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TV and digital have become known as media planning’s dynamic duo. TV is often credited with large reach while digital offers highly specialized and targeted campaigns. Yet TV is contending with audience erosion, cord-cutting, and aging demographics while digital faces accountability and brand safety concerns.

So how can brands grow incremental reach to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns? With AM/FM radio, America’s #1 mass reach media. AM/FM radio’s reliability, reach, and efficient deliveries can strengthen a brand’s TV & digital media mix.

Using the media planning platform Nielsen Commspoint, Westwood One examined how the inclusion of AM/FM radio amplifies the effect of TV and digital campaigns. Here’s what we found:

1. AM/FM radio accumulates reach as quickly as TV: According to a recent Nielsen Catalina Solutions study of over 500 consumer packaged goods advertising campaigns, reach is the most significant media driver of sales impact. With a 93% weekly reach, AM/FM radio delivers the massive scale needed to drive sales. Looking at media weight by gross rating point (GRP) level, AM/FM radio delivers comparable reach to television.

2. For the same spend, AM/FM radio delivers more reach than TV: For the same budget as a sample campaign in network TV, AM/FM radio reaches more consumers, which in turn provides greater potential for sales lift. A $2 million investment in network cable and broadcast delivers 40% of the U.S. The same $2 million investment in network radio delivers a 59% reach.

3. For just 20% of a weekly TV campaign, AM/FM radio increases reach and amplifies the purchase funnel: In a sample $2 million weekly campaign, allocating 20% of the spend (or $400,000) to an AM/FM radio campaign results in a reach increase of 40% vs. the same spend in TV alone. AM/FM radio also amplifies the purchase funnel, delivering double-digit increases in awareness, consideration, purchase, and advocacy for the brand.

4. AM/FM radio amplifies the broader media plans as well: Buying TV and digital? A reallocation of 20% of a sample $2 million TV and digital campaign produces 22% increased reach and greater brand impact for the same media investment.

Key takeaways:

  • AM/FM radio accumulates reach as quickly as TV
  • For the same spend, AM/FM radio delivers more reach than TV
  • For just 20% of a weekly TV campaign, AM/FM radio increases reach and amplifies the purchase funnel
  • AM/FM radio amplifies the broader media plans as well

Doug Hyde is Senior Director, National & Local Insights at Cumulus | Westwood One.

Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.