(By Charlie Sislen) TV is sold out and political candidates and issue advertisers are looking to radio. If you are a news or news/talk station, that’s great. But what about those music stations that political advertisers are passing over without a single look?
Time is running out, but there is a tremendous upside for music stations, especially those that deliver Adults 35+.
Hopefully, you have already made a quality introduction to the advertiser so the perception is not that you are a sales rep who is just looking for a last-minute sale. If you do not have a relationship built, the first step is to build that relationship, because time is running out.
Typically, political advertisers gravitate to news and news/talk stations. The assumption is that their listeners are likely voters. This assumption may be confirmed or disputed with facts. Using one of many qualitative sources, the user can show the composition of likely voters to news, news/talk, and any other format. Composition tells you what percentage of the listeners fall into a particular category, such as likely voters.
However, composition only tells part of the story. While news and news/talk listeners may have a propensity to vote, their sheer numbers may not be great. In few markets do news and news/talk stations dominate the airwaves. Therefore, if a political advertiser used just those formats, they may be missing a tremendous number of likely voters.
The other element is the radio dial. Some news and news/talk stations remain on the AM dial, which delivers only a portion of the electorate. You can position your music format as a way to reach many additional voters that don’t tune to the news stations.
You can document this in two ways. Using Nielsen Audio’s duplication analysis, you can show what percent of the population that:
- Tunes to both the AM and FM dial
- Tunes to just the AM dial
- Tunes to just the FM dial
Using qualitative data, you can show how many likely voters a candidate or promotor of an issue is reaching with news and news/talk stations. More importantly, you can show how many of these valuable target listeners are being missed by using just these two formats.
If you are a music station, you need to demonstrate this concept. If not, those political dollars that radio gets will be targeted on just those few spoken-word formats.
Time is running out. The dollars are out there. Seize them now with the right facts, and make your fourth quarter.
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.