Contrary to popular belief, radio is not a dying medium

After spending the vast majority of my life selling and leading radio sales operations, I am pleased to announce that radio is still a viable and powerful option to build a brand. Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask me about satellite radio and its impact on traditional radio. According to a recent Billboard magazine article headline, 30 Million Subscribers Later, FM Is Still Standing & Satellite Radio Is Still In Orbit and a recent Edison Research survey found that even SiriusXM subscribers give 39 percent of their in-car listening to AM/FM radio. But the other 61 percent of that in-car time is going somewhere else. Let’s do the math – 10% of the population listen 61% of the time which equals about 6% of the population. Negligible. On the other hand according to the Radio Advertising Bureau, over 90% of the population listens to radio every week. 

What about newspapers and TV? Newspapers are read by less than half of the population and offer no frequency to advertisers. They are harmful to the environment and target an older population as well as becoming more expensive every year. Did you know that a full page ad in the Montreal Gazettte is $ 15,000 and they print less than 100,000 papers daily. Do the math again. TV is still a strong medium however there three challenges. First, fragmentation – we have an enormous amount of choices in some cases upwards of 500 including Netflix. Second, the advent of PVR’s are hurting the advertisers as we are zapping through the commercial content, Third, the cost of TV advertising and production is prohibitive for most advertisers except the Fortune 500.

So that leaves radio. The best part of radio advertising is that you can a select a station that targets your demographics. Radio is affordable and allows frequency which is more critical than reach in attaining results. And did you know that only 8% of radio listeners tune out when a commercial comes on the air. Of course, as you sit in traffic every day, 84% of drivers cite radio as their most used entertainment device; a truly captive audience. One of my old sales trainers once said that a car is a radio on wheels. And radio is the first source of new music discovery substantially ahead of Itunes, Pandora and Spotify.

Radio. Its on. 

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