Study: AM/FM Is Vital To Hollywood’s Summer Push


The pandemic-era lament of “movie theaters are dead” appears to have been vastly premature. Last year there was Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar 2. This year there is The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 with plenty more on the way. But what do moviegoers and audio lovers have in common? More than you might think according to data shared by Cumulus Media and Westwood One’s Audio Active Group – and its great news for advertisers.

Another Audio Advantage Over TV

A study conducted by Maru reveals that heavy audio listeners have the highest familiarity with upcoming summer movie releases, surpassing even heavy social media and TV viewers. Among the ten major films tested for awareness, heavy podcast listeners showed the highest awareness at 59%, followed by ad-supported audio streamers at 55%, and AM/FM radio listeners at 49%. In comparison, heavy TV viewers had a lower awareness level of 33%.

Despite TV receiving the largest share of movie marketing budgets, the study reveals that awareness of upcoming films is lowest among TV viewers. In contrast, ad-supported audio platforms, including AM/FM radio, podcasts, and streaming services, have the highest weekly reach among heavy moviegoers.

But Do Audio Fans Actually Go To The Movies?

Absolutely. Audio listeners demonstrate a greater intention to watch the upcoming summer blockbusters compared to social media users and TV viewers. Around 48% of podcast listeners and 44% of audio streamers and AM/FM radio listeners expressed their intention to see the ten upcoming films, compared to 38% of social media users and 37% of TV viewers.

How Much Should Film Companies Budget For Radio?

Based on the findings, recommendations include allocating 44% of film marketing budgets to audio platforms, particularly AM/FM radio, which has the highest reach. Shifting 20% of linear TV marketing budgets to AM/FM radio can double campaign reach. The ideal audio allocation for movie media plans is suggested to be 64% AM/FM radio, 22% podcasts, 11% Spotify/Pandora, and 4% SiriusXM, based on the “Share of Ear” study by Edison Research.


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