Can Radio Help Growth Of TV Viewership?


Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One commissioned a first-ever Nielsen cross-media study using PPM data to measure TV and radio audiences.

What’s the key finding? Light and non-TV viewers represent a large percentage of the TV audience but represent only a small percentage of TV time spent and commercial impressions.

Is the solution AM/FM radio?

That’s what WWO says. In a blog post from Pierre Bouvard, Cumulus’ Chief Insights Officer and a former Arbitron President of Sales, radio can make TV “better.”

Nielsen utilized its 80,000 person PPM panel, which measures both television and AM/FM radio audiences, and examined TV time spent among heavy television viewers as well as light and non-TV viewers.

Among persons 18-49, 17% are heavy TV viewers, and they represent half of all TV impressions. “So half of your TV ad impressions come from 17% of America,” Bouvard notes.

A significantly larger percentage, 44%, of persons 18-49 fall into the light and non-TV viewer group. “Despite their substantial size, light TV viewers only represent 9% of total TV commercial impressions,” Bouvard writes. “Forty-four percent of America represents only 9% of your TV ad impressions.”

How does radio enter the picture? AM/FM radio reaches 90% of light TV viewers.

Thus, Bouvard believes, “A small reallocation of a TV media plan to AM/FM radio can result in a significant lift in campaign reach in addition to driving growth in brand awareness, consideration and purchase.”

Among those who agree that “TV and AM/FM radio work as a team” is Pragmax LLC Principal Consultant Roger Adams, a former CMO at The Home Deport, USAA, and Lord and Taylor who has also served as Executive Director of Advertising and Marketing at General Motors.

“You want a portfolio of different media types so that you can maximize your return,” Adams says. “Adding radio to a TV-only plan using a constant budget adds TRPs, reaches light TV viewers, and delivers better ROI.”