How Advertising On Boston TV Stacks Up Against Local Radio

Nov 29, 2019 12:19:07 PM / by Larry Julius

For many generations of marketers, advertising on Boston television was considered the "gold standard". For a New England small business owner who craved massive reach, TV used to be the medium that could deliver.

Over the past few years, however, viewers have been abandoning local TV stations in vast numbers. This has propelled Boston radio into being the most potent reach medium among local consumers.

Every week, 3,552,145 adult consumers tune-in to their favorite Boston radio stations. This is significantly more than the 3,226,135 reached by local television.

Media Reach In BostonFor the past 39 years, Boston radio has reached almost 90% of all consumers. But, look what has happened to TV's audience.

During the 1980 television season, "Dallas" was the top-rated program, with 34.5% of the population tuning-in. The 30th ranked program, that same year, was "The Waltons" with 18.6% of the population watching.

Flash forward to the 2018 season. The top-rated TV program was "The Big Bang Theory", with 11.1% of the population tuning-in. That means the #1 show in 2018 had 40% lower ratings than the #30 show from 1980.

Boston TV Ratings 1980-2017

In 2019, TV audiences continue to erode. AdAge reported earlier this year, that the C3 ratings among most desirable advertising demographics had plummeted 17% compared to the same period last year.

C3 ratings measure how many people watch a television commercial. This includes anyone who sees the advertising live or within three days via time-shifting.

AdAge goes on to report that these ratings are the lowest on record.

Based on TV's dismal performance, it may be time for Boston area  small business owners who still include television in their marketing mix to rethink this strategy.

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Advertising On Boston Radio Can Fill TV's Void

Radio advertising can help New England small business owners who have been depending on television to reach their target audiences.

For instance, local businesses that buy advertising on Boston television stations place a majority of their commercials during local news programming.

As the chart below demonstrates, 80-92% of adult consumers do not watch TV when the news is on.  Radio, on the other hand, reaches close to 80% of all those non-TV viewers.

So, for those advertisers who might still want to include TV as part of their marketing mix, they should consider using radio advertising to help fill the audience void left by television.

Advertising on TV In Boston

Deloitte, the world's largest business consulting firm, agrees that local radio "should be a big part of the mix for those buying advertising."

"Radio has commonly been underestimated. Radio is the voice whispering in our ear, in the background of dinner, in an office, or while driving the car. It is not pushy or prominent … but it is there."

"Radio’s weekly reach," says Deloitte, "has been remarkably stable in the United States. Its reach has hovered around 94% for the last few years. That number is essentially unchanged from the 94.9% figure in spring 2001 when Apple introduced the iPod)."

Furthermore, Deloitte says that, of those who report listening to live radio in the United States, over 70 percent say they listen either every day or on most days. "Radio listeners are tuning in as part of their daily lives."

More Great Advice For Boston Area Small Business Owners

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Topics: best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, television advertising, small business

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