Ad Placement isn’t Just for Drive Time Anymore

We’ve been conditioned to believe morning and afternoon drive are the most listened to times in radio. This has been the thought process since radio existed. Sales banks…literally…on selling ads during these time-slots.

However, new research shows otherwise. More listening is taking place during middays. Advertiser Perceptions did a study with a group of 300 people and found about 24% of listening takes place between 6-10am and 3-7pm dayparts. Only 16% of listeners tuned in between 10a-3p. To turn that on its head, though, according to the Spring 2023 PPM data from Nielsen’s study, it showed weekday middays had 26% of AM/FM radio listening. Morning drive only had 21% and PM drive had 20%. So what does that mean for the rest of the listening time?… 59% of US listening happens OUTSIDE of drive times. Weekends had about 20% listenership. That result was new and discovered there is the same amount of listening during the week as there is on the weekend.

If you take a closer look at Nielsen’s study you’ll see a pattern across all dayparts. This means it’s important to include middays when selling ads. In order to get the most out of your reach, you need to include all dayparts when selling. The old way of thinking mornings and afternoons are prime for ad selling needs to be re-evaluated. Take a look at more than one study that contradicts what the previous adage says.

When selling, you want the most for your client. You WANT them to see results. In order to do that, you need to maximize the result of their dollar spent. Sure, morning and afternoon drive ads cost more and you, as a seller, make more selling those. However, as research has shown, more listening is taking place during the middays. Throw some ads in there. Chances are, more people will hear those ads, go to your client’s place of business, tell them they heard about them on the radio, and that will show your advertising worked. They’ll, then, stay loyal to you and continue to buy ads. Play the long game and stop worrying about the short game. Radio sales is about creating results.

To further this new finding, engage your on air talent in these sales. Now that we know more and more listening is taking place during the middays, start finding more endorsements for your midday talent. Creating a relationship with the buyer and your talent will create more revenue. Start asking the midday talent what kind of calls, messages, feedback they are getting from listeners while on air. Discover what that daypart looks like as far as who’s listening…employees at work, stay at home moms, work from home staff…who’s the audience.

We know, now, it’s not all about the morning and afternoon drive. Start incorporating your middays more and you’ll see more success with your ads.

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