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Nielsen Draws Link Between Listening, Buying Behavior

In a major market pilot, audience research firm says data shows new value for radio advertising

For years, we’ve known that radio reaches buyers right before they make a purchase. However, stations and their advertisers want to target the right buyers.

Now, Nielsen says it’s had some success with that. For the first time, the audience researcher says, a connection can be drawn between what consumers listen to on radio and how they spend, solidifying “radio’s place as a valuable marketing platform for advertisers and media planners.” This conclusion can be found in the study, “Linking Radio Tuning to Buyer Behavior: New Value for Radio Advertising.”

In a major market pilot test Nielsen combined proprietary data with anonymized panelist credit and debit card purchasing behavior. The data represented 24 billion transactions and $2 trillion in annual sales primarily from the retail, travel, digital, restaurant, entertainment, financial services and telecom categories.

By conducting the analysis at the local metro level, Nielsen says it identified unique radio ad spend opportunities specifically for the local market.

“The ability to determine how radio listeners among different formats like pop, news or rock are spending their dollars creates a unique opportunity for radio broadcasters to make a case for the value of their audience,” says Local Media Product Leadership SVP Farshad Family. “We are just beginning to tell the story about the value of radio’s audience.” The company intends to continue to report progress as it draws more links between listening and purchase data.

Dallas, a major market with 5.7 million weekly radio listeners and $344 million in radio ad spend per year, according to BIA Kelsey, was one of the DMAs included in the pilot test.

Among the Dallas findings: The market’s pop/CHR listeners spend more on casual dining than all other listeners. While those listeners in Dallas spend less per trip on average, they exhibit the highest average spend per buyer annually. Dallas news/talk listeners go to more movies every year and spend more money at the movies than all other listeners. On average, they spend roughly $25 more per buyer and watch 1.2 more movies annually.