For many people born after 1970, FM radio is the only kind of radio they thought existed for a long time. But not until 1978 did FM listeners out-number AM listeners. As soon as music fans heard their favorite songs in FM stereo, the choice was simple. Ever since then, FM has become the domain for Music, while AM is the place for Talk.
But wait, does anyone even listen to FM (or AM) radio anymore? Today, isn’t it all about streaming with Pandora or Spotify, or listening to your own iTunes playlist, or cranking up commercial-free Sirius/XM channels in your car?
Actually … NO. Especially in the car, where as recently as 2015, research said that 84% of people listen to the AM or FM radio vs. 22% for Sirius/XM, 18% for Pandora, and 7% for Spotify. Overall, traditional radio reaches 93% of the U.S. population every week, and of course the majority of them are listening to FM stations, and that’s why FM radio advertising is alive and well to this day, and will continue to be a viable method of reaching large audiences for the foreseeable future.
You might be surprised to learn that overall, the most listened to format in this country is, well, Country. But while that format is #1 only in certain regions like the South and Midwest, the format that is consistently at or near the top of the rankings everywhere is some variation of current hits. The industry has different labels for these “hits” formats, such as CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio), Hot AC (Hot Adult Contemporary), Urban Contemporary, Rhythmic, Hip Hop, and so on. But they all do a similar thing: play the latest hit songs, often in tight rotation (some would say “repetitive”), and get high ratings, because that’s what most teens and young adults in their 20’s and 30’s want to hear.
Examples would be KIIS FM Radio and Power 106 in Los Angeles, and Z100 or Hot 97 in New York.
Spanish language formats have also become huge in recent decades. Radio listening always reflects the demographics of the city where it’s located. That’s why markets with big Hispanic (aka Latino) populations like Miami, L.A., New York City, Phoenix and San Diego have not just one but several highly rated Spanish radio stations.
What about Rock formats? Yes, you can still hear just about any kind of rock song on the radio these days, too. The newest, “loudest” music is called Active Rock. The labels “Classic Rock” and “Classic Hits” are self-explanatory. “Alternative” is the industry name given to formats that play what used to be called New Wave or sometimes Modern Rock.
Then there are other music-based formats, like Smooth Jazz or the Soft Hits that you hear at your dentist’s office. All of them have millions of listeners per week, and running ads on these stations is still an extremely cost-effective way to advertise. RADIO HAS BY FAR THE LOWEST C.P.M. (cost per thousand impressions) OF ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL MEDIA.
And Berk Marketing has an even CHEAPER way to get your message out to radio listeners.
You see, most radio stations find themselves with unsold ad slots on any given day, including during PRIMETIME (the hours between 6am and 7pm). The stations would rather get something than nothing for that “disappearing” inventory, and that’s where Berk Marketing’s Remnant Radio Strategy comes in. Every day we stand ready to scoop up as many of those unsold spots as our clients need, and the stations are willing to sell them to us at about half price!
However, the stations won’t sell these “leftover” remnant spots to just anyone who calls and asks for them. The reason is obvious: they are trying to protect their “rate card” and get the most money they can for each spot. Each station also has a team of sales reps trying to make a living off the commissions from selling those spots at the highest rates they can get. So for access to these discounted Talk radio spots, you do need to “know a guy”… and that guy is us!
Just send us a note at Results@BerkMarketing.com, or give us a call at 866-747-4707, and let’s talk about where in the country you want your ads to run. We can quickly estimate the cost of putting together an on-air schedule to test whether radio will work for you and your business. We will even write and record your ad for you, usually for $100 or less! There is no cost or obligation for you to have Berk Marketing create a customized radio advertising plan for you until you decide to give it a try. And it’s an exciting day when those FM radio advertising spots start to run and your phone starts to ring or your website visits start spiking!