By Nicole Martineau, Publicist
One of our specialties here at MEDIA CONNECT is the Morning Drive Radio Tour, a popular service where we arrange back-to-back interviews with radio stations across America in a single morning. Whether you are a top publishing house, a non-profit, a corporation, or a government agency, MDRTs are a time and cost-efficient way to maximize exposure and deliver your message to your target audience.
However, in recent years, there has been a lot of misinformation floating around regarding the future of radio. In 2010, former NPR CEO Vivian Schiller stated that Internet radio would replace “radio towers” within ten years. With misleading sound bites like this and headlines reading “Radio Digs Its Own Grave as Cultural Currents Shift,” it’s understandable why a lot of people think broadcast radio is no longer a powerful medium, let alone a publicity tool.
While it is true that radio stations need to adapt to the ever-changing digital age we now live in, Internet radio and mobile devices may not be as big of a threat to “radio towers” as one may think. In fact, they have been proven to maximize the number of Americans listening to broadcast radio. We turn to Arbitron, a proven leader in producing media ratings and research reports, for proof.
According to the “State of the Media: Audio Today 2014” report released by Arbitron earlier this year, radio, through traditional and nontraditional methods, reaches more than 90 percent of everyone in the U.S. each week:
“Audio is available on multiple platforms, in real time, wherever consumers want to listen on more than 16,000 stations across the country covering 50 different formats. Radio is also a hyper-local medium serving every unique community from one coast to the other…Audio consumers are listening for more than 2.5 hours every day, and one of radio’s best-kept secrets is its ability to reach a highly qualified audience right before they arrive to shop.”
In addition to being an effective tool for reaching out to the general population, radio is also drawing in one of the most highly sought after audiences in America: Millennials. According to Arbitron’s “It’s a New Millennial” report released in February, 90 percent of Millennials (ages 18-34) tune into radio each week:
“Despite rapidly evolving technology, radio continues to engage an extraordinarily high percentage of Millennials across the country each week…As these young adults move into the workforce, 74 percent of Millennials are working either full- or part-time. And as work becomes an integral part of their lives, they find themselves tuning in when they’re more frequently away from home, which is where most listening occurs. In fact, the PM Drive (weekdays 3 p.m.-7 p.m.) is the most popular time of day for Millennial radio listening.”
Radio has also been proven to be powerful tool for reaching minorities in the U.S., particularly African American and Hispanic audiences. Arbitron’s “State of the Media: Audio Today – A Focus on African American and Hispanic Audiences” report released in April, states that African American and Hispanic listenership has reached a historic high:
“More than 71 million from these demographics tune in each week. Combined, these listeners account for nearly a third (29.6%) of the total national audience…These multicultural audiences are highly engaged with radio all across the country, in markets large and small, where more than 3,000 different stations program to them specifically.”
These facts don’t lie. Whether it’s through a car radio or on an iPhone app, millions of Americans are turning to broadcast radio programs each week for news and entertainment, further proving that this medium is, and will continue to be, a powerful and effective medium for reaching consumers in the digital age.
Related: 27 Tips To Help You Pitch The Media