Westwood One 2018

A new blog post from Westwood One underscores the consistent effectiveness of AM/FM radio and the power it gives to campaigns trying to get voters to head to the polls.

“It reaches a massive, engaged, and diverse audience across the political party spectrum,” writes Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer at Cumulus/Westwood One. “It is also an essential tool for political advertisers to extend the reach of their TV campaigns, particularly among light TV viewers.”

Westwood One’s findings about radio’s reach stems from an examination of Nielsen Scarborough data and Nielsen Media Impact, Nielsen’s cross media planning tool. According to data from Nielsen Scarborough, AM/FM radio reaches 88% of likely voters. That’s more than the internet (85%), television (83%) and Facebook (62%).

AM/FM radio, according to the research, also has much greater reach among likely voters than SiriusXM (18%), Pandora (17%) and Spotify (10%).

It even reaches Twitter users. “With the recent announcement that Twitter will no longer take political ads leading up to the 2020 election, AM/FM radio steps in to fill the void,” Bouvard writes, noting that Scarborough says AM/FM radio (88%) outreaches Twitter (18%) among likely voters.

“By investing in AM/FM radio,” Bouvard writes, “political campaigns get virtually the entire Twitter audience for free.”

AM/FM also reaches the entire political spectrum on a weekly basis, including 88% of Democrats, Republicans and swing voters. That’s in addition to enhancing television campaigns, the post says.

“According to an actual U.S. Senate campaign run in Nielsen Media Impact for an October 2018 media buy, a TV-only media plan achieves a 79% reach,” the post says. “Reallocating 20% of the media budget to AM/FM radio boosts reach to 90%, a +14% increase in incremental reach versus just TV alone for the same budget.”