Westwood One 2018

It is most recent blog, Westwood One debunks seven of the biggest things brands have completely wrong about AM/FM radio. Using data from research leaders Nielsen, Edison Research, and The Advertising Research Foundation Westwood One in an effort to change the narrative that “new media kills old media.”

Myth #1: “AM/FM radio has very low reach.” A study by Advertising Perceptions found that AM/FM radio’s weekly reach is perceived to be 57%. “A massive miss,” Westwood One Director of Content Marketing Lauren Vetrano writes in the blog post. “In reality, 92% of all Americans are reached by AM/FM radio on a weekly basis, according to Nielsen.

Myth #2: “If you want mass reach with Millennials, go with television.” According to Nielsen, 91% of Millennials are reached weekly by radio, putting it well above television’s 73%.

Myth #3: “Audience shares to Pandora/Spotify are nearly equal to AM/FM radio.” While marketers and advertisers have told Advertiser Perceptions they feel audience share of radio is similar to that Spotify and Pandora, that perception is incorrect. In actuality, the share of time spent listening to AM/FM radio is much larger than that of the two streaming platforms. Edison Research shows that AM/FM radio TSL is 11 times larger than ad-supported Pandora and 23 times that of ad-supported Spotify.

Myth #4: “In the world of the connected car, the number one thing people do is stream online radio on their smartphones.” Westwood One cries foul on this one. “AM/FM radio still rules the road,” Vetrano says. “A massive 66% of all time spent with audio in the car goes to AM/FM radio. Among ad-supported audio, AM/FM radio has an 89% share of time spent.”

Myth #5: “No one under 35 listens to AM/FM radio anymore.” To debunk this myth Westwood One points to Nielsen data once again which says 66.6 Millennials tune in to radio each week. According to Nielsen, more persons 18-34 listen to AM/FM radio than any other generation.

Myth #6: “Six out of 10 agencies/marketers believe radio listening is dropping.” No true. According to Nielsen Audio, AM/FM radio listeners have grown from 239 million in 2008 to 250 million in 2018.

Myth #7: “Today’s optimal media plan: put all your money into mobile and social.” A wise marketer should balk at this notion. Even the Advertising Research Foundation advises only 22% to 29% of a media plan be allocated to digital. This goes for marketing to younger generations as well. When targeting Millennials, the Advertising Research Foundation advises 71% for traditional media like AM/FM radio.