Relevance of radio Advertising In Today’s Digital World

Category: Radio Advertising

Estimated time: 45 minutes


Marketing gurus and brand managers have never had it tougher – or more rewarding! Today there are more marketing channels, mediums and opportunities than at any other time in our history. But the age-old question remains: Where do you get the biggest bang for your buck? The answer depends on what your target demographic is, what are you trying to sell and how competitive your market is. In a digital age, it can be easy to forget about other advertising media though. You would be surprised to learn that even in our modern age of streaming content, smart TV’s and increased consumer control over media choices – radio (yes, radio!) still dominates in several key metrics. This module will give you information about whether or not radio is still relevant in today’s digitally driven world.


Compared to other media used by advertisers, radio offers affordability, wide reach, target audience selectivity and timely message delivery. However, poor attentiveness and fragmentation, a lack of visual appeal and complex national buying processes are common challenges. Before you commit your budget to radio though, you will need to carefully consider its pros and cons. By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Understand the advantages of radio advertising
  • Analyze how radio advertising affects potential buyers.
  • Understand how radio is still relevant in today’s world


  • Advantages of radio advertising
  • Radio Advertising and Buyer reactions
  • Relevance of modern radio ads


Understand the advantages of radio advertising


Here is a run-down of three direct response radio advantages.


Years after the introduction of internet advertising, radio advertising reach hasn’t changed much. In fact, radio audience continues to grow. With the introduction of live-streaming internet radio, radio media is adding millions of  new listeners every year! And now with podcasting and streaming audio, radio listeners continue to grow in number.


When it comes to impacting consumer behavior and generating strong responses, nothing succeeds quite like radio. This phenomenon has been studied over and over, and the results are always the same. Whether it is getting people to go online and make a purchase, stopping into a restaurant, or boost memorability for a product – radio simply works.

When you think about it, the success of radio makes logical sense. We interact with radio differently from other media. We don’t watch, we listen. Listening, unlike watching, is never passive. Listening is an activity that involves our attention, our imagination and our engagement. The rapid growth of podcasts, a medium rich in storytelling, supports this growth. Psychologists believe this sort of cognitive processing is why radio is so much more effective at influencing behavior and generating loyal followers. Radio is often part of our communities and daily habits. So, it is trusted more than online advertising.

ROI – Return on Investment

What’s the most cost effective medium for your ad dollar? You guessed it, radio. More reach, more influence and better retention generally add up to better financial returns on your marketing dollar. Television is too expensive, SEO is too competitive and there are a hundreds of marketing channels but radio simply gives you the most bang for your buck.


Do you commute? Do you otherwise listen to radio on a regular basis? Do you enjoy it? Think about your favorite shows, what makes them so appealing? List down all the reasons you can think of.


Analyze how radio advertising affects potential buyers.


While radio is still a popular medium, advertisers also need to realize that the current generation does not just stay on one station all the time. Many of them change their likes on a consistent basis – it may be based on time of day, their mood, tastes etc. This means advertisers should consider putting their radio spots on multiple channels in order to cast the widest net possible.

You can reach more people at a time on radio as well. With radio, since more people listen to it than watch television, and there may be more people in the room that it is being played; you can reach more people that may not have listened to the commercial otherwise. It is broader, which can help increase your customer base. Even though radio allows you to target your advertisement, there will still be people who may hear the commercial because they are in a place where it is being played.

With radio you can reach a specific customer base. With the high number of millennial that listen to radio, you can put specific commercials for certain items on different stations that these young audiences listen to. This is exactly why you can target audiences on your radio advertisements easier than any other medium.


Do you listen to podcasts? What do you think about the advertising and endorsements that are inserted into your favorite podcast show?


Understand how radio is still relevant in today’s world


Radio is a free medium for listeners. Once the initial investment for the radio is made, you will not have to pay more to use the radio. There are some subscription-based radios, but that is not the point of this module. The point is that radio is still an effective means of communication even in this highly-digitized world because it is free or cheap and as a result, listeners really do not mind the intermittent advertisements on radio channels. Research shows that 92% of people over the age of 12 listen to the radio on a weekly basis.

With so many listeners, you can get your message to the people in a format that they can hear while doing something else. The greatest part of radio advertising is that people do not have to do anything extra to see the advertisement. There is no popup that can block what a person is trying to see and annoy them.

Another reason why radio is still relevant is that more and more people are switching off the television and turning on the radio. There are more people listening to over-the-air radio than those listening other options. Radio advertising can assist you in capturing this growing market. You can reach more people easier than with other advertising mediums.

One thing that a digital ad would not be able to do is have a jingle that sticks in someone’s head. Have you ever had a jingle or even a sentence from a commercial that repeats in your mind continuously? If you have, you can see why radio advertising is still relevant in this day and age.

Some radio channels even play their station on the internet as we discussed earlier. They play not only the program, but the advertisements as well. Using a format like this you can reach the people you want to reach even when they are in a different city, state, or country. While they may not be local, they might still know people locally and can tell them about your store. It does not matter if the message is played over-the-air or online, what you are doing is reaching a larger market than you could with any other medium. I know that this has been repeated several times, but it is to help you remember it. That is another reason why radio is still so relevant – you can repeat your add in a less annoying way and more entertaining way.


Do you think radio can still be a relevant medium for reaching target audiences today? Explain your opinion with five solid arguments.


List down the advantages of selecting appropriate time and spot on radio which a company should keep in mind while planning their radio campaign.

List down any applicable:

Your favourite podcast

Your favourite local station

Your favourite internet live-streaming radio

How do you feel both rationally and emotionally about the advertisements that are showcased on each of these radio channels/shows/platforms?

FURTHER READING is-more- relevant-today- than-ever-before/ the-digital-age/727076/lite/


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