AM/FM Radio Gives Website Traffic An Average Lift Of 14%


Those who would wish ad dollars diverted from radio have spent the digital era arguing that there’s no way to truly measure AM/FM attribution for web traffic. Now, thanks to new data from 17 attribution studies over five years, radio can prove it’s a major traffic booster.

From 2019 to 2023, the Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group engaged LeadsRx, a premier attribution analytics firm, to perform 17 attribution studies. These studies spanned various industries, including tax services, B2B, retail, financial, employment, and health sectors, aiming to gauge the impact of advertising on website traffic.

LeadsRx stands out for its advanced attribution capabilities, not only in AM/FM radio but also in television and digital advertising, making it a frequent resource for advertisers aiming to optimize media purchases and ad creatives. The flexibility of LeadsRx’s attribution window, geofencing, channel filters, and decay curves analysis are some of the features that enable advertisers to hone in on the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Ad occurrence data, provided by Media Monitors, is analyzed against Nielsen impressions to assess the incremental lift and the share of web sessions attributed to the campaigns. This is done for every local market, providing a comprehensive view of the campaign’s national impact.

Among the most noteworthy findings from these studies is that AM/FM radio campaigns, on average, have resulted in a 14% lift in site traffic, with tax preparation services achieving the largest lift – anywhere from 30% to 48%. Retail and impulse purchase-oriented campaigns also saw significant web traffic increases.

Attribution Lift by Category
(Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group)

The day of the week, daypart, and programming format all play a role in the success of the campaigns. During the weekend and on Mondays, the campaigns outperformed in terms of attributed web sessions compared to their share of Nielsen impressions.

LeadsRx’s findings also suggest that a variety of AM/FM radio formats can drive search and site traffic, with spoken word formats like Sports and News/Talk delivering beyond their Nielsen impression share.

Attribution by formats
(Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group)

At the conclusion of the studies, Cumulus Media Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard made these recommendations for advertisers and media sellers:

Copy should mention the brand early and frequently and include compelling offers to drive search and site activity. A jewelry retailer’s campaign focusing on price matching and rewards offers led to the highest attributed web traffic.

Advertisers should maintain a balanced campaign throughout the day, taking into account the mornings’ influence on later dayparts, while allocating at least 21% of campaign weight to weekends.

Brands need to focus in on day-of-the-week trends specific to industry categories, aligning advertising with predictable periods of demand. Finally, ads should be aired across a diverse array of programming formats to maximize reach and results.

Full results from the study can be found in this week’s Audio Active Group blog.


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