With all of the visual platforms available now and rapidly evolving, one might think that appealing to consumers’ eyes should provide the greatest reach. Perhaps US consumers’ eyes are beginning to glaze over, because a recent Nielsen analysis suggests that audio-based content is re-emerging as a new trend. Nielsen data show that radio now reaches more Americans each week than any other platform.
Think on it: AM/FM radio access is already free and at the fingertips of every vehicle driver today, and the evolution of voice-activated assistants is making it even easier to access audio content. Consider the time you spend in your car every day. Due to ever increasing traffic and commute times, consumers are hardly likely to be spending less time in their vehicles. Additionally, because they are away from home and on the go, they are closer to the point of purchase.
Finally, there is the importance of the cross-platform dynamic, and it is a consideration whether the brand or message is national or local. Consumers access many platforms throughout the day, both visual and audio, so it takes more than one type of media to achieve desired reach. Augmenting visual messages with audio reinforcement can provide a powerful advertising mix. See the next issue for a deeper dive into how US consumers are accessing radio and other audio platforms.