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Challenges and Opportunities of Advertising on Radio and Streaming Services

When you consider its reach – 87% of the population tune into the radio every week – and the adoption of smart speakers in the home which has also increased the consumption of audio content, it’s no surprise that radio is a huge consideration within any of our media plans.

Gillian Rae 300X350

Gillian Young


George Lyons 300X350

George Lyons


It’s also a truly cost-effective platform to reach a large audience and it works well as part of a multi-media campaign. In fact, where possible, we try and combine radio with billboards, Adshels and other out-of-home media – so there’s a visual connection with in-car/commute listening and any messages being reinforced by outdoor media. Reaching certain audience segments can also be achieved with time-specific spots where these segments are more likely to be listening.

Once you’ve got them by the ears, their hearts and minds will follow.

Since streaming services have been introduced, we’ve steadily increased their appearances on our media plans – especially when it comes to attracting a younger audience via Spotify and podcast suppliers. And because 62% of podcast listeners don’t listen to commercial radio, bolting on podcast activity to a radio campaign increases your reach via audio ads. It’s also a great way of reaching the ‘classic Radio 1’ because obviously, you can’t buy ad space on that channel. Podcasts are still underused by advertisers, so it’s a great time to use this marketing channel for standout, and when you consider they offer a unique and intimate opportunity to speak one-to-one to the listener – which aids ad recall – it’s the ideal way to reach listeners when they are fully immersed and engaged in content.
The stats make interesting reading too:

  • 81% of podcast listeners are aged 18-44 and it’s an even gender split 
  • The largest age demographic is 25-34 (40%)
  • 85% of users listen via smartphone
  • 70% listen while commuting so, again, a great way to catch people not listening to commercial ‘drive time’ radio
  • It’s an affluent audience: 83% of listeners earn above the national average wage

There’s been a fair amount of noise surrounding radio’s impending demise, but as we said, 87% of the population still tune into the radio every week and 94% of smart speaker owners use them to listen to audio content, we don’t see radio in jeopardy any time soon.

However, it’s the introduction of podcasts and voice-activated audio via Alexa, Google Home and Siri that’s changed the way audio is consumed. And with more competition within streaming services and podcasts, it’s up to us to keep at the forefront of any trends and ensure our media plans consider every option before recommending the best way forward.

Read more of our insights