Radio Drives Audiences to Embrace New Apps

By Idil Cakim, SVP and Head of Research & Insights, Audacy

A Media Mix Case Study

Changing consumer behavior is a tall order, but take it from us: Audio drives action. 

To help drive downloads of the Audacy app, we launched campaigns spanning over-the-air stations, digital streaming, and popular podcasts. The objective was to increase app downloads and listener engagement with priority programming initiatives, and the campaign delivered, driving over 1.4 million app downloads.1

We knew we were onto something but wanted to gauge which elements of our plan worked the hardest and where we could dial things up. So, we partnered with data analytics firm Redbird to create a custom Media Mix Modeling (or MMM) study, which modeled the impact of each Audio channel on our app downloads. 

The results affirmed that multi-channel Audio can sway listeners to try something new. For advertisers hungry to cut through the clutter and drive conversion, the ability to dig into campaign platform by platform will deliver significant intel on conversion and media optimization.

MMM Confirms Audio is Powerful and Efficient

Downloading an app may sound simple, but it’s a big ask. Nearly all smartphone users (98 percent) use apps, but they’re exploring fewer options. The average smartphone user installed 18.5 apps last year, down from 21.5 in 2020.2

To persuade consumers to try a new app requires a strong value proposition. Users need a payoff. In Audio, content is queen, and Audacy’s app offers the biggest and brightest national and local stations, sports, music, and podcasts.  

Our MMM study analyzed 24 campaigns and 92 different creatives and (spoiler alert) confirmed that all Audio channels contributed to conversion and improved ad performance. Over-the-air radio was the top contributor, generating the most downloads and the best return on ad spend. 

OTA was the most effective and cost-efficient channel, swaying listeners to take action on their smartphones or tablets. That’s power.

Creative Counts and Drives Conversion

Our study went beyond numbers, yielding valuable qualitative insights. We analyzed which creative messaging resonated best and learned the more correlations we made between Audacy and our most popular content and talent, the better.  

Spots that dropped well-known names grabbed listeners’ attention, reminding them of their favorite music, spoken word, sports, and podcasts in our app. Some of our most impactful spots name-checked celebrated artists or popular content partners like Disney.  

Listeners also responded to sports tie-ins that spotlighted major league partners, including the NFL or MLB, and tentpole events like the Super Bowl. 

Nostalgia resonated, too. When we talked about Christmas and other holiday programming, listeners responded with increased engagement and action.

“Listeners love their content, and they are excited to connect with it on the Audacy app,” noted Christina Wisboro, Audacy’s Director of Media and Consumer Marketing, who helped plan and execute Audacy’s app campaign. “It combines well-known and trusted assets with our brand.”

Consumers also responded to explicit and repeated calls-to-action. The MMM study revealed that spots that spelled out our brand name and restated it several times drove increased conversion.  

This inside intel on creative helps us shape future promotional campaigns and better advise our clients on their messaging, noted Wisboro. 

Our MMM provided the insights needed to put some rigor around media planning and creative production. It empowers me. I have insights demonstrating what I’m doing right and how to build on that through optimal media allocation. Brands can benefit in the same way.

Christina Wisboro
Director of Media and Consumer Marketing, Audacy

Next Up: Brands Deploy Media Mix Modeling

Today’s brand marketers want the most bang for their media bucks and to prove ROI. Audio publishers are lobbying for a larger share of media budgets. We know Audio is measurable, and radio, in particular, produces returns, driving conversion.

At Audacy, we aren’t just broadcasters and podcasters but Audio specialists with sophisticated measurement tools, including MMM. An MMM analysis is data-driven and can dispel preconceived notions, guide intelligent spending decisions, and uncover paths to action.

MMM can strengthen forecasts as well. For instance, for campaigns aiming to drive Audacy app downloads, we can now build a forecasting model to estimate future campaign performance and plan accordingly.

Armed with that information, our clients can build more effective ad strategies, maximize return on investment, and reduce waste.

“We’re able to show that Audio is effective, and have the metrics to back it up,” Wisboro said. “That goes a long way for a media planner who needs to demonstrate ROI to their clients.”

Methodology: Redbird, a data analytics firm, conducted the media mix modeling measurement with radio, streaming, and podcast data provided by Audacy. The model is predictive at a confidence level of 80 percent. It reveals the Audio creatives’ impact on Audacy app downloads within a statistical framework, leveraging the timing of media spend and the lag between spend and conversion. 

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1 Redbird MMM analysis of Audacy campaign, 2023

2 eMarketer, Insider Intelligence July 2023

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