Nuvoodoo survey questions radio ad relevance and creative quality

Last week Entercom CEO David Field explained to Bloomberg that radio is an undervalued medium considering its reach (“the number one reach medium in the United States.”) That is probably true on the business side of the industry. Field (and all other radio group heads and station managers) think radio should be recognized more by advertisers for the reach that it provides.

On the consumer side, radio advertisements are problematic. We heard about this in the Millennial Panel at RAIN Summit Nashville last year. Too many and irrelevant — those are the most common critiques we’ve heard. Now research and marketing company Nuvoodoo has explored the question of listener satisfaction with radio commercials.

Nuvoodoo dug into its latest Ratings Prospects Study of radio listeners for their reactions to advertising. The responses found that a majority of respondents thought most commercials they hear on the radio don’t apply to them. The rate is 68% among the “PPM Likely” respondents and 70% among the “Diary Likely” respondents. Nearly two-thirds also agreed that most commercials on the radio “don’t sound good” to them: 61% for PPM Likely and 65% for Diary Likely.

In a blog post sharing these data points, Nuvoodoo pointed out that as people become accustomed to the personalization and targeting capable with digital media’s big data approach, radio could risk alienating listeners by casting such wide nets. The company advocated a similar approach to that taken by many podcasters of radio endorsements, arguing that “familiar voices telling us about relevant goods or services, adding their weight to our decision making” could offer a benefit.

All this doesn’t directly relate to whether radio is an undervalued medium. And we’ve heard complaints about Pandora advertising, also, especially around the issue of repetition. Perhaps the Nuvoodoo results, and complaints of irrelevance in any audio platform advertising, point to programmatic as the best future for delivering smart, targeted impressions to advertisers and a more relevant experience for listeners.

Anna Washenko