3 Great Benefits Of Advertising On Online Radio

Marketing and brand managers have never had it tougher. Today there are more marketing channels, mediums and opportunities than at any other time in our history. But the age-old question remains: Where do you get the biggest bang for your buck?

You would be surprised to learn that even in our modern age of streaming content, smart TV’s and increased consumer control over media choices – radio (yes, radio!) still dominates in several key metrics. Hard to believe that nearly one hundred years after the first radio ad aired 1922 on WAEF in New York City, radio is still a consumer favorite.

Here is a run-down of three direct response radio advantages.


A few years ago, consumer research giant Nielsen acquired its competitor Arbitron, greatly expanding the scope of their audio marketing analytics to more accurately measure and compare all media platforms. What happened next surprised everyone. Radio they discovered – the old man of media channels – reached more consumers than every other channel out there! The numbers weren’t even close. More than social media, more than smart phones, more than television. America, across all demographics and age groups, still loves its radio.

Years later, that hasn’t changed. In fact, radio’s audience continues to grow, adding new listeners by the millions every year! And now with podcast and more streaming audio in the mix, the universe of listeners continues to expand.


When it comes to impacting consumer behavior, nothing succeeds quite like radio. This has been studied over and over, and the results are always the same. Whether it is getting people to go online and make a purchase, stopping into a restaurant, or boost memorability for a product – nothing works better than radio.

When you think about it, this makes sense. We interact with radio differently from other media. We don’t watch, we listen. Listening, unlike watching, is never passive. It is an activity that involves our attention, our imagination and our engagement. The rapid growth of podcasts, a medium rich in storytelling supports this too.  Psychologists believe this sort of cognitive processing is why radio is so much more effective at influencing behavior. And because radio is often part of our communities and daily habits, it is trusted more than online advertising.


So what’s the most cost effective medium for your ad dollar? You guessed it, radio. More reach, more influence and better retention generally add up to better financial returns on your marketing dollar! To prove that point, Nielsen recently matched credit and debit card purchases to exposure of radio ads, comparing the lift to the same purchase data in markets where the ads didn’t run. In every measured category, they saw dramatic returns on ad spends (ROAS). Another study by Nielsen compared ROAS on radio to all other mediums by studying specific brands. They concluded that these brands averaged a sales lift of more than six dollars for every one dollar spent on radio ads – an ROI double that of even the best results from many recent studies of digital or TV media.

So what does this all mean? Simple. If you’re a marketing or brand manager and you’re not considering radio, you probably should be. Sure, there may very well be younger and sexier choices, but when it comes to a proven track record, nothing beats radio.If you’re not making the shift from traditional media channels like TV, print and radio to the more effective online advertising opportunities, you’re losing out. With the development of the Internet and tech devices, live streaming has become a way of life for millions around the world.  Worldwide, consumers are embracing Internet radio on an increasing range of devices. Listening to the radio station of your choice is no longer limited to the area in which you live, and certainly not to the radio sitting in the lounge or even the one in your car. Listeners have access to the music they love 24/7, from Jozi to Helsinki and New York to Adelaide.  For advertisers, this is brilliant as you can reach consumers listening in on smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs from all over the world day and night. It’s a great time to think about serving adverts about your product or brand to a larger audience. Welcome to Internet radio! 

Reach further with online radio

There’s a growing shift towards online listening because it offers greater freedom in terms of variety and choice.  Without the limitation of geographical boundaries or distance from antennae, almost anything is within reach. And, even though the stations broadcast via the web, few charge a subscription which means that all this is available free to the listener. Whereas the average FM listener only spent half an hour listening to the radio during peak times, today’s trend is to enjoy streaming the online radio station of your choice whilst you drive, chat, workout or even work on your laptop.  This translates into great benefits for the online radio advertiser.

  1. A bigger audience – more people are listening, both in your local area and from further afield;
  2. Longer listening – because of the ease and convenience of listening on any device, people are spending more time listening.

Save with online radio advertising

But this is not all. Let’s talk money for a minute. How will advertising affect your budget and bottom line? You might be surprised to learn that advertising on online radio costs significantly less than advertising on traditional radio stations.  Research also suggests that online listeners are more likely to act on your advert’s call to action. If they are already online browsing the Internet or checking their social media and they hear your radio advert, they are perfectly poised to take action right then and there, and buy your product online.

The shift to streaming offers benefits for anyone looking for a more cost effective advertising that reaches a much broader audience than traditional radio. Go with the cheaper choice that has a stronger impact on audiences