Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Forecast: Geo Targeting To Be Boon For FM Radio

More than 90% of local retailers and two-thirds of national advertisers are poised to put more money into FM radio when geo-targeting, or ZoneCasting, becomes available, according to a joint study by BIA Advisory Services and Advertiser Perceptions.

ZoneCasting is a new technology that enables FM radio stations to air different ads for listeners in different geographic areas within local markets. The FCC is reviewing ZoneCasting, and advocates are pushing for approval this year.

The joint study provided insight on advertiser perceptions and spending plans as it relates to geo-targeting. Currently, 81% of local retailers and 63% of national advertisers and media agencies currently use some form of geo-targeting. If ZoneCasting is approved by the Federal Communications Commission, 91% of local retailers indicate they would spend more on broadcast radio advertising.  Meanwhile, 66% of national advertisers indicate they are interested in ZoneCasting, and 49% expect to put more ad dollars into radio to support it.

“ZoneCasting will come to market fast because the appetite is there,” said Andy Sippel, EVP of Advertiser Perceptions. “Advertisers are already very comfortable using geo-targeting with cable TV and have had success. Now, we continue to see renewed interest in radio as a medium.”

The study is the result of two important surveys. Advertiser Perceptions studied 301 national brands and media agencies in October 2019. BIA Advisory Services then surveyed 300 local retailers in December of 2019. While the joint study finds Main Street more aware and prepared for ZoneCasting – with 70% of Main Street familiar with the capability vs. 26% of Madison Avenue – ease of adoption indicates the gap should close fast.

“ZoneCasting uses the existing radio broadcasting tech platform and existing consumer radio devices in cars, at home and work,” said Rick Ducey, Managing Director of BIA Advisory Services. “Once approved, there’s no barrier to advertisers that want to tailor their advertising messages to the most strategic locations within a radio metro area.”

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