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Audacy Insights: ‘The Buggles Were Wrong. Radio Killed The Video Star.’

Making the case for the benefits of advertising on radio, streaming, and podcasts – collectively, audio – versus placing those ads on video is the basis for the latest Insights case study from Audacy. The “undisputed king of reach,” audio, now surpasses TV, according to Nielsen. Radio reaches 92% of U.S. adults, compared to 88% for live and time-shifted TV. Total use of audio is 99% of U.S. adults, compared to the 96% of total use of TV, according to Nielsen’s Audio Insights Media Landscape Report (Dec. 22).

Audacy Chief Marketing Officer Paul Suchman also cites time spent with audio vs. the same spent with video in the latest Insights article “The Buggles Were Wrong. Radio Killed The Video Star.” Media consumers spend 21 hours of their week, nearly a full day, listening to audio compared to 12.4 hours per week dedicated to video streaming services, cable TV (10.8), broadcast TV (9.8), and social media (8.5). “For brands, more time spent means more opportunities to be an integral part of people’s daily rituals and be top of mind when it comes to making choices,” Suchman writes.

The piece also highlights the immersive power of audio and its ability to form an emotional connection with the listener and activate other senses from the use of “theater of the mind” techniques. Ads that utilize strong copywriting, music, sound design, and sonic branding can trigger an emotional reaction from the listener. “Audio exceeds all other advertising norms for garnering attention and creating emotional connection,” Suchman says. “Embracing this insight is exponentially helping advertisers have their messages land with impact.” Radio ads also drive recall. Citing a 2015 iHeartMedia neuroscience study, Suchman reports that radio ads had a +220% higher memory encoding than TV ads. Additionally, Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to stream audio than video. “When choosing a medium to connect with the next generation of high-spending consumers, there’s no better choice than Audio,” Suchman imparts. “It reaches critical mass, and it’s a frequent daily habit.” Gen Z is 26% more likely to stream audio than video than typical U.S. adults. Millennials are 25% more likely to do the same.

“So, with deep respect to The Buggles, the future of advertising is Audio, not video,” Suchman concludes. “Rush had it right all along, ‘Begin the day with a friendly voice. A companion, unobtrusive…’ – The Spirit of Radio.”

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