The importance of radio in your media mix

Date posted: 8 Aug 2019

Posted by: Smithfield

Post category: Insights

As a graduate and a recent entrant into the world of media (I started at Smithfield 1 month ago), I was excited to be invited to spend a day at Radiocentre in London. Radiocentre is the industry body for commercial radio, operating over 300 radio stations across the UK.

Here are a few highlights of the things I learnt:

The first thing that really surprised me was the sheer volume of people who tune in to the radio every week. Growing up in the 90s I assumed that Spotify and other streaming platforms would have dwarfed radio listenership by now! The fact that 98% of the UK population listen to live radio every week and that 18% of the media day is spent listening to the radio is mind blowing to me. And, research (IPA Touchpoints 2018) has shown that we spent more time listening to the radio (553 millions of hours per week) than we do on social media (527 millions of hours per week)!

So, as an advertiser, why choose radio?
One thing to be careful of is that not all radio is commercial – so those big listenership figures don’t translate exactly into audiences we can advertise to. In fact, 40% of radio audiences are listening to commercial stations, thus we can only hit 40% of the population with radio. However, having said this – it is still a great way to build cover quickly and cheaply.

Radio (according to a recent study conducted by Neuro Insight called Hear and Now) has one of the most attractive ROIs (£1.61) of any media channel. Similarly, the research has shown the effectiveness of radio campaigns in increasing:

  • ad awareness (+55%);
  • trust of brand (+62%);
  • relevance (+42%); and
  • brand consideration (+31%).

This can mainly be attributed to the fact that radio stations have specific audiences, and many are localised, so it is easier to reach the target demographic. Emotions also plays a part, being an audio channel, brands can get their emotional messages across more effectively. People are twice as happy when listening to the radio and therefore more likely to respond to adverts.

Likewise, radio is still the most consumed commercial audio channel and is still growing as the years go on. Since 2017, live radio reach has increased by 4% (up to 67%) among all adults and is still the highest consumed commercial audio format by around 56% (compared to podcasts 11%).

Due to its reach, relevance and the emotional capability, radio is an audio format that shouldn’t be overlooked, it has been shown to be an inexpensive yet a hugely effective media channel.

Come and speak to us at Smithfield, to find out how radio can play an important role in driving growth for your business.

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