Rituals Focused Campaign Drives Audacy App Downloads

By Idil Cakim SVP, Head of Research, Audacy

Audiences organize their day around Audio, and Audio is a ritual in itself. A head turning 74% of U.S. adults indicate they make time to listen to the radio or podcasts in their daily lives, and a solid 40% go as far as guarding their Audio time and working their schedule around listening appointments.1

The strong presence of Audio in people’s lives and the variety of content they mix – across genres, devices and platforms – in their day should make us rethink Audio planning. There is so much variety to a morning drive. Starting with news, continuing with music and a podcast of interest. The afternoon and evening listening also changes depending on where audiences are and who else is listening with them. There is a blend of me- and family-time, as well as sports activities, shopping and cooking.

Understanding these shifts, and serving ads to these moments has a business benefit

Audio ads that are contextually aligned with what audiences are doing work better than those placed without context. As Audacy’s research with Magna Global’s Media Trials shows, contextually relevant Audio ads are more likely to drive audiences to search and shop for products than those that are not aligned with Audio rituals. 

Easier said than done, right? Planning systems are based on dayparts, impressions and audience characteristics — not coffee, work out, me-time or bedtime stories. So how can a brand be there just in the right time? We solved for this challenge by devising a campaign to promote the Audacy app among our radio listeners:

Figuring out when and where to serve ads with Audio rituals

We knew how well rituals-themed creatives performed2 and how people sought out Audio to mobilize themselves through their day. We conducted additional analyses which showed that Audio rituals cluster around generations: Indeed, Gen Z’s Audio-rituals are mostly centered around sports. Gen X seeks me-time and balances parenting with the help of podcasts. And Boomers love their Audio in the car. 

Generations allow us to segway into formats

We know what types of radio programming young and older listeners prefer and when the programs air. Pairing the two streams of insights on rituals and preferred formats guided our creative and planning strategies.

How we did it

We crafted 20 messages around sports, school pick-up, and workouts, among other rituals, both in English and Spanish. We placed them based on genre across 22 stations in four pilot markets: Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Washington D.C. 




For six weeks (between 07/24 to 09/03/23) we reminded our radio audiences of the moments and joy Audio brings to their lives, while encouraging them to download the Audacy app, keeping them connected with the content they love. 

And our ritualistic targeting and engagement worked. There were notable increases in app downloads: +74% in Houston, +26% in DC and +14% in Atlanta. These results were directly attributable to the rituals campaign – even when considering other promotions and events running simultaneously.3  In addition, a brand lift study we ran with the audio research firm Veritonic showed significant lifts in brand favorability and intent to download among key audience groups such as heavy radio listeners, commuters, parents, P35-54 and cross-platform listeners. 

Take Away

Audio rituals expand advertisers’ opportunities to engage audiences deeply and deliver results. Understanding how your audiences consume audio across activities is just as important as knowing their preferred formats and platforms. Audio is our motivator throughout the day. Inform your creative and planning strategies with Audio rituals to mobilize your listeners.

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1. Audio Rituals Study, Audacy and Alter Agents, October 2022.

2. Nielsen Branded Content Effect Study for Audacy, January 2023. 

3. Audacy’s analytics partner Redbird conducted a modeling exercise comparing the four markets to a baseline of top radio markets. Outliers were removed. Incremental downloads can be attributable to the campaign with 94% certainty.

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