Radio Enjoys Highest Reach Among Independents In Swing States

The most recent study shows that radio remains the medium with the widest reach among Independent voters in battleground states, and it even retains that title with millennial Independents.

The Katz Media Group has been working with Nielsen throughout the 2016 cycle to conduct studies around the media consumption patterns of Independents located in swing states. The latest report of “The Local Vote 2016” studied voters in the states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin and Colorado.

Radio is the most ubiquitous medium among Independent voters in these swing states, where 94% of these voters said they listen to radio on a regular basis, compared to 88% that watch broadcast TV, 85% that watch cable TV and 62% that use mobile internet.

On a weekly basis, 54% of millennial Independents in swing states listen to contemporary hit radio stations, and 52% tune into rock stations, compared to 45% who watch broadcast prime TV, 44% who watch local TV news and 26% who watch cable news channels.



When measuring the media consumption habits of the Independent denomination of any age in battleground states, the Katz/Nielsen study found that 43% of these voters listen to contemporary radio stations on a weekly basis, 40% listen to rock stations, 35% listen to country and 33% tune into news/talk/sports radio shows weekly.

All reach more Independents on a weekly basis than CNN (23%), Fox News (15%) or MSNBC (10%). While these TV channels will provide a constant stream of political news, the heavy consumption of radio stations and shows provides a stronger audience reach for political advertisers.

While Hillary Clinton may be confident at this point of her footing in many of these swing states, where she holds strong polling leads, Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson are running radio ads in an attempt to reach those all-important Independents in swing states.

The study also analyzed Independents’ media consumption habits in particularly dense population areas within these swing states. In Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, adult contemporary and classic music stations are the stations most listened to. Cincinnati Independents mostly tune into news/talk/sports and country stations.

Florida Independents tend to listen mostly to Spanish language radio stations, whereas if you move up the coast to West Palm and Tampa, Independents tune into adult contemporary stations. News/talk/sports stations are the radio staple for swing voters in Orlando and Jacksonville.

2 comments about "Radio Enjoys Highest Reach Among Independents In Swing States".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 18, 2016 at 10:34 a.m.

    Yep, but the average person who watches TV spends twice as much time doing so than is devoted to radio. Was that factored into the equation? Also, how easy is it to gain total reach in radio or TV at equal ad spending levels? Does TV build reach for ad schedules faster than radio?Such comparisons might be a tad more enlightening that touting the weekly reach capabilities of radio versus TV, which, frankly, aren't all that different.

    Then, of course, there's the question of ad exposure and message registration. How do the two media compare on that score for political campaigns? In my book, radio might look quite good---especially where image transfer is concerned for political campaigns---as a compliment to
    TV, but woulnd't it be nice if this aspect was also explored and documented with some research?

  2. Jon Currie from Currie Communications, Inc., August 18, 2016 at 2:32 p.m.

    And there is something called pushing buttons on the dial. I'll bet those millenials just can't wait to hear a political ad following the latest offering from the Wknd.

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