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Amazon Loves Radio

January 5, 2018

According to Media Monitors the leading national spot buyer for the second week of December was Amazon.

Think about that for a moment. Amazon – the leading on-line retailer that is firmly entrenched in the digital space chose traditional media to promote their business. Yes, they are doing television, as well, but radio? Isn’t radio “dead”? From all that we read it is an anachronistic medium.

The signs of the apocalypse abound. Norway recently announced it is doing away with national FM radio. American operators are turning in their licenses. And, of course, everyone puts all their advertising money in radio.

Yet, Amazon spends a fortune in spot buys. If you watch any live sports you’re inundated with commercials for Google, as well. Given their on-line reach you have to ask – why aren’t they exploiting their own assets to the fullest? Couldn’t Google, for example, just take over their network for a day and reach a larger audience than they get over the air?

Maybe they know that impressions are not all they are cracked up to be. Maybe they know that display ads are more effective when included as a part of an integrated marketing campaign.

The point here is that radio needs to stop playing defense. If Amazon and Google see value in the medium – why don’t we?

It is time to position radio advertising as a complementary asset to any digital campaign. It is time to show advertisers that people not only listen – they respond. It is time to sell businesses on the fact that radio branding can enhance the awareness (and clicks!) of any digital campaign.

We could talk about the problems with digital marketing – ad fraud, the IAB definition of impressions, how reliable third party data is, etc. But, that tack puts us on the defensive.

Instead, embrace the digital world and demonstrate how radio is an integral part of that.

To borrow an old phrase – radio, it works!

-Steve Allan, Programming Research Consultant