Radio Results Blog

7 Significant Digits Every Maine Small Business Owner Should Know

Posted by Larry Julius on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 @ 03:56 PM

Portland_Radio_Maine_Small_BusinessBy any measure, advertising on Portland radio is a sound investment for every Maine small business owner. Marketing expert Doug Schoen points out in Forbes magazine that radio's dominance is often overlooked because of "all the media coverage focused on streaming video and streaming music."

"Furthermore" says Mr. Schoen, "despite how often the media reports on newer forms of advertising, it is in fact free broadcast radio – yes, a mass market medium that’s been around since the 19th century – that often most effectively reaches and truly influences consumers."

To best understand how Portland radio can best fulfill the marketing and advertising objectives of Maine's small business owners, there are 7 significant digits every business owner should know.

Portland_Radio_Maine_Small_Business_ReachNinety Three. According to research released two weeks ago by Nielsen, AM/FM radio reaches 93% of all adults. This means 700,234 people in southern Maine tuned-in to a Portland radio station last week. This is a bigger audience than any other medium or technology. Significantly more people listen to the radio each week than watch TV, use a smartphone, listen to Pandora, or use satellite radio. Remarkably, radio's reach in 2016 is the same as it was in the year 2000, long before most of those other media  were invented.




Portland_Radio_Maine_Small_Business_ThreeThree. The typical radio listener in Portland, according to Nielsen, tunes into fewer than 3 different radio stations each week. On the other hand, Nielsen research indicates that over the course of a month consumers will watch 20 different TV channels, use 28 smart phone apps, and visit 55 websites on a computer.

 Portland radio's minimal fragmentation allows Maine small business owners to advertise more effectively and efficiently to their target consumers.


Portland_Radio_Maine_Small_Business_Return_On_InvestmentTwenty Three. A study last year by Nielsen revealed that a $1.00 investment in radio advertising can deliver up to $23.00 in incremental sales.  According to Advertising Age magazine, Maine small business owners can expect a higher return-on-investment on their radio dollars than from TV, digital, or social media. The magazine goes on to call radio's ROI "eye-popping."



Portland_Radio_Maine_Small_Business_Endorsement_AdsFifty. Research from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of California revealed that 50% of consumers have purchased or considered a product/service advertised during their favorite radio personality's show. The study found that radio listeners form a parasocial relationship with radio personalities. 

The study's author, Paula Woodely, says that a parasocial interaction "describes one-sided interpersonal relationships in which one party knows (or feels as though they know) a great deal about the other. Maine small business owners can leverage this bond to more effectively market their products and services. _____________________________________________________

Portland_Radio_Maine_Small_Business_Time_Spent_ListeningOne Hundred Twelve. Despite the proliferation of new media, adults spend, on average, 112 minutes per day listening to AM/FM radio. The time spent listening has been impervious to the addition of media like Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Twitter, smartphones, podcasts, Hulu, Spotify, and Netflix.

So, how does radio maintain its dominance in an overcrowded media universe? As you can see from the Nielsen research below, the daily consumption of all media continues to grow.  Therefore, consumers aren't eschewing radio to make time for other media, they are just using more media.

Average Time Spent With Media Per Adult 18+ Per Day



Portland_Radio_Maine_Small_BusinessNinety Three (again). 93% of consumers stick around when the music stops and listen to radio commercials. Surprised? So were media buying professionals and station owners who believed only about 70% of listeners stuck with stations through commercial breaks.

To determine who listened to radio commercials three research companies, Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio), Coleman Research, and Media Monitors, studied 18 million commercial breaks comprising 62 million-minutes of commercials over a 12-month period. Here are the highlights of the study:

  • The average station runs 9 minutes of commercials per hour spread out over 2.6 breaks
  • No Button Pushing: 93% of lead-in audiences stayed with the station during the entire commercial break
  • 99% of listeners stay tuned during commercial breaks of 3 minutes or fewer
  • Even spot breaks of six minutes or longer held 85% of listeners through all the commercials.
  • There was little difference between how many younger listeners stayed tune during commercial breaks and the number of older listeners who did


Portland_Radio_Maine_Small_BusinessNinety. According to studies published in the New York Times and London Daily Telegraph, 90% of people forget a phone number within 5 seconds of hearing it. The studies go on to reveal that 70% of people cannot remember their best friend's phone number and 50% cannot remember their parents' phone numbers.

Why is this number important for Maine small business owners to know?

The typical commercial on Portland radio comprises 160 words.  If a commercial costs $100, then that means a commercial cost 62-cents per word.  So the cost of putting a 7 digit phone number in a radio commercial is $4.34 each time the number is included.   Since research indicates that hardly anyone will remember it. That makes putting a phone number in a radio commercial is the worst advertising investment a Maine small business can make.


Mr. Schoen, finds data like this about radio important for business owners to know. "The implications of results like these are profound for the communications and advertising industries," says Mr. Schoen, "And as a marketing professional with over 35 years of experience, I found this data nothing short of fascinating. It’s quite clear that we should all be paying more attention to radio, its reach and potential to help our businesses. It’s doing the job with expert efficiency."

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Tags: Portland Maine Radio, Maine Small Business, Portland Radio, maine small business advertising, maine small business marketing, maine small business owner