Should You Be Advertising on Digital Radio?

Push Button Blog

Okay, we’ll explain. Two of the top five most popular apps are used for streaming music. People in America now spend more of their time using their smartphone than their TV. Just over half of Americans ages 12 and up listened to internet radio in the past month.

So there’s the facts—here’s how it can work for you.


The digital data that’s collected from people is amazing. The internet knows which Ikea couch you like, which food you looked up the calorie count of, and which car you were fantasizing about but won’t ever buy. (You can custom build your own Ferrari on their website and it’s super fun, but now I keep getting ads from them because they thought I was actually serious. Ha.)


Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio have a butt ton of this info. You can target on these platforms with almost pinpoint accuracy. You can target demographics, location, social media connections, income/education/profession, listening behavior, mood and more. One of the best parts is that the music (and the ads) go wherever the consumer goes. It’s on their phone, in their car and on their computer. You can reach them whether they’re driving, at home or at work.


On Spotify, you can target by playlist. Let’s say you’re selling some kind of work out gear. You can direct your ads to people who specifically listen to work out themed playlists. Spotify CMO Seth Farbman says, “You start getting a real picture of the complete lifestyle. We’re at a point now where we are gathering so much data so rapidly that we’re constantly reimagining what can be done with it.”


Some companies are reevaluating their radio budget to include digital, satellite and traditional. Advertising director Ed Gold at State Farm says, “We are looking at all radio type advertising as audio. When I look at my overall budget—that which used to be called the radio budget but is now called the audio budget—we are going where the consumer is, so if more consumers are going to digital radio, we are following them.”


Another great thing about digital radio is that it’s more personal. This is because most music streaming platforms only play one or two ads during a break. You know, they always say to be either first or the last in the commercial break—this way you always will be. The language is even different in digital radio ads for this reason. They often break the fourth wall of advertising by saying something like, “Hey Pandora listener, we’ll get right back to your station, but first…”


The future of digital radio looks pretty bright. It’s growing every day and the targeting is continuously getting better. It’s also pretty cost effective. We definitely recommend advertising on digital radio, but first look into which platform is right for you. They all have their differences, benefits and challenges. And if you need something produced to throw on Pandora, we can help you out!