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Bouvard: Radio Can Boost TV Ad Frequency

With TV viewership declining, radio could help make up some of the difference

Recent studies have shown that eyes are shifting away from traditional TV viewership, and as a result ad viewership as well is reportedly taking a hit. In a recent blog, “Why it’s harder to reach consumers with TV ads and how radio can make your TV better,” Pierre Bouvard, CMO of Cumulus Media/Westwood One, lists a number of reasons as to why this is, including the emergence of streaming services like Netflix, shifts away from prime time viewing, and the drop of younger viewers watching.

Bouvard references a MoffettNathanson report in a blog post that claims Netflix is responsible for 50% of TV viewing erosion. Combine that with other popular streaming services like Amazon and Hulu, and nearly half of U.S. homes subscribe to at least one of them, according to Nielsen. Ads in prime time are also being seen by fewer eyes, as Nielsen says just 56% of prime time viewing is live. While overall TV viewing is down by 7%, according to MoffettNathanson, Millennials are tuning even less; TV viewership has been on the decline among younger viewers since early 2014.

One medium that a large group of Millennials are still tuning in for, according to studies, is radio. Nielsen reports that 92% of people ages 18–34 are reached by radio weekly, compared to 73% for TV. Because of this, Bouvard suggests that adding radio to the media plan for advertising can boost exposure among consumers who are only lightly exposed to TV.

Referencing another Nielsen study on how radio amplified frequency amongst those with the lightest TV exposure to NFL TV broadcasts, Bouvard highlights how radio doubled campaign frequency among the 40% of people who have the lightest exposure, and a 29% boost for medium TV viewers, which make up another 40% of total viewers.

Bouvard concludes that with TV viewership on the decline, advertisers can turn to radio to help try and make up the some of the difference.