Study: Radio Outperforms TV in R.O.I.


A new study commissioned by Cumulus and Westwood One, that dug deep into PPM data, showed that the return on investment from radio for a major retailer was much higher than Television.

The study matched Portable People Meter panel data with purchase data to reveal how TV and AM/FM radio impacted sales for a major national retailer. Nielsen’s analysis looked at a campaign that ran from April 30, 2018 through May 27, 2018, comparing those who were exposed and unexposed to determine ad effectiveness.

Using Nielsen’s Portable People Meter panel of 80,000 respondents, campaign exposure was measured at the individual person level. Commercial audience exposure was matched to actual spend using credit and debit card spending from the home address associated with PPM advertising exposure.

During the measurement period, of those exposed to the campaign, 57% of were reached both by the TV and AM/FM radio campaign. 23% only saw the TV ads and 20% only heard the AM/FM radio ads. Nielsen examined sales lift and R.O.I. ad spend among each of the three media exposure segments.

According to Cumulus Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard, when examining the sales increase among the media exposure the AM/FM radio-only segment had 3X the sales lift of the consumers reached by the TV ads. Consumers only exposed to the TV ads generated a +4.6% sales increase. Those who saw both the TV ads and the AM/FM radio ads had a +4.8% sales lift. The segment only exposed to the AM/FM radio ads had an outsized +13.4% increase in sales.
Bouvard says that the consumers who only heard the retailer’s AM/FM radio ads had a very big impact on sales. 42% of the entire incremental sales lift came from the 20% of the total campaign reach who were only exposed to the radio ads. “One point of AM/FM radio-only reach generated two points of incremental sales. For every dollar invested in AM/FM radio, there were $28.82 of incremental sales generated. This is twice the return on ad spend of TV ($13.51).”


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