Main Advantages of FM: A Sneak Peek

It’s already July. By week’s end, the Fourth of July will be behind us and vacations will kick into high gear as we try to find some family time before kids head back to school and radio stations compete for the fall ratings period starting on September 12. It’s inevitable that much of the spare brain time you have will be spent thinking about programming and promotional plans for the fall sweeps.

The first installment of the NuVoodoo Fall webinar series, based on our new Ratings Prospects Study 14, kicks off on July 24 with “How To Win The Workplace War In 2019.” We’re again digging in deep to uncover the latest quirks of workplace listening and the best marketing channels to generate lift with those elusive at-work listeners. Secure a slot by registering today at

Meanwhile, we’re hard at work preparing the tables and charts needed for those webinars. While we’re keeping the wraps on these latest data pretty tight, we can’t resist sharing a little bit. Many of the question groups we develop for these twice-annual studies are borne out of verbatim comments we pick up in other work. We look for ways to put them to the test with larger quantitative samples to see if lots of people share these opinions.

In our new study of over 3,000 respondents ages 14-54 from across all PPM markets fielded last month, we went looking for the main advantages of FM radio. You already know the #1 advantage they gave us, but we were surprised by the #2 advantage: Stations are connected with your local community. Naturally, there’s a demographic tilt to this response – the local community is a less-important factor in the lives of younger people.

But, it’s a substantial number among 35-44’s – and even among 18-34’s – if you connect effectively with the things they care about most in the local community as they see it.

We found that this perception varies by FM TSL, but it’s less of a factor than we imagined. If you give FM even 15 minutes of daily TSL, there’s a fairly good shot that a station’s localism is something you appreciate.

We’ll be sharing these data through our webinars and client roll-outs, showing these in context of the other top advantages we uncovered – and broken out by everything we think matters, including likely ratings respondents and P1’s of specific formats.

While streaming pureplays outgun FM music radio for music quantity and music variety, Spotify and Pandora can’t touch the connection you have with your local market. Ruminate on that while the kids are splashing in the pool or packing off to camp.