Radio and Audio Media Bring Younger Voters to the Ballot Box.


With the start of the 2022 midterm election cycle, radio and audio media are the advertising platforms candidates, issues and campaigns can use to reach Millennial voters very efficiently, according to The Media Audit.


Kantar’s forecast of total political ad spending (as of September 2021) was $7.8 billion and radio’s share of $215 million was the smallest of the five primary media in the forecast. Since then, the total ad spending estimate has increased to $9.0 billion. A new estimate for radio hasn’t been published but extrapolating from the September forecast would give radio $252 million.


Unsurprisingly, broadcast TV receives the biggest share, primarily because campaigns know that is where they can connect with older voters who are typically the largest share of voters in most elections.


Other than Baby Boomers, Millennials are the prize audience for political campaigns, because it is now the largest generation. Radio and audio media are where campaigns can create a strong impression with this large audience.


Data in the table below from five representative 2021 market/consumer surveys conducted by The Media Audit shows Millennials who voted in a local, state or national election during the past year over-indexed the most, on average, for heavy exposure to two legacy media: Radio (180+ minutes during an average day) and outdoor (200+ miles during an average week), compared to TV. Millennials also slightly over-indexed, on average, for newspapers (60+ minutes during an average day) at 102.


“Millennials have a different set of issues that influences how they vote than older adults. Addressing those issues within the radio culture of music is more likely to resonate with these voters better than most other media,” said Greg Cobb, West Coast Market Manager, The Media Audit. “The next table reveals Millennials are also heavily exposed to five digital media, and significantly for podcast listening and audio streaming.”


Political campaigns can’t overlook the increasing popularity of podcasts since the 2020 elections. According to Statista, podcasting listening has increased 17.1% from 2020 and Buzzsprout reports 66% of podcast fans are 12 to 34 years of age.


Radio’s large reach of Millennial voters and their heavy exposure to outdoor, social media and audio media offer political campaigns many mixed-media opportunities and give them advantages most other media don’t provide.

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