Hollywood Studios Are Beginning To See Radio’s Advertising Light


As Hollywood seeks a bump to get over the profit pitfall posed by the year’s strikes and the hurdle presented by streaming services, veteran movie marketer Robert Marich is making a compelling case for a larger share of cinematic advertising budgets to go to radio.

Currently, radio receives less than 2% of movie ad spend, with the majority consumed by linear TV and digital media. However, Marich references a study by Westwood One and Screen Engine/ASI that suggests reallocating 20% of film campaign budgets to radio could effectively double audience reach.

This reallocation of ad dollars would see 58% go to AM/FM, 28% for podcasts, 10% for music streamers, and 4% for SiriusXM. Data shows this strategic shift could result in the reach of campaigns for children’s movies going from 38% to 80% among their target audience.

While Marich’s recommendation is not solely limited to traditional radio but extends to all audio media, including podcasts and streaming services like Spotify. The study highlights the potential of radio in amplifying the reach of movie campaigns, which often miss a significant portion of their target demographics when solely reliant on TV and digital advertising. For instance, Marvel’s Eternals only reached 45% of its target demographic with a substantial TV campaign.

With the opportunity for tailored messaging and national coverage through local stations, radio presents a compelling option for movie marketers. Marich was inspired to take his recent stand after hearing Warner Bros. Pictures EVP of Global Marketing Dana Nussbaum talking about the studio’s partnership with iHeartMedia stations:

“Everything that we are doing is incredibly data-driven. We are getting signals in every single day about how specific audiences are performing. So although we’re marketing at a very broad scale, and that does include specific local markets, that’s really the beauty of . You’re not serving the same message to a consumer. and national necessarily that you may be in New York. You have the ability to be very specific and very personalized, but at a tremendous scale.”

This increased advocacy for increased radio ad spending on movie campaigns could forecast a shift in Hollywood practices in 2024 and beyond, but also maintains relevance on a local or regional level as theater chains push to get audiences off of their couches and into stadium seating.


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