The 1-2-3 Punch for Local Advertisers in an Election Year: Radio, OTT & Podcasts

By Jenny Sutton, Senior Vice President, Digital Sales & Operations, Audacy

Why Local Advertisers May Want to Avoid TV Ads During Election Season

This year, the advertising dollars spent on U.S. elections are estimated to grow to an astounding $16 billion, up 31.2% compared to 2020’s presidential election.

Every media channel will see an influx in these ad dollars. For brands looking to stand out from the crowd, many are looking into media that will let their voices be heard during the busy political season.

So what are the top media channels for marketers looking to avoid high rates and cluttered inventory on TV this election season? Mediums like Radio, OTT (over-the-top), and podcasts offer the scale and reach you’re looking for without the ad clutter. In this article, we’ll dive into these three advertising avenues that can help you get in front of the right audience in 2024. 

1. Radio—Reach and Powerful Performance

AM/FM Radio can provide the breakthrough attention your brand deserves. Radio is the first and obvious choice for local advertisers. As the number one reach medium, Radio reaches 93% of the U.S. population in a given month. Meanwhile, TV’s viewership numbers are significantly down. The top 20 linear TV shows had 15% fewer viewers YoY1.

During busy media seasons, this means more opportunity for local businesses on Radio—where half of local ad buyers and 78% of local agencies are already bought in, and marketing on AM/FM Radio.2  

2. OTT—Visually Engage the Audience You Want

Have you ever watched a TV show on your computer or phone, or through a streaming service on your TV? If the answer is no, we’re not sure where you’ve been, because everyone else has been watching over the top TV or OTT

Unlike cable or satellite, OTT encompasses all video content streamed over the internet. This is a great visual alternative to traditional TV and comes with a host of benefits, like:

Enhanced targeting capabilities: While advertisers make broad assumptions on audience makeup for traditional TV, OTT has much more extensive targeting abilities. By offering data on what viewers watch, advertisers can target consumers based on habits, demographics, and interests. 

Better attribution: With pixel-based tracking, OTT can help advertisers understand who saw their ad, whether they went to the advertiser’s website, and if they converted.

More engagement: When you’re watching OTT content, there are 90-second to two minute advertising breaks. Viewers can’t skip the advertisements but they know the exact timeframe, making them more likely to stick around for the short ad window. 

3. Podcasts—The Best of Both Worlds

With podcasting, you get the powerful pair of reach and engagement. Businesses can engage listeners by advertising within a show that has a very specific audience, such as millennial moms, football fanatics, or movie junkies. Alternatively, businesses can advertise across a network with a mass impression buy, creating awareness for their brand across their key demographic.

With 120M monthly listeners, podcasts are an incredible avenue to reach an audience that typically skews younger. Forty-eight percent of podcast listeners are ages 12-34 and 35% are ages 35-54. Plus, podcasts skew heavily toward the ‘TV-never’ crew—that bucket of 41 million Americans that simply can’t be reached through TV.

Podcast Audiences: Source: Podcast Playbook, 2024, Audacy

Look Beyond TV 

If you’re looking for other channels that can help you gain reach during 2024, look beyond TV. And, instead, look toward Radio, podcasts, and OTT. These mediums allow you to reach consumers at scale in your local area, while avoiding the chaos of TV’s media inventory challenges.

For these mediums and more, explore Audacy’s advertising solutions. From digital marketing to AM/FM Radio and digital Audio, Audacy has a breadth of advertising programs to help you cut through the clutter. 

Want to talk more about reaching your target audience?

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1 State of Audio: Level Up, 2023, Audacy

2 Inside Radio

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