Friday, February 16, 2007

Don't poo-poo radio

+ Radio Listeners Don't Change the Dial During Ads according to data shared during the Radio Advertising Bureau Conference.
Radio's biggest challenge of late has been its relationship with advertisers, who have been concerned with radio's reach in recent years. Arbitron's 15-years-in-the-making Portable People Meter was finally put to the test in Houston and Philadelphia last year, and Jon Coleman, of North Carolina-based research company Coleman Insights, was on hand to report surprising statistics from a study conducted last August.

The biggest misconception about radio these days is that commercial pods don't hold listeners' attention, Mr. Coleman said. A poll conducted in November and December of 2005 found that radio-industry employees believed commercial breaks had a 68% retention rate, while advertisers and agencies estimated the rate at 63%. And that was wishful thinking on both parties' part. "When I talked to my clients, several said, 'I lied, because I was so afraid of what the answer was going to be so I hyped mine up.'"

No hype was necessary -- the actual retention rate was 92%, a number bolstered by strong results from four-minute and six-minute pods. Mr. Coleman attributed this industry disconnect to the overestimation of radio as a primarily in-car medium, yet the study showed commercial breaks during the morning commute hold more than 94% of listeners. "Broadcasters should make advertisers more aware that radio is a commuter-friendly medium."

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