Video Advertising Bureau CEO Sean Cunningham downplayed any milestone in radio passing TV audiences, arguing that TV buying is a multiscreen effort today. And regardless of cord-cutting, time spent on all TV-connected devices remains well ahead of radio, per Nielsen TAR, though that also incorporates gaming consoles and ad-free streaming time.
“Nearly all U.S. marketers that plan, buy and track performance of 2023 multiscreen TV do so on a multi-platform basis,” Cunningham said, integrating linear, CTV, over-the-top, mobile, digital and video on demand. “The collective customer engagement and brand/sales impact realized by those TV combinations do not make any of its subsets a real world, real practice candidate for being swapped out for an audio-only ad instrument.”
Modern versions of TV and radio play different roles for marketers, he said. “Both are judged ‘effective’ differently, and it’s unfair to ask an audio-only medium to perform multi-screen TV’s role in the media mix.”
Bouvard countered that much of what counts as video impressions is really just audio, given that people may be in earshot but not watching. TVision, which measures in-home viewing through devices that monitor viewing in 5,000 homes, recently reported that viewers were paying attention to linear and CTV ads 36% and 34% of the time, respectively, and present while the ads ran (i.e. within earshot) 70% and 63% of the time, respectively, in the second half of last year.
Research from ABX, which tests ads across multiple media with consumers, indicates radio ads generally aren’t as effective as TV, but the difference isn’t huge. Since January 2020, ABX found radio ads indexed at 103 vs. 115 for TV on effectiveness (based on such things as purchase consideration), or about 89% as effective as TV.
So, while P&G may not be getting the same impact as video with its ramped-up radio buys, it’s reaching people at less than half the cost of linear TV and less than a fifth the cost of targeted CTV.