So What About Radio?


(By Charlie Sislen) My past few posts have focused on the profile and consumer habits of heavy TV viewers. The fact is that, in most local markets, TV viewership is dominated by an older, lower-income portion of the population. Using both Media Heaviness (blog post 8) and Quintile Analysis (blog post 12), a story can be built to show that those who consume the most broadcast TV are not ideal candidates for many advertisers.

So What About Radio?
It is easy to point out the weaknesses of other services. However, negative selling by itself is just that — negative. Radio needs to show that its heavy listeners are the right profile for advertisers. As in my previous post, we will focus on quintile analysis. What is the profile of the 20% of the 18+ population who are the heaviest radio users? In most cases, they are demographically and socioeconomically more desirable than the heaviest TV users. Below is an example that compares radio’s heaviest listeners to television’s heaviest viewers.

Clearly, radio delivers the 25-54 segment of this market’s population while heavy TV viewers are concentrated in the 55+ demo.

This like-to-like comparison can also be done for any qualitative category, like annual household income.

In this case nearly one-third (32.6%) of all heavy TV viewers have an annual household income below $50,000. Conversely, nearly one-third (31.5%) of all heavy radio listeners have an annual household income of $150,000 or more. And, over half (53.0%) have an annual household income of $100,000 or more. Only 43.2% of heavy TV viewers fall into that category.

Does this valuable comparison work in your market?

Need help determining this? Feel free to contact me.

Charlie Sislen is a partner at Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-956-0363 or by e-mail at [email protected]. This essay is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.


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