Thinking about how to maximize your PR reach? After attending Edison Research’s presentation of the Infinite Dial study, we found a number of compelling pieces of data that showcase why audio, podcasting, and traditional radio cannot be ignored. Paid, earned and owned media isn’t limited to written words. While Vine and Instagram video showcased to the industry that video isn’t dead, the data in Edison’s presentation definitely demonstrates that audio, podcasting and AM/FM radio aren’t dead either.

Online Radio

You’re probably familiar with Spotify (surprisingly it *isn’t* the most popular online radio streaming service), so are the 124 million people who have listened to online radio in the last month. Advertising to online radio audiences is clearly an opportunity, likely one that you haven’t yet considered and should.

124 Million online radio listeners

Especially if you’re trying to reach the golden target of Millennials, since 3/4 of 12-24 year olds are tuning in to online radio:

12-24 yo listeners

Connected Car

The connected car is already here, and the space is heating up quickly with the recent release of CarPlay. The future of in-car audio is the listener’s pleasure, and when someone is listening in his/her car, they now have a choice beyond AM/FM radio for what they hear. 26% of cell phone owners have streamed some type of audio over their car’s audio system.

Whether they choose online radio or AM/FM channels; the way to these listeners’ hearts and wallets will be through their cars. How to reach them? CarPlay is built on apps like Pandora, iTunes Radio, and iHeartRadio, so get a jump on CarPlay by finding paid and earned options in existing top apps.

listening via cell phone

Traditional and Online Radio

You’re probably thinking that traditional radio is an old method of reaching people, but by no means should you ignore traditional radio spot options for paid media. Age doesn’t matter if the channel still works to generate revenue. Sometimes you gotta focus on the tried and true vs. getting excited about the new. As the next slide demonstrates, AM/FM radio isn’t going anywhere just yet. 86% of in-car listeners are tuning in!

traditional radio

Some online radio services offer the ability to stream local AM/FM radio channels through their apps, like iHeartRadio. Just think, this takes AM/FM radio and puts it directly onto the user’s smartphone, out of their car and into their earbuds wherever they may be. Another paid strategy you should consider are audio spots on digital radio and traditional radio.

iHeartRadio research


When considering your earned media approach to audio, don’t forget to think about podcasting and include it in your pitching. While we’ve heard about podcasting (and it’s considered another “old” thing), podcast listening is at an all time high!

podcasting listeners

Start by doing some research on what type of shows exist that would work with the potential clients target market. There are podcasts out there on a variety of different subjects. For a long time, I listened to a podcast about LOST when the show was on. There are podcasts about knitting and others about marketing. There’s even a podcast with some guy reading his spam. Use these slides to support the idea of creating a podcast for clients. They may be the first in their niche and even if they aren’t, they can challenge themselves to do better than those that exist.

Another idea sparked by this data is to sponsor a podcast. Many podcasts offer sponsorships that are an agreement for the host to advertise services from the sponsor to their audience. A good example of this is MarketingProfs‘ recent sponsorship of Marketing Over Coffee (we’re partial to this because our VP of Marketing Tech, Chris Penn is a host on this weekly show). It would be easy to reach the audience and demographic you’re looking for by reaching out to the hosts of the show. Make sure you understand their listener base, but otherwise it’s a great unorthodox option. 

Audio is still important

When planning for a pitch or planning strategy for a client, we often forget that audio channels exist as an additional way to reach those target demographics that clients are most interested in. Not to mention you’re reaching them when they want to be entertained while stuck in traffic, working away in the gym, or getting into the groove at work. Edison did the homework for you on how listeners are tuning in, it’s up to you to use it to successfully add audio into the mix.

Chel Wolverton
Account Manager – Marketing Technology


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