Your Advertisers Need Frequency Too


(by Bob McCurdy) I once read an article titled, “Americans Read the Headlines. And Not Much Else”, that touted the fact that only about 40% of adults dig beyond the headlines, meaning 60% are largely headline gazers. This fact can be detrimental to our continued revenue health as headlines, particularly in media trades, are geared toward the “latest and greatest”, which can easily skew advertiser perception. Here are some stats you need to have handy and use them, use them, use them.

Reports/studies that tout “more of the same” rarely get their fair share of headlines, which highlights the importance of us getting them in front of clients, so they are not only familiar with the topline headlines but substance behind them.

Several such “more of the same” reports were recently published and worthy of being reviewed with clients. The first is Nielsen’s Q1 2017 Total Audience Report that once again contains powerful media usage data. Some highlights:

-Average time spent for all 18+ adult per day with radio remains steady at 1 hour and 51 minutes. Make no mistake about it, there’s extreme value in “steady” in this ever-changing and evolving media landscape.

-266.2 million individuals 12+ tune to radio weekly. This is up almost 3 million listeners from a year ago. This is audience growth in the face of increasing intense audio competition.

-97% of all individuals 12+ tune to AM/FM radio each month (also steady), with 98% of African Americans and 98% of Hispanics doing the same. This continues to be greater than TV’s 2+ reach (94%) and is larger than any 18+ adult who used an app or accessed the web on a smart phone in the past month (84%).

-Every generation tunes to AM/FM radio. Eighty-eight percent of Generation Z (6-20 year olds), 93% of Millennials (21-37 year olds), 95% of Generation X (38-52 year olds) and 94% of Boomers (53-70 year olds) tune to radio weekly. It is difficult to get more mass appeal than that. BTW, live/DVR and time-shifted TV’s reach is only 83% with Millennials, ten points lower than AM/FM radio.

-The heaviest TV viewers (20% of the population) watch on average 10.5 hours of TV at home daily. Factor out 8 hours for sleep, and 2/3’s of their waking lives is spent in front of a television. Ideal customers? Unlikely. These viewers also happen to gobble up 35%-45% of any TV campaigns gross impressions. Not good.

Conversely, the lightest TV viewers (20% of the population) watch an average of 12 minutes of TV at home in the typical day, while 40% of the population only view a little more than 30 minutes daily (TV’s lightest and light viewers), making them difficult, if not impossible, to effectively reach on TV. These viewers tend to be heavier than average radio listeners.

Edison and Westwood One continue to do exceptional work with their Share of Ear reports, with Q2 2017’s results being released recently. Again, some “more of the same” highlights:
-AM/FM’s share of audio is steady at 51%, with AM/FM accounting for more listening than all other 12 audio options surveyed combined.
-AM/FM’s share of audio over the past 6 quarters dating back to Q4 2015 is also steady, ranging between 51%-52% each quarter.
-Just as USA TouchPoints concluded that streaming’s growth was coming at the expense of “owned” music, these Share of Ear reports corroborate that finding, adding credence to our claim that streaming audio is a supplement not a substitute to AM/FM listening.
-This next stat is particularly interesting. Pareto’s law states 20% of “users” typically account for about 80% of any product’s usage. Pandora’s usage is even more concentrated with only 5% of Americans accounting for 72% of all its listening. These figures are important as they highlight the difficulty in achieving mass reach on this audio platform, which is so critical in call-to-action, time-sensitive campaigns.

The stats/data from these two reports reflect the findings of previous reports and that is big news. While we can’t control headlines, we can control the enthusiasm in which we tout these “more of the same” findings. Stability is a rare commodity in media these days. When properly communicated, we should be able to take these “more of the same” stats to the bank.

Bob McCurdy is The Vice President of Sales for The Beasley Media Group and can be reached at [email protected]


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