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TV Ad Share Should Start Moving to Radio, Says SBCA

Association points to viewership erosion while radio listening has grown

For years the traditional ad buy has been focused on television first, newspaper second and either radio or online next if there’s any money left over. Then online moved up in the pecking order.

Now, the Southern California Broadcasters Association says its research proves that radio is the more economical ad buy than TV, and radio broadcasters need to scream that from the rooftops to media buyers. Though the report is specific to the SoCal market, the results could be useful to radio in other markets.

The erosion of traditional television appointment viewing as a result of new technology has altered regional and national TV viewing habits; plus the rising growth of the DVR allows viewers to skip commercials, notes the SBCA.

“The imbalanced ratio of radio to TV ad spending in Southern California is completely unjustified,” says SCBA President Thom Callahan. “Traditional appointment television is under direct attack from a variety of technology giants such as Google TV, Netflix, Amazon TV, You Tube, Hulu, as well as the ominous DVR.”

The report points to a steady decline over six years for southern California television viewership among local and general newscasts as well as prime time programming while highlighting a 39% growth in DRV use in Los Angeles market households over the same six-year period. DVR use and ownership is now at 49% of Los Angeles DMA households, according to the research.

Contrast that with the majority of radio listening, — including commercials — which is still in real-time, states the broadcast association in the report.

“Southern California radio has grown its listenership of adults 18+ over the past six years by 7.4% while local general market TV viewership has spiraled downward by -6.5% for early fringe programming and -8.5% for any local news,” said Callahan. “We are urging every general market TV advertiser to look at their ad spending and decide if they want to invest in the power of radio and our solid growth trends and commanding reach in Southern California vs. the eroding viewership of traditional appointment TV.”

“With Southern California radio now reaching 92.9% of all adults 18 plus, the balance of power has shifted to radio and it’s critical that TV advertisers are aware of this fact and consider adjusting their spending ratios in favor of radio now,” said Callahan.

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