Radio ratings overtake TV in the U.S for the first time in media history

And Procter & Gamble is investing in radio to find TV audiences

Radio ratings in the U.S. have accomplished something few could have foreseen. Among 18-49 year old's, AM/FM radio now beats TV in average audience and weekly reach for the first time in media history. In 2018. Radio’s 18-49 average audience was 63% the size of live and time-shifted TV. Things have changed quickly. According to Nielsen's Q3 2002 Total Audience Report, broadcast radio's 18-49 year old average audience is now +3% greater than television. AM/FM radio’s weekly 18-49 year old reach of 83% is significantly larger than television’s 59%. Each week, 41% of U.S. persons 18-49 are not reached by live and time-shifted TV.

U.S. broadcast radio reaches +41% more 18-49 year old's than live and time-shifted television. A Hub Entertainment study finds a major shift has occurred in the American mindset about streaming. Once thought of as an “add on” to regular TV, streaming is increasingly seen as America’s primary television platform. From 2016 to 2022, those who said streaming was “the first thing you turn on when you watch” doubled from 20% to 39%. The proportion who said the first thing they turned on is “live from pay TV” dropped from 48% to 28%.

AdAge is also reporting that Procter & Gamble in the U.S is diving into radio in a big way, despite a plethora of options to deeply target consumers. P&G upped spending on radio by 43% in 2022 to $235m million, according to Vivvix (formerly Kantar Media.). P&G began experimenting with a broader use of radio in 2017 according to Pierre Bouvard, chief research officer at Cumulus Media. As more P&G brands tried radio and liked the results, spending grew. By 2021, P&G was the biggest radio spender in the U.S., even before last years big jump. In times of media inflation, radio delivers unduplicated reach which ties in with the statement from P&G's CEO Jon Moeller last year which stated that a focus for marketing investment needs to be on how many people they reach and how often.

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