The talk radio format, as well as talk radio advertising is practically as old as radio itself. As soon as station owners figured out way back in the 1930’s that people were fascinated to hear the opinions and humorous ramblings of announcers who were clever enough to keep talking non-stop for a few hours at a time, every city in the United States started launching its own talk radio stations. And as soon as the on-air hosts discovered that they could just open up the phone lines and let their listeners do the talking, an entire industry was born and has been going strong ever since.
Today there are many kinds of Talk programs on both AM and FM stations. Political talk radio, of course, is a mainstay and always will be. Generally speaking, there are more “conservative-minded” radio hosts across the country and it’s anybody’s guess as to why that is. Personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and many others have thrived for years with huge audiences … millions of listeners per week in some cases. And those are just the nationally syndicated talk radio “household names.” In every city, there are local radio hosts who are hugely popular, but for the most part only known to the people who live there. For example, there are popular New York talk radio shows, radio advertising shows in Los Angeles, Chicago talk radio, popular Detroit talk radio shows, Washington DC talk radio, and other talk radio shows in Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Then there’s Sports Talk. Guys like Jim Rome and Dan Patrick are just the latest in a long line of opinionated sports experts who discuss the stats and let fans air out their thoughts and frustrations live on the radio about teams, players and games.
And let’s not forget about the Talk Radio entertainers who are mostly going for laughs, like Morning Drive personalities and the self-proclaimed King of All Media, Howard Stern. That’s right, there are Talk formats on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio too! Those are the “channels” (as Sirius/XM calls them) that run ads, unlike their music channels. And we have found that ads on the Sirius/XM talk channels are a very effective way to reach an upscale national audience.
Talk Radio is extremely fertile ground for advertisers, and especially for our clients at Berk Marketing who take advantage of our remnant radio advertising strategy. More on that in a minute. One reason Talk Radio works well is that the listeners tend to be older (age 35+) and upscale (meaning higher income). About 65% of News and Talk station listeners are male. On Sports stations, that percentage goes up to about 75%. But that still leaves a lot of women who are listening too! All in all, Talk Radio listeners are a fantastic consumer target.
Perhaps most importantly, Talk listeners really are LISTENING closely to what’s happening on the station. Otherwise, why be tuned to that kind of station? That means when commercials come on, they are more likely to be heard because the listener is paying close attention. Also, in a way, ads are just more talking, with different information, so they go with the flow of the format. This contrasts with music stations, where the moment talking is heard, some listeners tune out and sometimes even change the station, looking for more music.
Talk radio stations have found that they can “get away with” scheduling more commercials per hour than music stations can, without losing listeners. But allowing more ads and selling them all are two different things! Virtually all Talk 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 talk radio advertising 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 plan for you until you decide to give it a try. And it’s an exciting day when those radio spots start to run and your phone starts to ring or your website visits start spiking!