Research presented in a new edition of Westwood One's “Everyone's Listening” blog shows play-by-play listeners are more engaged than the TV audience. The analysis includes data from GfK MRI, Ipsos, the NFL "Fan Tracker" and Nielsen's Portable People Meter study of NFL listening to national broadcasts showing the season-long reach of Westwood One's NFL play-by-play broadcasts at 56 million listeners.
“While most play-by-play sports are available both on TV and AM/FM radio, each broadcast has a very different audience profile,” Cumulus Media Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard says. “[While] the TV audience consists of casual sports fans, the AM/FM radio play-by-play audience is far more passionate and engaged. This distinction has a significant impact on advertising effectiveness.”
GfK MRI's research reports that when it comes to attending sports events, seeking sports information on a phone, friends and family asking a fan's advice on sports, being considered a sports category influential consumer, and playing fantasy sports, sports listeners index significantly higher than TV sports viewers. Additionally, Nielsen Scarborough data examining the audience for each night of NFL regular-season and post-season games shows sports betting is more prevalent among AM/FM radio sports listeners compared to TV's sports audience.
When it comes to advertising to this audience, GfK MRI data show NFL game listeners are also significantly more likely than their TV viewing counterparts to agree that advertising provides them with meaningful product information and useful information about new products and services. “If the content is more engaging and the audience is more passionate, the advertising works better,” Bouvard says.
Likewise, AM/FM NFL listeners are shown to have a more upscale profile and to spend 16% more than average, and in every key listening demographic, four of five and tuning into games out of home.
Specific to Westwood One's NFL game coverage, Nielsen's research shows not only the package's reach of 56 million over 22 weeks of games, but that listening patterns suggest ad buys should be “deep in the game” and “long in the season.” “Increasing the number of ads in the game causes campaign reach to surge,” Bouvard says. “Since new listeners are tuning in each week and new listeners are tuning in each quarter of the game, a smart media plan for AM/FM radio play-by-play sports broadcast requires many ads per game and season-long commitments.”