and Boomers who are employed full-time Monday-Friday 6:00 AM-5:30 PM, far out-distancing TV.

*Other digital audio alternatives remain supplements rather than substitutes. Radio’s reach to those who stream music is 2% greater than the general population, +1% higher with those who listen to an iPod or MP3, and only slightly less than those who listen to satellite radio.

*Contrary to conventional wisdom, radio’s appeal within the A18-34 demo is still rock-solid and approximately equal to that of the general population with A18-34’s listening to two hours and 21 minutes of radio per day of radio versus two hours and 31 minutes per day for A18-64.

*Almost one-quarter (23%) of the average A18-64 listeners' time with media each day is spent with radio, 19% with the Internet, 2% with the newspaper, 1% with magazines and 55% with television.

*Radio remains the solid #2 medium -- ranking behind television but ahead of the Internet with the 18-64 and the 18-34 demographics.

*Radio dominates newspaper (online + printed) and magazines (online + printed).

*Mobile phone apps and mobile Web usage lag far behind radio usage, ranging anywhere between one-quarter to one-third of radio’s daily usage.

The findings clearly demonstrate that regardless of the new forms of media popping up every day, radio continues to bring listeners something very unique—a personal and local experience that can’t be replicated in other media. And that appeal has remained constant over the years. The USA TouchPoints data is only the latest in a long series of independently funded research that confirms radio’s importance to American consumers. It remains an extremely effective and efficient advertising vehicle for advertisers to convey their messaging and will be for quite some time.

Clearly, radio continues to play the role of America’s companion to millions, accompanying us throughout our day in our homes, offices and automobiles.

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