In 1981, the MTV network debuted with the Buggles intoning, "Video Killed The Radio Star." This musical prediction has proven stunningly wrong. Here in southern Maine last week, 706,000 adults listened to their favorite Portland radio station. As for the video music channel, last week, only 31,513 wanted their MTV. Ooops!
After MTV's slow fizzle, many other new media have all come along with their steely knives, but just can't kill the radio beast.
Check this out: According to Nielsen, 93% of adults will turn on a Portland radio station this week. This percentage has remained the same since 2001...before there were iPads, iPods, iPhones, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, and Sirius/XM, Hulu, Roku, Netflix, Fire Sticks, Kindles, Nooks, Fitbits, Apple Watches, and countless other devices and distractions. So, no. Video, nor anyone else, has killed the radio star.
Media expert Doug Schoen captures the feelings of many Maine small business owners who depend on Portland radio to market their goods and service. Mr. Schoen said in Forbes Magazine, "You wouldn’t know it from all the media coverage focused on streaming video and streaming music, but recent Nielsen data shows radio actually has the most reach among American media consumers. 93% of adults listen to the radio each week as compared to 87% who watch TV, a substantive difference."
Mr. Schoen goes on to describe how radio advertising was credited with the success of Amazon's first Prime Day sales event. "Of those exposed to [Amazon's] radio ads, 52% made a purchase. That compares with 48% of people who saw ads online and 39% who saw TV ads."
"The implications of results like these are profound for the communications and advertising industries," said 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."
Many Maine small business owners have profitably exploited the power of advertising on Portland Radio. This includes Scott Libby of Royal River Heat Pumps in Freeport.
Mr. Libby credits his radio advertising campaign and its catchy jingle 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."
Radio's Future's So Bright It Has To Wear Shades
For radio's future to be bright, the people millennials and Generation Z need to tune-in. Research indicates they are and in astonishingly large numbers, This is good news for Maine business owners who continue to invest their advertising dollars on Portland radio.
According to Nielsen’s latest data, Generation Z spent over 35 hours per month listening to AM/FM radio and 88% of Generation Z use radio each week. This high level of radio engagement by younger audience persists despite the overabundance of competitive media.
Another study by Nielsen found that 59% of millennials use radio as their platform for new music discovery. In addition, 88% of Americans teens tune into radio each week, and they spend nearly 10 hours a week listening. Even if they use services such as Spotify of Pandora to find new songs, younger audiences continue tuning into radio to listen to their favorite music.
As radio's vital signs remain strong and healthy as other media splinter and fragment, I wonder if given the chance the Buggles would take back their mournful prognostication? Probably not. I their own words, "In my mind and in my car, we can't rewind we've gone too far."
Other Great Article for Maine Small Business Owners
- Should I Advertise On My Favorite Portland Radio Station? Maybe, Not.
- Portland Radio Works While Maine Small Business Owners Sleep
- What Maine Small Business Owners Can Learn From The Patriots' Big Win
- Portland Radio Gets In Last Word For Maine Small Business Owners
- All Things Are Possible On Portland Radio For Maine Small Business Owners