Two New Studies Reveal Growing Interest In Cryptocurrency Investing: Podcast And AM/FM Radio Listeners Over Index On Crypto And The Optimal Media Plan Allocation Is 43% Social, 37% Audio, And 19% TV

May 23, 2022 By Pierre Bouvard

Click here to view a 13-minute video of the key findings.

Despite its ups and recent dramatic downs, cryptocurrency is still an asset class that investors have on their radar. The recent news that Fidelity, America’s leading retirement investment firm, would include Bitcoin as part of its 401K offerings rocked the financial world. Cryptocurrency exchanges like Robinhood, Coinbase, and Crypto.com have emerged as important brands in the industry.

Two new studies commissioned by the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group© reveal growing consumer interest in cryptocurrency. The first study was conducted by MARU/Matchbox in January 2022 among 1,023 average Americans. The second study was completed by MESH Experience in December 2021 on behalf of a major financial firm focused on high investable asset individuals who have at least $500,000 of investments.

Here are the key findings:

26% of Americans have researched using cryptocurrency as a form of investment; The 21% of Americans who intend to invest in the next six months skew male, 18-49, and over index on podcasts, social media, and AM/FM radio

Heavy TV viewers under index for being cryptocurrency intenders. Among cryptocurrency intenders, 39% are heavy social media users, followed by AM/FM radio (21%), linear TV (17%), and podcasts (13%). Those who intend to invest in cryptocurrency are more likely to be podcast and AM/FM radio listeners.

Among individuals with $500,000 of investable assets, cryptocurrency intenders skew young

The MESH Experience study of high investable asset investors reveals an older skew as 63% are 55+. However, consumers with $500K+ of investable assets who are considering investing in crypto are much younger. 57% of crypto intenders who are high investable asset consumers are 35-54.

Crypto intenders who are among the high investable asset segment over index on AM/FM radio and are far less likely to be TV viewers

MESH Experience finds that high investable asset consumers who intend to invest in crypto are much more likely to be employed. Since AM/FM radio is the “soundtrack of the American worker,” it makes sense that AM/FM radio is the ideal platform to reach crypto investors.

MESH Experience finds heavy TV viewers tend to much older, retired, and far less likely to change their financial advisor or consider crypto investments.

19% of Americans say they are extremely or very familiar with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum

Podcast listeners (31% extremely/very familiar), heavy AM/FM radio listeners (25%), and heavy social media users (24%) show greater awareness than the total U.S. Heavy TV viewers show much lower familiarity.

Robinhood, Coinbase and Crypto.com are the three best known cryptocurrency exchanges with stronger awareness among social and audio listeners

Risk is the biggest reason people don’t plan to invest: Advertising copy for TV and AM/FM radio needs to acknowledge risk concerns

While podcast listeners are less likely to cite risk as a concern (32%), a greater proportion of AM/FM radio listeners (57%) and TV viewers (56%) express risk as a cryptocurrency concern.

Current crypto media plans are split between TV and social media; Based on the media habits of crypto intenders, the optimal media plan allocation is social (43%), audio (37%) and TV (19%)

A comparison of Kantar Media spend and the MARU/Matchbox study reveals the current weight for crypto buys is right where is should be for social media.

TV buys are massively overspent as TV viewers show little interest in crypto investment. It is a major miscalculation for current crypto media plans to completely ignore audio.

Both podcast and AM/FM radio listeners are far more likely to have invested in crypto and intend to invest at levels that far outpace U.S. averages. Based on the volume of crypto intenders, 14% of the optimal crypto media plan should be allocated to podcasts and 23% to AM/FM radio.

The leading podcast genres for crypto media plans include News/Current Events, Sports, Music, Entertainment/Culture, Politics, and Comedy

The chart below reflects the ideal allocation of a podcast media plan based on the volume of those who plan to invest in cryptocurrency in the next six months. For example, 10.6% of a podcast buy for crypto should be placed in News/Current Events podcasts, 6.5% in Business/Finance podcasts, 4.7% in History, etc.

Male skewing formats such as News/Talk, Rock and Classic Rock make up the top three AM/FM radio programming formats for a crypto buy; Closely following in allocation are Top 40, R&B & Hip Hop, Oldies Classic Hits, Adult Contemporary, and Sports

The ideal allocation of an AM/FM radio media plan is based on upon the volume of those who plan to invest in cryptocurrency in the next six months. For example, 11.2% of an AM/FM radio buy for Crypto should be placed in News/Talk, 9.2% in Top 40, 8.9% in Oldies/Classic Hits, and 8.1% in Sports.

Key takeaways:

  • 26% of Americans have researched using cryptocurrency as a form of investment; The 21% of Americans who intend to invest in the next six months skew male, 18-49, and over index on podcasts, social media, and AM/FM radio
  • Among individuals with $500,000 of investable assets who skew 50+, cryptocurrency intenders skew young (35-54)
  • Among high investable asset individuals, heavy AM/FM radio listeners are twice as likely to invest and be interested in cryptocurrency than heavy TV viewers
  • 19% of Americans say they are extremely or very familiar with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum
  • Robinhood, Coinbase and Crypto.com are the three best known cryptocurrency exchanges with stronger awareness among social and audio listeners
  • Risk is the biggest reason people don’t plan to invest: Advertising copy for TV and AM/FM radio needs to acknowledge risk concerns
  • Current crypto media plans are split between TV and social media; Based on the media habits of crypto intenders, the optimal media plan allocation is social (43%), audio (37%) and TV (19%)
  • The leading podcast genres for crypto media plans include News/Current Events, Sports, Music, Entertainment/Culture, Politics, and Comedy
  • Male skewing formats such as News/Talk, Rock and Classic Rock make up the top three AM/FM radio programming formats for a crypto buy; Closely following in allocation are Top 40, R&B & Hip Hop, Oldies Classic Hits, Adult Contemporary, and Sports

Click here to view a 13-minute video of the key findings.

Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer of the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group®.

Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.