Let’s face the facts! Millennials are up-and-coming digital natives who are quickly growing to have the largest annual spending power compared to their predecessors, Generation X and Baby Boomers. Advertisers and businesses have begun to shift their thinking in terms of targeting the generation to accommodate their lifestyles and needs. The generation is now being targeted by advertisers more through digital and social channels. Mobile devices have given Millennials 24/7, on-the-go access to social media and well…pretty much every digital arena! So, why not market to them where they live? However, this is not to say that advertisers have strayed away from more traditional channels like print and television. But traditional AM/FM radio is a lost cause, right? Wrong!
AM/FM radio is strong with this generation! According to the 2015 Nielsen Music U.S. Report, 65.2 million Millennials are tuning into AM/FM radio weekly. This is nearly half of the generation. Music is a unifying factor for the generation and Millennials continue to push the boundaries when it comes to music.
Traditional AM/FM radio has been deemed the largest music discovery channel for Millennials. Nearly six in ten (59%) use AM/FM for music discovery. This is compared to 48% from friends and relatives, 42% from audio or video streaming and 36% from social media. Traditional AM/FM radio is also the dominating music platform in the car with 67% of Millennials making this their top choice for tuning in.
But what makes AM/FM radio so special compared to other media channels when it comes to targeting Millennial shoppers? Well, there are some surprising statistics that say that traditional radio may just be a cut above the rest. There are some large opportunities targeting Millennials via AM/FM radio that many advertisers may overlook.
First things first. It should be a no-brainer that targeted messaging can be placed on different radio stations based on the formats that makes the most sense for the audience that advertisers are trying to reach. Nielsen presented the top 10 radio formats in 2015 amongst Millennials in their annual report:
- Pop Contemporary Hit Radio
- Hot Adult Contemporary
- Urban Contemporary
- Adult Contemporary
- Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio
- Mexican Regional
- Classic Rock
- News Talk
Knowing what formats Millennials are listening to the most is beneficial to advertisers who are trying to target the generation. They can place ads on stations in the category of just one format that holds a specific Millennial target they are looking to hone in on, or they can look into running spots on different stations of multiple formats if they plan to reach a larger portion of the generation.
One of the key elements advertisers need to know about the Millennial generation is that they don’t like being sold to by brands, but rather engaged. Feeling connected with a brand is a large factor that comes into play when they make a purchase decision. This is where another opportunity arises that advertisers should take advantage of with targeting Millennial shoppers via traditional radio.
AM/FM radio is the dominating music platform for Millennials while in the car for a few reasons. The radio helps to break the awkward silence while driving, it has become a trusted companion while fighting through traffic and Millennials feel more connected to the personalities on their favorite channels. So when a personality is speaking on behalf of a product that they have tried and love, it presents an added bonus for Millennial shoppers to gain more interest and potentially purchasing the product because of the engaging connection they have with the personality, the station and most importantly the music. So, if you’re a retailer, this could become a key insight for your retail marketing, giving you a better way to present your message on radio.
So for any businesses or advertisers who are a bit skeptical about targeting Millennials through traditional AM/FM radio, don’t be! Digital and social channels are key players in the world of advertising, especially for Millennial shoppers, and are only continuing to grow. But forms of traditional media are still standing strong. AM/FM radio is right up there at the top and doesn’t plan on going away any time soon. And as for the Millennial generation, they are still tuning in and turning up the volume!