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Radio Leads in Advertising Attentiveness, Study Finds

The next time someone tells you that radio is just background noise for most people, point them to this study.

Cumulus Media is calling attention to a report that explores consumer attentiveness and ad skipping tendencies.

The company says the report demonstrates that AM/FM radio leads all media in advertising attentiveness, with the lowest levels of ad skipping.

It also found that consumers devote very high levels of concentration to podcasts “since listeners actively seek them out to learn something new, which justifies premium CPMs for podcasts.”

The report is from Cumulus Media/Westwood One’s Audio Active Group.

Cumulus summarized key findings:

“Attention grows in importance among marketers and agencies,” it wrote. “Nearly half of advertisers have discussed consumer attentiveness as a metric. Two out of three say it is important for measuring media investments.”

Also, traditional media ads have greater engagement compared to digital ads. “AM/FM radio, print, and podcast ads lead in attentiveness. Consumers skip social and digital ads the most.”

Further, it said, agencies and marketers tend to “overestimate consumer concentration of social media. Two consumer studies reveal social media has the lowest attentiveness of media platforms.”

AM/FM radio CPMs should be a premium to Pandora and Spotify, Cumulus said. “Pandora/Spotify audio impressions are not the same as AM/FM radio impressions. The greater proportion of spoken word content on AM/FM radio generates much higher levels of concentration and attentiveness. The information and personalities of AM/FM radio satisfy consumer need states for information and connection.”

Also, “Audio platforms satisfy unique need states. AM/FM radio is associated with information, connection, and entertainment. Podcasts are a source of information, learning, and entertainment. Music streaming entertains, relaxes, and lifts moods.”

The Media Attentiveness and Ad Skipping Report is aimed at marketers, agency media planners and buyers.