Radio Bite: Don’t underestimate the power of radio

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Radio is a powerful and often underused platform for advertisers. During these unprecedented times our Radio Bites series will give compelling reasons for brands to continue to be heard on the airwaves and why consumers will be listening.

Ebiquity’s latest research, Re-Evaluating Media for Recovery, is a follow up to 2018’s in-depth report, Re-Evaluating Media, which looked at the most effective media for long term brand building. In that report, evidence showed that radio was only second to the top performer, TV, but was undervalued by many advertisers who did not appreciate radio’s strengths in helping brands grow and placed it at 6th.

The new report shows that perception of radio has improved, rising three places and only one spot below what the evidence shows. In 2020, radio remains the second most valuable medium after TV for successful marketing in a recession.

However, media decision-makers underestimate the time audiences spend listening to radio and overestimate the time they spend listening to podcasts and music streaming services such as Spotify.

The research uncovered that advertisers and agencies believe listeners spend 58% of commercial audio time listening to radio, 26% with on-demand music and 16% of their time with non-BBC podcasts. The evidence from RAJAR MIDAS reveals a very different reality, with live radio making up 84% of listening time, while on-demand music accounts for 9% and podcasts for 8%.

Re-Evaluating Media for Recovery also found that the more accurate perception of radio’s value is influencing an increase in spending intentions, with more than a third of advertisers (34%) planning to invest more in radio in 2021 vs. pre-COVID 2020 budgets. This spending intention for radio is the highest net shift for any traditional medium, with a net figure of 19% of advertisers planning to invest more in the medium in 2021 vs. pre-COVID 2020 budgets.

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