Sound Business: How to Boost Sales with a Balanced Media Mix

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

The writers’ and actors’ strikes have wiped out the fall TV programming pipeline. Ratings are going head down. CTV originals, struggling to find viewership, aren’t closing the gap. And the fourth quarter madness is upon us. What to do? We need a shift in our media approach.

There is a solution to get a full return on media investments. Total Audio, when optimized as part of the media mix plan, could yield 6 billion dollars of incremental sales for national advertisers1

Neustar released a new study that shows national advertisers are grossly underinvested in Audio – whether broadcast or digital. Meanwhile, audiences have gone cross-platform. Since 2021, the number of listeners who have added streaming and podcasts to their traditional Audio tune-in has increased by +66%2

While conducting its research, Neustar analyzed the media investment of over 50 national brands. The company discovered that by correcting underinvestment in Audio:

  • Entertainment companies stand to gain the most – with double-digit sales3 lifts from radio (+30%) and digital (+24%) Audio. 
  • Retailers can enjoy a +31% boost in sales tied to digital Audio. Radio can drive an additional +6%.   

Not the first time we’ve heard this story 

Nielsen confirmed earlier this year that total Audio use surpassed total TV usage. In fact, Audio reach is +10% ahead of Live + time-shifted TV and +13% more than connected television (CTV)4 viewership. Plus, a major dentsu study released this past summer showed both radio and podcasts hold more attention than other media, including TV, video and social5

Audio’s impact on audiences translates into sound business. Radio and digital Audio channels work together to propel media plans and meet sales goals. When Neustar reviewed the media mix plans of national advertisers from the past three years, its report concluded that Audio channels make other media work better, including broadcast and cable television, online video, and search. 

How to elevate your game with Audio

Lead with audiences. Identify shoppers and those going through life stages. Understand their Audio rituals. A majority (74%) of U.S. adults weave Audio into their daily habits. A notable 40% organize their day around Audio. These audience habits—paired with radio, streaming or podcast listening—are the exact moments when people are open to well-crafted brand messages. 

Optimize plans using both traditional and digital Audio. Listeners who start their day with news, switch to contemporary music for breakfast, and carve out me-time with lifestyle podcasts want to hear from you. Marketers today—more than ever— are searching for the media channels that work the hardest. Properly allocating AM/FM radio and digital Audio in the media mix drives strong performance and efficiency—launching marketing-driven sales up by 30% or more.

Measure total Audio impact. Radio is measurable, and digital Audio is traceable. Ask your analytics partners—whether at an agency, publisher or research company—to capture exposure metrics for all forms of Audio. Then, streamline and synthesize the results for total Audio. 

You can finish 2023 strong. Pull both broadcast radio and podcast levers. Underinvestment can be costly. Optimize on Total Audio to boost sales and get your share of the $6 billion in advertising-driven revenue. 

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SOURCES

1  Neustar Meta Analysis, July 2023; Marketing-driven incremental sales factors are sourced from Neustar. 2022 industry sales figures are sourced from Statista.

2 Edison Research, Share of Ear, Q2 2021- 2023

3 Sales refers to marketing-driven incremental sales

4 Nielsen NPOWER, Nielsen RADAR, Nielsen Total Media Fusion, Nielsen Scarborough, Q1 2023

5 Dentsu Attention Economy Studies, Lumen Research, 2023

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