Yesterday RAJAR announced that 47.9 million adults or 89.4% of the adult (15+) UK population tuned in to radio each week in the fourth quarter of 2014. This is up by 237,000 adults quarter on quarter – impressive, I’m sure you’ll agree.
So what does this mean for advertisers?
A recent Advertising Association and WARC study predicted radio will see an annual advertising spending increase of 8.9% in 2015, the highest growth since 2000, so will 2015 be the year advertisers recognise the huge potential radio has to reach a mass, as well as targeted, audience?
The first point of note is that commercial radio is catching up on the BBC and now accounts for 44.3% of all listening hours with 64% of the UK adult population listening to commercial radio.
Digital radio has also overtaken analogue in homes for the first time, putting radio at the heart of the digital audio advertising landscape. Primarily through DAB, 38% of the 385 million listening hours a week are done via a digital device.
On the back of these developments, media owners, like Bauer, are working hard with advertisers to simplify their propositions. The Bauer City Network of local stations relaunched to allow advertisers to target three separate audiences, with each station split into three properties aimed at younger and older listeners in each region. For example, Radio City 3 on DAB is focused on targeting a younger 15-25 demographic – a much more targeted offering for brands.
The growth in listening via connected devices, such as the 22% of adults or 36% of 15-24 year olds who now listen via a mobile or tablet each month, is also significant for advertisers. Absolute Radio’s InStream service targets listeners using data gathered via their online account, presenting advertisers with an accurate targeted audience that includes location and demographic information. This in turn results in a more positive experience for listeners, who then receive advertising which is useful and interesting to them.
New to RAJARs this quarter is data on radio’s relationship with social media, which shows that 37% of 15-24’s, and 20% of adults, currently receive social updates about their favourite radio station or presenter, demonstrating how the audience are fully engaging with radio brands across different platforms.
The industry is full of positive stories and proof points that the sector is booming – Magic launched nationally last month and expansions of the Heart, Capital and Absolute Radio brands are all great example of this (a special congratulations to KISS London who is now the number one commercial station in London!). As radio’s relationship with data and technology develops further, it’s a hugely exciting time for radio and that can only be good news for advertisers.