120 Years Young and Going Strong: Radio Matters


We've come a long way since an Italian inventor by the name of Guglielmo Marconi figured out the science behind electromagnetic waves and used them to telegraph the results of the America's Cup yacht races. He broadcast them to a station in New York from his ship at sea. Since that broadcast in 1899, radio launched itself into global history and hasn't looked back. Proving itself resilient and adaptable, radio continues to thrive 120+ years later as the dominant medium for reaching people any time...anywhere.

In the last 25 years, we've seen the rise of the digital world with internet, social media, and streaming services. Since then, many (mostly competitors) have stepped up to herald the demise of radio. Radio has responded with a laugh, a toss of the hair and a gigantic bold step into new technology. In short, it has helped radio...not hurt it (as some would have hoped). In fact, according to recent surveys by the Radio Advertising Bureau, radio continues to be the number #1 medium for reaching adults with a total of 89% reach of the weekly population of adults of all ages. Not even TV and smartphones can top that. 

Radio Matters Weekly Reach grid

Radio's versatility and adaptability have positioned it uniquely to be able to leverage current technologies and listening trends. Here are 10 reasons, from the Radio Advertising Bureau, why radio continues to be the single most important component of any media mix designed to reach time-starved consumers. 

  1. Radio reaches everyone. Its high penetration of all consumer segments provides an exceptional vehicle to deliver ad messages - regardless of target gender, age, language or race. And listening is constant all year round. 
  2. Radio is the top reach medium - connecting with listeners every week.
  3. Radio is tops among all audio listening options. While perception is that newer digital audio services outrank radio, the reality is very different, even among Hispanics and African-Americans. 
  4. Radio complements other media to help drive messaging, brand preference and increase sales. using radio in the media plan provides you with a smarter mix. 
  5. Radio is effective at driving store traffic and search. Radio can aid in driving search activity for local businesses across various categories, like automotive. It can also drive traffic to brick and mortar locations
  6. Radio increases brand awareness, drives traffic and increases sales. radio does all this and more for brands. 
  7. Radio is theater of the mind. It lets listeners create an image in their minds and boost their happiness. Good radio creative keeps brands top of mind.
  8. Radio gets out the vote. Numerous formats allow for narrow targeting to reach a candidate's constituents or deliver issue-oriented messaging to interested parties. 
  9. Radio works. Radio live and local, connecting with listeners and driving conversation. 
  10. Radio matters. It's part of the local community, connecting with listeners, driving results for advertisers. It's the original social and mobile medium. 

Thank you RAB!  We LOVE this list. We'd like to add a few celebrations of our own: 

  • Radio offers a LOCAL connection better than any other media available. Radio talent alone support and promote local business, local charities and local news & events. In fact, to put some numbers to it, Zimmer Communications in 2020 - during a freaking pandemic, we might add - supported local businesses to the collective tune of nearly $300,000 worth of advertising support:
    • The Zimmer Local Marketing Grant Program gave away a total of $250,000 in advertising to 25 local businesses
    • The Zimmer restaurant and bar boost promo gave away $20,000 in advertising to 3 local restaurants.
    • The Zimmer Business Stimulus package gave away $27,500 in advertising to 4 local businesses.
  • Radio disc jockeys are local social influencers. Local talent are local celebrities. They are part of the communities they serve and are dedicated to leveraging their influence to make a difference. Their voice is one that is unmatched for its believability and ability to motivate people to action. 

Bottom line, our competitors have wished for 120 years that we'd go away...or at least fizzle out to a dull roar.  And we're here to say...it's not happening. So stay tuned...radio matters - and it's only going to get better. 

Here's the 2021 Radio Sizzles video produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau.  It's a perfect way to end this blog. We hope you enjoy it. 



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