New Jersey Broadcasters Association

As the TV world continues to be upended by over-the-top streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, the medium is posing challenges for marketers that have traditionally relied on it to reach a large number of consumers. According to a first-ever Nielsen study presented at the New Jersey Broadcasters conference Thursday, 44% of Americans are light TV viewers, making them difficult to reach. Nielsen offered AM/FM radio as an obvious solution since it reaches 90% of light TV viewers.

To show how radio can help advertisers amplify their current ad campaigns, Tyler Plahanski, Account Director at Nielsen Audio, used a real-world example: an unnamed auto advertiser who placed spots on a single TV entity in a top 20 market in a campaign that cost $19,981. It was the only broadcast outlet used during this period. Plahanski showed how reconfiguring the campaign to include radio, in addition to staying on TV, could improve the advertiser’s opportunity to grow sales. The exercise showed that a 50-50 mix of TV and radio would have hit the sweet spot for this advertiser, reaching 45% more adults 25-54 (328,000) than the TV-only campaign which reached 227,000.

And with the same total budget, shifting a percentage from TV to radio, this advertiser could also improve impressions, net reach, frequency and cost per point.

Since local New Jersey stations compete with big market competitors that beam in from New York City in the north and Philadelphia in the south, Plahanski drew a five-mile radius around a Monmouth-Ocean restaurant and found twice as many New Jersey stations reached consumers in the radius than New York stations.

In the media universe, radio has no equals when it comes to reach: 227 million listeners aged 18+ across the U.S. tune in during an average week, compared to live and time-shifted TV (216 million), smartphone (192 million) and social media on a smartphone (179 million). Zeroing in on New Jersey, radio reaches 6.9 million residents each week.

When Plahanski narrowed it down to the audio universe, radio still came out on top. Presenting data reflecting just consumers in New Jersey, radio has a 91% weekly reach, more than double that of streaming audio on a smartphone (40%), satellite radio (19%), podcasting (14%) and streaming audio on a tablet (13%). Compared to the national averages, satellite radio is higher in the Garden State while podcasting and streaming audio are lower.

The new Nielsen data presented at the conference also shows that smartphones are driving podcast usage. More than 30 million adults 18+ have used a smartphone in past 30 days to watch, listen or download a podcast, up by a staggering 223% since 2014. Smartphones are used for podcasts three times more than a computer (10.7 million), tablet (5.7 million) or another device (1.7 million).