Study: Live Reads Out-Perform Recorded Spots By Two-To-One Margin.


Radio spots that tap into the perceived authenticity of live reads and organic mentions vastly improve campaign performance and dramatically outperform recorded spots. In fact, live reads deliver more than double the lift of prerecorded spots, particularly in large markets, where live reads were 12 times more effective than those in medium markets. This is according to a new study on the effectiveness of broadcast ad campaigns conducted by AI tech provider Veritone.


“The Veritone Uplift Study” is based on a 15-month analysis of 250 local and national campaigns across 100 television and radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. The average broadcast campaign lift across the study, as measured by an ad’s impact on website traffic, was 6.6%. When compared with the average click through rate of leading digital tactics –– like display ads (0.64%), Facebook ads (0.90%) and email marketing (2.6%) –– this study shows that broadcast advertising can outperform digital advertising in driving traffic to advertisers’ websites.


In another eye-opening finding, shorter spot lengths (those under 10 seconds) were nearly four times more likely to drive lift than longer 60-second spots. “Shorter ads increase brand recall and ensure that listeners capture all necessary information in the spot, especially the web call to action,” Veritone said.


The analysis shows advertisers got the most bang for their buck in middays, during which live reads were three times more effective than prerecorded spots at generating lift. Overnights generated four times the lift, compared to canned spots, but at a far lower rate of overall lift.


Afternoon slots were nearly tied in lift between live reads and prerecorded spots, and prerecorded spots performed best overall during the afternoon. This suggests advertisers looking to maximize the return on prerecorded spots should schedule them in the afternoon.


The Uplift study also shows that midweek is the best time to drive lift overall. Live reads perform especially strong on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Campaigns that aired on Tuesdays produced an average lift rate of 19.83% while Thursday generated 20.26%. Meanwhile, prerecorded spots garner about the same lift regardless of the day, generating slightly higher lift Mondays and Wednesdays.


The only significant drop-off in lift for prerecorded spots comes on weekends, during which live reads see a corresponding drop-off as well.


In comparing campaigns that ran in both the first and second quarters of 2020, Veritone found very little variation in campaign lift between the two quarters. COVID-19, which was in full effect in Q2, showed no negative impact thus far on broadcast advertising performance. In fact, Veritone’s analysis saw an average campaign lift of 6.5% for both Q1 and Q2 of 2020.


“Whether you’re a broadcaster or an advertiser, the inability to measure live ad reads and organic brand mentions in near real-time means you can’t fully maximize the value and effectiveness of a campaign,” said Ryan Steelberg, president of Veritone. “This is where AI plays a critical role. By providing broadcasters and advertisers the capability and data they need to quantify an ad campaign’s success and measure lift in real-time, AI becomes a game changer, elevating the value of the dynamic broadcast advertising business.”


The study also identified a half-dozen commonalities in the most successful broadcast campaigns across radio and television. Richness of the offer was the factor that contributed to the highest lift, exemplified by station contests and promotions that promise to save participants a lot of money, win big or get free services. Urgency and time sensitivity were also key ingredients found in the most successful spots, with teases like “offer expires this weekend or “sign up today to redeem.” Other common attributes in successful spots were intrigue and visual teasing, novelty, a clear call-to-action and an easy URL/web address.


The study also offered four recommendations for broadcast stations:


Invest in attribution


You must be able to demonstrate campaign performance to advertisers. If you’re not yet utilizing an AI attribution tool, make this a priority.


Test and optimize


Continue to tinker and refine techniques to help advertisers achieve maximum lift.


Open up the show clock


Create time for more live reads and organic mentions, now that you can demonstrate the effectiveness of these techniques.


Stay optimistic


Signs point to a strength in broadcast advertising overall, despite any negative perception that may exist. Provide your advertisers with measurable insights that prove this point and justify continued spend.


Download “The Veritone Uplift Study” HERE.

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