In 2020, radio will go back to the future. 100 years ago on election day, KDKA in Pittsburgh aired the first commercial broadcast.
Delivering results of the Harding-Cox presidential race before they were printed in the newspaper proved the power of radio and stations have been continuing to make the case ever since.
The upcoming election will once again be an important storyline for radio.
In the meantime, here are some key insights from 2019 that will continue to drive us forward.
1. The Resilience and Power of Radio
Nielsen Audio has been helping advertising giants, including Procter & Gamble, rediscover the power of radio. In 2019, advocates with independent data driven insights continued to emerge.
Research by Deloitte provides a powerful value proposition. Driven by full-time employment, the higher your education and income levels, the more you listen to radio.
Meanwhile, according to Pew Research, more Americans now get their news from radio than printed newspapers or social media.
2. Business Travelers are the Equivalent of Employed Radio Listeners
According to American Airlines, business travelers represent just 13% of their total passengers, while delivering 50% of the revenue. As a result, business travelers generate 6.7 times more revenue than leisure passengers.
Business travelers spend more and travel more often. Same is true for your employed heavy listeners. They deliver more daily occasions and TSL, which drives ratings and revenue.
3. NFL Turns 100 in Style
In the midst of its 100th anniversary, the NFL faces ongoing attendance declines, fewer young people playing football as well as increased competition for their target audience’s time and attention.
Professional football has been around for 100 years, has $15 billion in annual revenue, faces a growing concern over the next generation along with increasing audience fragmentation. All of these could also be used to describe radio.
Yet over the next decade, the NFL is expected to grow its revenue to $27 billion per year.
What’s the secret?
“We have obsessed a lot over the last three or four years on game presentation, which I think matters,” said Barry Rolapp, the NFL’s chief media and business officer. He continued, “We always pay attention to them (the ratings), but it’s not as much week-to-week or year-to-year. It’s about how is it trending generally.”
This unrelenting focus on the user experience by the NFL has culminated in a year-long celebration that provides a playbook for radio to follow in 2020.
4. Organic Influencers Flex Their Muscles
According to an article in Social Media Today, “the influencer industry is undergoing a major shift towards not just micro-influencers, but organic influencers … the real people who already buy your products and services and create content about your brand – they’re your genuine brand advocates.”
Organic influencers live and breathe your brand. They know who to recruit and just what to say.
These Amplifiers and Super-Fans also have a direct impact on your marketing budget. The new listeners they recruit on your behalf deliver the impact of an additional 15-20% in marketing spend.
Our ability to identify and engage your best listeners and empower them to become a key component of your station marketing provides an enormous competitive advantage for our clients.
Looking Forward to the Year Ahead
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – The final regulations have yet to be finalized, so it’s impossible to predict the full impact, but for those who invest in direct relationships with listeners and build audience databases, there’s an enormous competitive advantage compared to relying on 3rd party data.
In addition to helping radio stations build relationships with those employed heavy listeners who matter most to ratings and revenue, we’re ready to accept Verified Information Requests, while also staying on top of similar consumer privacy measures as they make their way through other states.
It’s going to be a great 2020.
Happy New Year!
– Andrew Curran, President and COO