Why AM/FM Radio Is A Great Place To Promote Podcasts

September 25, 2023 By Pierre Bouvard

Click here to view a 10-minute video of the key findings.

Click here to download a PDF of the slides.

Podcast fans and AM/FM radio listeners have a lot in common. Namely, they love audio and they want more of it.

A majority of the podcast audience also listens to AM/FM radio and vice versa

Edison’s “Infinite Dial” study reveals of the weekly AM/FM radio audience:  

  • 45% listen to podcasts weekly
  • 55% listen to podcasts monthly
  • 77% have ever listened to podcasts

Edison’s “Share of Ear” study finds in a typical day, two-thirds of podcast listeners also listen to AM/FM radio. All of this podcast and AM/FM radio audience duplication means there are great cross-promotion opportunities.

Here are the most listened to ad-supported audio platforms among podcast listeners according to Edison’s “Share of Ear”:

If you listen to podcasts, they are your most listened to audio source.

Among the podcast audience, over half the ad-supported time spent goes to podcasts themselves at a 53% share. AM/FM radio follows with a 37% share. Distantly following are ad-supported SiriusXM (4%), ad-supported Spotify (3%), and ad-supported Pandora (3%).

Podcasts themselves are the best way to promote a podcast but AM/FM radio is a strong number two.

As podcast reach soars, AM/FM radio becomes a stronger marketing platform to promote podcasts

According to Edison’s just released Q2 2023 “Share of Ear” study, the 25-54 daily reach of podcasts has exploded over the last three years. Currently, nearly one out of three American 25-54s listen to podcasts each day. The daily reach of podcasts is up 5X since 2016.

Cumulus Media Podcast Promotion Study

To understand the ability of AM/FM radio promos to drive awareness, interest, and tune in for podcasts, the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group® commissioned MARU/Matchbox to conduct a study of Cumulus Media radio listeners.

439 respondents 18+ who spent at least one hour listening to Cumulus Media radio stations in Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco and Atlanta were surveyed May 5-11th, 2023. The stations aired promos for eight Cumulus Podcast Network podcast titles.

The greater the time spent with AM/FM radio, the greater the awareness for the promoted podcasts

Overall, 54% of the Cumulus radio audience were aware of the eight Cumulus Podcast Network podcasts. A much larger promotion of heavy AM/FM radio listeners (67%) were aware of the podcast titles. A whopping 75% of the heavy AM/FM radio streaming audience were aware of the podcast titles.

Podcast advertising recall: Heavy AM/FM radio listeners (over the air and streaming) are more likely to be aware of ads for podcasts on AM/FM radio

AM/FM radio listeners were asked if they could recall having heard any promos for podcasts on AM/FM radio. The greater the time spent with AM/FM radio, the greater the awareness of podcast promotion. Six out of ten heavy AM/FM radio streamers and heavy AM/FM radio listeners say they’ve heard AM/FM radio promos for podcasts.

Specific podcast promo awareness: Among heavy AM/FM radio listeners, there is 3X more awareness for specific podcasts promoted on AM/FM radio versus light AM/FM radio listeners

AM/FM radio promos for podcasts were noticed. 35% of heavy AM/FM radio listeners, those who have the greatest opportunity to be exposed to podcast promos, said they recalled ads for the podcasts.

Podcast tune in consideration: One out of four heavy AM/FM radio listeners and 29% of heavy AM/FM radio streaming listeners said they were likely to try listening to the promoted podcasts

Promoting podcasts on AM/FM radio works. The greater the time spent with AM/FM radio, the greater the likelihood that the AM/FM radio audience would consider listening to the promoted podcasts.

Key findings:

  • AM/FM radio stations are a great place to promote podcasts: The more time spent with AM/FM radio, the greater the engagement, awareness, and interest in podcasts.
  • Advertising podcasts on AM/FM radio works: Those who were exposed more (heavy AM/FM radio listeners) to podcast promos were more likely to consider listening to the advertised podcasts.
  • AM/FM radio streaming is also an excellent platform to promote podcasts: Not surprisingly, those who listen to the streams of AM/FM radio stations are even more engaged and interested in podcasts. As such, AM/FM radio streaming is a powerful platform to promote podcasts.
  • Podcasts featuring talent from the AM/FM radio station would undoubtedly perform even better: The podcast promos that were tested were for podcasts that were not connected to the AM/FM radio station airing the promos. If the ads were promoting podcasts with hosts and talent from the AM/FM radio station, it is highly likely that tune in consideration would be even greater. As more AM/FM radio stations begin launching podcasts with their talent, AM/FM radio promos will be even more effective.

Click here to view a 10-minute video of the key findings.

Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer of the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group®.

Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.