Blog

As 2016 comes to an end, the Cumulus and Westwood One Insights team is looking back at the most powerful stories of the year. Today we present our five most-read blogs this year. Here’s what our readers were most excited about in the audio industry.

See also: “The 5 Most Popular SlideShare Decks of 2016: Test Your Audio Knowledge

1. “How to Build a Brand with Audio” (July 26, 2016)

Our most popular blog of 2016 was, by far, a look at how the automotive company Subaru is effectively using audio storytelling to build an emotional connection with listeners. 

A common misconception is that “no one can build a brand with audio.” Not true. Subaru is an excellent case study of how marketers are building their brands with audio. Read more here.

2. “How Much Do You Really Know About Millennial Media Consumption?” (April 19, 2016)

We turn to topnotch research sources — Nielsen, Edison Research, and The Advertising Research Foundation — to set the record straight on commonly heard assumptions about Millennials and media.

AM/FM radio remains a vibrant source of entertainment for Millennials. In fact, listening among 18- to 34-year-olds is on the rise. Test your knowledge. See how many “Millennial Myths and Realities” you know!

3. “Historic Auto Dealer Case Study: Radio Drives Results for Ken Garff Automotive” (March 22, 2016)

Radio delivers for automotive, and here is the cold hard data to prove it. 

In 2014, Ken Garff Automotive in Salt Lake City — one of the largest auto retail groups in the country — advertised in TV and radio. In 2015, they only used print, digital, and billboards.

What would happen if they added TV and radio back into the mix? Big results.

Working with the Utah Broadcasters Association, Ken Garff Automotive agreed to a six-week radio and TV campaign.  The broadcasters funded a Nielsen advertising effectiveness study. The results proved radio boosts key brand metrics at every stage of the purchase funnel, including brand awareness and purchase consideration. Read more here.

4. “Pandora Is Clueless About Listening in the Car: for Good Reason:” 5 Things You Need to Know About In-Car Audio (April 13, 2016) 

Last spring, Pandora issued an erroneous piece about listening in the car, and our “set-the- record-straight” response was one of our most popular blog posts of the year. Compared to AM/FM radio’s massive 70% share of in-car audio, Pandora only holds a tiny 1% audience share of listening in the car. 

One common misconception is that people switch channels all of the time. A study by Coleman Insights found 74% of U.S. radio listening occasions don’t involve switching stations at all. Among loyal station listeners, 90% of radio listening occasions don’t involve switching.

(For more about listening in the car, read our latest blog post: “Advertising Beyond The New York Bubble: How America Commutes And What It Means For Media Plans.”)

5. “What Auto Marketers and Dealers Need to Know About Their Media Plans” (January 21, 2016)  

The automotive industry was a hot topic this year. At the start of 2016, we outlined the challenges facing auto marketers. 

Media platforms historically used to build auto brands and move cars off dealer lots have experienced audience erosion. Magazines, television, and newspapers have all faced sharp declines. To reach new car buyers, AM/FM radio remains America’s number one mass reach option. And as seen above, it can build car brands.

Reach is the new black, and we expect to see this trend continue into 2017.  Erwin Ephron, the father of modern media planning, said: “Reach trumps frequency. It’s media’s gift to advertising and radio can deliver it by the carload.”

Ellie Behling is Managing Editor of Insights at Cumulus | Westwood One.

Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.