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Mike Fletcher 

Research reveals radio set for hike in ad investment

Research reveals radio set for hike in ad investment

More than a third of advertisers are planning to invest more in radio during 2021, equating to the highest net shift for any traditional medium, according to new research.

Re-Evaluating Media for Recovery, a report commissioned by Radiocentre and independently conducted by Ebiquity, aims to help advertisers understand which media are most valuable for brand growth during recession and explores advertiser perceptions of media performance versus evidence.

Ebiquity spoke to 102 media decision-makers at advertisers and agencies and reviewed evidence from around 100 research studies and reports from over 50 sources.

The research is a follow-up to a 2018 report, which found that negative perceptions of radio’s strengths in helping brands grow meant that advertisers placed it in sixth position, despite radio being recognised by the research as sitting alongside television as the top two best performing media.

This year’s report states that television and radio remain the top two best performing media and that this time, advertiser perceptions have caught up with the research, influencing a hike in spending intentions for 2021.

However, the research also found that media decision-makers now underestimate the time audiences spend listening to radio and overestimate the time they spend listening to podcasts and music streaming services such as Spotify.

The research uncovered that advertisers and agencies believe listeners spend 58% of commercial audio time listening to radio, 26% with on-demand music and 16% of their time with non-BBC podcasts.

The evidence from RAJAR MIDAS reveals a very different reality, with live radio making up 84% of listening time, while on-demand music accounts for 9% and podcasts for 8%.

“These findings are crucial given the challenges brands face as they attempt to market their way out of the global recession,” said Radiocentre planning director Mark Barber. “We are pleased to see perceptions of radio come closer to the truth and that media spending intentions show radio is in line to get more investment from advertisers wanting to ensure their brands bounce back from recession.”

Ebiquity UK’s managing director of media, Martin Vinter said: “Understanding the effectiveness of different media channels is key to making the most of hard-pressed marketing budgets, especially during times of uncertainty like the one we find ourselves in now. Marketers need to be asking themselves whether they have evidence to support their proposed media mix, and whether it is optimised for the best return on investment.”

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