Advertisers Rediscover Radio

While it has consistently maintained popularity and ubiquity among all ages of U.S. listeners, radio perhaps lost its place in line with advertisers as new, shinier audio offerings pervaded the landscape.

That distraction appears to be fading. After combatting a stagnant ad market and losing dollars to those data-rich digital channels, the radio industry is getting revived interest and increased activity from marketers and advertisers.

Inside Radio’s two-part Monday feature offers a sleek dive into radio’s rediscovery by Madison Avenue, which—again—appears to be recognizing radio’s ability to reach the masses with proven content, alongside expanded platforms like digital audio, mobile apps, podcasts and live events.

“Radio just sort of fell out of their consciousness. So now we’re reintroducing it to them. And they’re engaging, they’re very open to it,” offers Nielsen’s Head of Audio Brad Kelly.

And at a time when marketers are demanding accountability, radio can back up its pitch with data and studies—and more transparency than ever. Meanwhile, the industry has gotten savvy at evangelizing radio to agencies, clients and small business owners, with location-based attribution, ROI studies and consumer insights to make their case.

Add to that the fact that digital assets—once radio’s adversary for ad dollars—are now a centerpiece of the industry’s own big picture marketing plan. With Americans consuming audio on smartphones, smart speakers and advanced in-car entertainment systems, broadcasters are poised to convert new audiences into fresh revenue.

The tide has indeed turned, as sources tell Inside Radio in the two stories. Beasley VP of sales Bob McCurdy notes that his team is “setting the record straight regarding the audio landscape as it currently exists, not as it might be perceived to exist.”

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