Nielsen/Westwood One: AM/FM Serves As TV’s ‘Reach Accelerator.’


For advertisers looking for a lift, mass reach and expanded media channels are key drivers. That means that for those already dedicated to a TV buy, the addition of radio can generate “a substantial lift in campaign reach.” According to a new blog post from Westwood One, AM/FM serves as TV’s “reach accelerator.”


A series of Nielsen cross-media studies commissioned by Cumulus Media and Westwood One explored the TV and AM/FM radio campaign deliveries of a quick service restaurant, a home improvement retailer, a courier services company, a wireless provider and a retailer, explains Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer at Cumulus/Westwood One, on the “Everyone’s Listening” blog.


Nielsen ran audience deliveries for the TV investment via their Ad Intel service and AM/FM radio deliveries via Media Monitors. All of the advertising occurrences from all ads in the campaign were matched to the 80,000-person Nielsen PPM panel. By measuring both TV and radio audiences with the same panel, audience reach could be determined precisely for those only exposed to the TV ads, those only exposed by AM/FM radio ads—and those exposed to both the TV and AM/FM radio ads.


Oliver Marquis, VP Media Analytics at Nielsen, notes that adding AM/FM radio to the TV plan generated a 20% lift in incremental reach: “While each campaign utilized varying levels of TV and AM/FM radio investment, putting AM/FM radio into the media plan consistently increases campaign reach.”


The study also uncovered five consistent themes. First, the younger the demographic, the greater the increase in incremental reach generated by AM/FM radio: Across the five retailer categories, AM/FM radio generated an average 13% incremental lift above TV reach among persons 55+ and a 26% increase in TV reach among persons 35-54. Among persons 18-49, reach grew by 33% and among persons 18-34, reach increased by 41%.


Second, AM/FM radio generates large reach lifts in bigger households with children—so for a brand that targets families and/or kids, AM/FM radio drives greater reach growth. In addition, Nielsen found that Hispanic and Asian audience reach rises dramatically with the addition of AM/FM radio—up 29% with Hispanics and 28% with Asian audiences.


Reach among employed consumers also gets a major boost when AM/FM radio is added to the plan. Because a larger percentage of TV viewers are retired, while most AM/FM radio listeners are employed, “if a brand target includes the workforce, AM/FM radio is the ideal addition to the media plan,” Nielsen notes.


Finally, the major source of AM/FM radio’s incremental reach are light TV viewers. Over the five studies, Nielsen found 63% of the incremental reach generated by AM/FM radio is from light TV viewers. Across the five studies, AM/FM radio lifted reach among light TV viewers by an average of 78%. Meanwhile, AM/FM radio reaches 90% of America’s light TV viewers.

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