AM/FM Radio Has Mass Reach Among Likely Voters, Connects With Every Voter Segment, And Makes TV Better For Political Campaigns

November 11, 2019 By Pierre Bouvard

AM/FM radio is a consistently effective tool for political campaigns needing to cut through the clutter. It reaches a massive, engaged, and diverse audience across the political party spectrum. It is also an essential tool for political advertisers to extend the reach of their TV campaigns, particularly among light TV viewers.

Using Nielsen Scarborough data and Nielsen Media Impact, Nielsen’s cross media optimization system, Westwood One examined AM/FM radio’s reach, proving that AM/FM radio gets out the vote.

AM/FM radio has mass reach: According to Nielsen Scarborough data, AM/FM radio reaches 88% of likely voters, more than the Internet (85%), TV (83%), and Facebook (62%). AM/FM radio also has significantly greater reach among likely voters than SiriusXM (18%), Pandora (17%), and Spotify (10%).

AM/FM radio reaches Twitter users: With the recent announcement that Twitter will no longer take political ads leading up to the 2020 election, AM/FM radio steps in to fill the void. According to Scarborough, AM/FM radio (88%) outreaches Twitter (18%) among likely voters. Among likely voters, 90% of Twitter users are reached by AM/FM radio. By investing in AM/FM radio, political campaigns get virtually the entire Twitter audience for free.

AM/FM radio reaches every key voting segment: 88% of Democrats, Republicans, and Swing voters are reached weekly by AM/FM radio.

AM/FM radio makes your TV better: According to an actual U.S. Senate campaign run in Nielsen Media Impact for an October 2018 media buy, a TV only media plan achieves a 79% reach. Reallocating 20% of the media budget to AM/FM radio boosts reach to 90%, a +14% increase in incremental reach versus just TV alone for the same budget.

AM/FM radio works for political campaigns: Data from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study reveals AM/FM radio is an ideal medium for political campaigns. In addition to mass reach and enhancing TV buys, AM/FM radio has stunning 80% shares of audio time spent among key voting segments and potential voters.

Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.

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