Despite an abundance of media options, Portland radio remains profoundly relevant in the life of Maine's consumers. This is good news for Maine small business owners who depend on the medium to successfully market their goods and services.
Last week, according to Nielsen, 706,238 people living in the Portland area tuned-in to their favorite radio stations. In contrast, 72,118 fewer people watched a local TV station and even fewer, 349,231 fewer to be exact, read a local newspaper. It turns out that broadcast radio is used more by Mainer's than all media including smartphones, internet apps, satellite radio, Pandora, and Spotify. Portland radio is still the way Mainers learn the news and discover new music.
Radio Is #1 For News
Consumers no longer need to wait for newspapers to hit the front porch or for the 6:00 news on TV to learn what's going on in the world. With the advent of Twitter, Facebook, 24-hour cable channels, and smartphones, news spreads in real time. Despite, this ubiquity of sources, listeners to traditional AM/FM, are responsible for the largest share of news consumption. And, that share is growing.
[Source: Nielsen Total Audience Report, Q4 2016]
Radio Is Where New Music Gets Discovered
The first time most of us heard the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Taylor Swift, and Adele was on a Portland radio station. A lot has changed since then. Now, we have YouTube, social media, and our phones all teeming with tunes. So, amongst all this noise, where do consumers go to discover new music?
Niall McCarthy recently wrote in Forbes Magazine, "When it comes to discovering new music, the dusty old radio in the corner of your kitchen might prove a better companion than your shiny new smartphone. A recent survey from Edison Research found that 19 percent of Americans use AM/FM radio most often to stay up to date with the latest hits. It also found that friends and family are the primary source of music discovery (22 percent), though radio still gives streaming a run for its money."
Radio's Relevancy Is Rewarding For Advertisers
Clearly, Maine consumers are paying attention to Portland radio. It's where they find the news they need as well as their next favorite song. This level of engagement has proven profitable for local business owners who use the medium to develop and maintain customers.
Scott Libby, owner of Royal River Heat Pumps in Freeport, credits his radio advertising campaign with doubling his sales in just one year. "When it comes to reach," says Mr. Libby, "radio is second to none."
Cathy Manchester, a real estate agent based in Gray, Maine, has had similar results utilizing radio as part of her company's marketing mix. "When we began advertising on the radio several years ago," says Ms. Manchester, "our business doubled! We went from selling 100 homes a year to approximately 200 homes each year! Radio advertising continues to provide a steady stream of well qualified customers for us!"
Jon Goodman, who is the front man of Time Pilots, a Maine based wedding band also experienced accelerated growth when he started advertising on radio. "It would be fair to say," says Mr. Goodman, "that our wedding business has tripled."
Stacy Dodge, an owner of the Bill Dodge Auto Group with Maine locations in Westbrook, Saco, and Brunswick, also lets reality not perception guide her company's media and marketing decisions. "We have been using Portland radio as a primary marketing source for about 10 years now." said Ms. Dodge. "We have seen very measurable results and are able to target our audiences more effectively."
"We are also more effectively able to market specific brands to a specific audience which is sometimes harder, and more expensive, to do with other mediums, said Ms. Dodge. "Radio is a very cost effective way to get your message out to the people you want to hear it."
After considering all of the data about radio's dominance among Maine consumers, Doug Schoen wrote in Forbes, ""The implications of results like these are profound for the communications and advertising industries 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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