Marketers who need to reach younger audiences face an uphill battle as media habits of preteens, teens, and young adults have shifted. In 2019, television needs some help to fully deliver 6- to 24-year-olds.
TV viewing erosion is starkest among younger audiences
Americans are spending significantly less time today with TV than they were in the early part of this decade. The losses are most drastic among younger audiences.
Nielsen reports that from Q1 2011 to Q3 2018, persons 2-34 spent 50% to 60% less time with TV.
As audiences age, the change is less pronounced. The older the viewer, the lower the erosion.
Kids cable network audience erosion is an ongoing issue
Looking closer at year-over-year quarterly kids cable network (Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, etc.) audience deliveries, TV has seen steady decreases. On average, the kids cable year-over-year quarterly decline from Q2 2017 to Q2 2019 was -25%.
Deloitte: At current rates of decline, Millennials will spend more time with AM/FM radio than TV by 2025
Deloitte estimates by 2025, daily time spent with TV will be less than daily time spent with AM/FM radio among Millennials.
This is cause for alarm among marketers – and it’s justified. According to Duncan Stewart, Director of Research with Deloitte’s Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Practice, data from Nordic countries shows that this trend has already come to fruition. In Nordic countries, time spent with linear ad-supported TV is already less than AM/FM radio among younger audiences.
Given these trends, advertisers cannot rely on just television to reach the younger age demographics. AM/FM radio can make your TV better by complementing and supplementing television audiences.
Virtually all persons 6-24 are reached by AM/FM radio weekly
Similar to Millennials 18-34, AM/FM radio reaches huge percentages of the persons 6-24 audience. According to Nielsen, 83% of persons 6-11 are reached Monday-Sunday, 6AM to midnight. 85% of teens and 84% of persons 18-24 are reached by AM/FM radio weekly.
Weekdays: Preteen and teen AM/FM radio reach wraps around school hours and earlier bedtimes
Monday through Friday, AM/FM radio’s preteen and teen reach is highest during mornings and in the afternoon.
According to Edison Research’s quarterly Share of Ear report, AM/FM radio has an 89% share of ad-supported audio services in the car. AM/FM radio is the undisputed “king of the road.”
One of the few shared media experiences of kids and parents is listening to AM/FM radio in the car. Nielsen’s Kids’ Cross-Platform Audience Behavior report shows 43% of kids 6-11 and 30% of teens 12-17 listen to AM/FM radio with an adult male. 54% of kids 6-11 and 41% of teens 12-17 listen to AM/FM radio with an adult female.
Weekdays: 18-24s are reached by AM/FM radio throughout the day
While persons 6-17 listening wraps around school hours, 18-24s are different and many are new in the workforce. AM/FM radio’s weekly reach is consistent throughout the day for persons 18-24, mirroring typical adult tuning.
Weekends: Preteens, teens, and persons 18-24 all have high listening levels during daytime hours
For all three youth targets, the greatest weekend AM/FM radio listening prime time takes place from 10AM to 7PM at night. Without the restrictions of work or school, there is more free time for running errands, going on family outings, and co-listening in the car so reach rises during the day.
The weekend hour by hour reach profile of teens and persons 18-24 looks just like the persons 6-11 pattern.
Preteens 6-11 listen to more AM/FM radio during summer months
School attendance plays a role in seasonal listening as well. For preteens 6-11, more weekday AM/FM radio listening takes place overall during the month of July when school is out compared to February.
Nielsen also reports that this same pattern holds for weekends with higher persons 6-11 listening levels during July versus February.
When school is in session, advertisers targeting persons 6-17 should align with the before and after school hour patterns. During the summer months, media planners targeting persons 6-17 can shift to 8AM to midnight, reflecting summer AM/FM radio patterns.
Radio makes your youth-targeted TV campaign better: Moving 20% of a TV budget to AM/FM radio causes a CoverGirl TV campaign to experience a +78% lift in campaign reach
AM/FM radio is the perfect complement to brands advertising in TV who want to reach the younger audience. CoverGirl, for example, advertises in TV shows that appeal to young women. In December 2018, the cosmetics company spent $5.6 million dollars on network television. The TV investment yielded a 37% reach of the women 18-24 demographic.
Using Nielsen Media Impact, the cross-platform media planning solution, the reach lift of adding AM/FM radio to the TV plan can be quantified.
A reallocation of 20% of the TV budget into AM/FM radio causes reach to jump from 37% of women 18-24 to 65%! That’s a +78% increase in reach for the same budget!
AM/FM radio still has a strong hold on the preteen, teen, and young adult audience and can add significant incremental reach to pre-existing television media plans.
- TV viewing erosion is starkest among younger audiences
- Kids cable network audience erosion is an ongoing issue
- Deloitte: At current rates of decline, Millennials will spend more time with AM/FM radio than TV by 2025
- Virtually all persons 6-24 are reached by AM/FM radio weekly
- Weekdays: Preteen and teen AM/FM radio reach wraps around school hours and earlier bedtimes
- Weekdays: 18-24s are reached by AM/FM radio throughout the day
- Weekends: Preteens, teens, and persons 18-24 all have high listening levels during daytime hours
- Preteens 6-11 listen to more AM/FM radio during summer months
- Radio makes your youth-targeted TV campaign better: Moving 20% of a TV budget to AM/FM radio causes a CoverGirl TV campaign to experience a +78% lift in campaign reach
Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer at Cumulus | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.