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Boston Consumers Still Spending Despite Economic Sentiment

Aug 8, 2022 9:03:48 AM / by Larry Julius

Local consumers may have a gloomy feeling about economic conditions, but their spending has not tapered. This is good news for the 205,625 small business owners in the Boston area.

According to the latest University of Michigan's Survey of Consumers, sentiment about current economic conditions remains near the all-time low. Concerns about volatile gas prices, rampant inflation, and a looming recession have driven the survey's index down 37% versus a year ago.

Despite these dim consumer sentiments, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis's July report shows that real personal consumption expenditures are pacing well above pre-Covid levels. According to Morgan Stanley research, consumers' ability to spend is being driven, in part, by a massive amount of excess savings accumulated over the course of the pandemic.

Earlier this year, based on per capita spending data from the National Retail Federation (NRF). Boston consumers were forecast to spend nearly $80 billion at retail this year. The current level of spending suggests that shoppers are on track to hit that number.

Of course, for local business owners to successfully compete for a share of this record spending requires marketing. By most key marketing metrics, the best way to advertise is on Boston radio. This is especially true among business owners who must limit the number of marketing channels that can be used because of economic restraints.

Of all media, advertising on the radio provides the greatest return on investment.

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Topics best way to advertise, reach, radio advertising, advertising reach, roi, consumer spending, reach & frequency, recession, consumer confidence, advertising roi, inflation

Advertising On Boston Radio in 2022: Five Things to Know

Jul 19, 2022 2:07:55 PM / by Larry Julius

Local business owners have depended on Boston radio to market their goods and services since WBZ, the city's first radio station, went on air in 1921. Despite the advent of new media and technologies since then, advertising on local radio stations is still the best way for the area's 205,625 small business owners to create and maintain customers.

Here are five facts every business owner should know about advertising on Boston radio in 2022.

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Topics boston radio, best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, advertise on radio, small business advertising, radio commercials, radio listening, radio history, advertising on radio, advertise on boston radio, radio formats, car radio, who listens to radio, AM/FM Radio, online radio listening

Boston Radio Is The #1 Advertising-Supported Medium

Jul 6, 2022 11:58:18 AM / by Larry Julius

Local business owners have been advertising on Boston radio since WBZ first signed-on in 1921.  But, back then, there were only two options for reaching a mass audience: newspapers and radio.

Today, though, advertisers have an over-abundance of marketing options both over-the-air and online. But every week, according to Nielsen, 3.4 million adults listen to a Boston radio station, giving the 101-year-old medium, by far, the biggest reach amongst local consumers.

A new report released last week by Nielsen underscores AM/FM radio's durable reach among all media.

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Topics best way to advertise, reach, radio advertising, advertising reach, amazon, pandora, spotify, advertise on radio, streaming audio, reach & frequency, sirius/xm, advertising options, apple, streaming media, audio streaming

Advertise In Boston: Online Listening Boosts Audience For AM/FM

Jun 29, 2022 11:38:44 AM / by Larry Julius

Despite an abundance of media options, Boston radio reaches the most consumers every week. 

According to Nielsen, every week 3.4 million adults tune in to their favorite Boston stations. This is more than watch local TV stations, cable, or streaming video. It is more than browse social media. It is more than listen to streaming audio services or podcasts. It is more than read local newspapers.

Not all listening to Boston radio happens on car radios, table-top radios, or boom boxes. Instead, local consumers also use their smartphones, computers, and tablets as a way to connect to their favorite local stations.

Neilsen finds that 32% of all consumers who listen to a Boston radio station over the air will, at some point during the month, also connect to a local station via the internet. As a matter of fact, during a typical hour, Nielsen data suggests that 10.5% of a station's total audience is listening on a device other than a traditional receiver.

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Topics radio advertising, online advertising, streaming audio, internet, internet advertising, streaming media, AM/FM Radio, online radio listening

Smart Speaker Usage in Boston: A Conversation With Alexa

Jun 23, 2022 11:50:03 AM / by Larry Julius

Me: Alexa, how many consumers In Boston have access to a smart speaker?

Alexa: According to a recent Nielsen study, 1,466,213 Boston adults own a smart speaker. This is 36.1% of the local population.*

Me: Alexa, what exactly is a smart speaker?

Alexa: According to Wikipedia, A smart speaker is a type of loudspeaker and voice command device with an integrated virtual assistant that offers interactive actions and hands-free activation with the help of one "hot word" (or several "hot words"). Some smart speakers can also act as a smart device that utilizes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other protocol standards to extend usage beyond audio playback, such as to control home automation devices. This can include, but is not limited to, features such as compatibility across a number of services and platforms, peer-to-peer connection through mesh networking, virtual assistants, and others. Each can have its own designated interface and features in-house, usually launched or controlled via application or home automation software. Some smart speakers also include a screen to show the user a visual response.

Me: Alexa, what brand of smart speakers are Boston consumers likely to own?

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Topics amazon, advertise in boston, amazon echo, siri, smart speakers, google home, alexa, apple, advertising in boston

Advertising On Boston TV: Where Have The Viewers Gone?

Jun 13, 2022 1:06:02 PM / by Larry Julius

During the past seven days. according to Nielsen, only 68.6% of local consumers tuned in to a Boston television stations like WCVB, WHDH, WBZ, WCVB, WGBH, or WFXT.  TV's diminishing reach among adults 18 and older has been eclipsed by the audience size for social media, cable, and Boston radio. Furthermore, streaming video services such as Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and Disney+ are quickly reaching parity with over-the-air options.

The erosion of local TV station audiences is stunning when comparing prime-time ratings from the past.  In 1980, the highest-ranked TV show was Cheers with a 21.3 rating. The 30th-ranked show was The Wonder Years with a 14.2 rating.

Twenty years later, Survivor was the number one show with a 17.4 rating and Family Law was the 30th ranked show with an 8.8 rating.

Finally, in 2019, Sunday Night Football was the number one ranked show with a 10.9 rating. Survivor tied with Dancing With The Stars in 30th place with a 5.5 rating.

It is stunning to think that the number one TV show in 2019 had a 24% lower rating than the 30th-ranked show in 1980.

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Topics best way to advertise, small business owner, small business marketing, television advertising, small business, small business advertising, television, PAY-TV, Cable TV, ott, ctv, streaming video, SVOD, AVOD, local television, Streaming TV, streaming media

Advertising On Boston Radio Still #1 Way to Reach Consumers

Jun 8, 2022 9:39:43 AM / by Larry Julius

Every week, according to new Nielsen data, 3,368,337 adults tune in to a Boston radio station. This is more consumers than use social media, access local cable, watch broadcast TV, stream video channels, listen to streaming audio, read a newspaper, or download a podcast.

Based on per capita estimates from the National Retail Federation (NRF), Boston consumers are expected to spend between $78.6 and $80.1 billion at retail in 2022, a six to eight percent growth over the previous year. Utilizing radio's enormous advertising reach, local business owners can compel shoppers to spend this large pool of cash in their stores and on their websites.

The number of consumers reached is critical to the success of an advertising campaign.

According to a Nielsen study, after the actual content of the commercial message itself, reach is the most potent advertising element that can drive sales. Reach is more important than brand, recency, or even context. Boston radio provides local business owners with the most significant reach among consumers.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, reach, advertising reach, roi, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, small business advertising, return on investment, reach & frequency, retail sales, retailer, retail store, in-car audio, retail spending, advertising roi

Father's Day 2022: Boston Consumers Will Spend $317 Million

May 31, 2022 12:38:32 PM / by Larry Julius

Father's Day this year is on Sunday, June 19. Based on projections from the National Retail Federation (NRF), Boston shoppers are expected to spend $317.1 million on the dads in their life. This is on par with the record-breaking $318.6 million spent in 2021.

“Despite growing concerns about inflation, consumers plan to spend approximately the same amount as last year in celebration of Father’s Day,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Spending patterns also reflect the sentimental nature of the holiday as consumers are prioritizing unique and meaningful gifts.”

The NRF projects that nearly 60%, of all Father's Day purchases in Boston, will be for special outings, clothing, gift cards, and electronics. Although most category spending will be down slightly from last year, the amount of money spent on special outings such as dinner is expected to increase by over 8%.

.Here is how this large pool of Father's Day cash in Boston is expected to be distributed in all retail categories.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, small business owner, small business marketing, holiday shopping, small business, small business advertising, holiday advertising, advertising options, father, father's day, NRF

Television Advertising In Boston: What Are Consumers Watching?

May 11, 2022 1:20:37 PM / by Larry Julius

Every week, 3.8 million Boston consumers watch something on TV.

Not too many years ago, when a Boston consumer sat down to watch TV, the program options were limited to what was on WCVB, WHDH, WBZ, WCVB, WGBH, WFXT, or, maybe, what was on a handful of cable channels.  That was then. This is now.

Today, according to Nielsen, each time a TV is turned on in a Boston living room, the viewer has more than 817,000 options not only from broadcast stations and cable systems, but also from streaming video platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Peacock, YouTube, Amazon, Tubi, Crackle, and FreeVee.

Of course, Boston consumers don't even need to sit down in front of their big-screen LCD, anymore. Most of the 817,000 available programs can also be viewed on their computers, tablets, gaming devices, and smartphones. But as far as viewers are concerned, though, it's all just television.

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Topics television advertising, television, PAY-TV, DirecTV, Cable TV, ctv, streaming video, SVOD, AVOD, local television, Streaming TV, streaming media

Boston Radio Listeners Lead The Return To 'Normal'

Apr 28, 2022 9:36:44 AM / by Larry Julius

Each week according to Nielsen, 3.3 million consumers tune in to a Boston radio station. This is significantly more adults than watch local TV stations, cable, or streaming video. It is more than browse social media. It is more than listen to streaming audio services or podcasts. It is more than read local newspapers.

There are two traits Boston radio listeners have in common. First, they are very loyal to their favorites, tuning-in to, on average, only 2.7 different stations each week.

Second, and of particular importance to Boston small business owners, radio listeners are returning to 'normal' at a faster rate than the general population after more than two years of pandemic.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Nielsen has been measuring consumer sentiment in regard to normal behaviors. In a survey conducted in March of this year, 83% of adults say they are "ready to go and feel life is becoming more normal". This is up dramatically from the same time last year.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, radio advertising, consumer spending, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, small business advertising, retail sales, retailer, retail store, consumer confidence, retail spending

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