The value proposition of audio has evolved according to Audacy’s Chief Marketing Officer Paul Suchman. In the company’s most recent State of Audio Report titled “Fuel the Funnel,” Audacy, Inc. proffers a view of the consumption experience trifurcated into stages based on awareness, consideration and conversion. Through data provided by Nielsen Media Research, audio catalyzes this experience at the highest rate of success when compared to other media and garners ubiquity and precise messaging.
“People consume audio all day long, and they lean into it really hard and they trust it,” Suchman said in an interview with Radio Ink. “It’s a great medium for advertisers. Even Nielsen reports that people spend 30% of their day consuming audio media versus other media, and we know it’s underspent.”
Over the last decade, audio has precipitously transitioned to become immersed in the digital space, the focus wherein many Gen Z consumers discover and engage with content. Whether it is through laptops, phones, smart speakers or streaming portals accessed through gaming systems, young people are looking to have their content meet them.
As it pertains to sports radio, those listening to the format represent dedicated fans of the aural medium more so than others, according to Audacy, and it is a business in which the company has made a significant investment. The company owns and operates iconic sports audio brands across the United States, including WFAN, WEEI, 97.1 The Ticket, and 670 The Score among others.
“We love sports audio and its fans,” Suchman said. “Listening to audio, particularly when you’re a fan, is just an amazing experience.”
These radio stations operate in local markets; however, their content is available to stream online or through the Audacy mobile app. As a result, radio hosts around the world have the ability to connect to a broad network of consumers, some of whom may have a penchant for localized content despite not living in the same market.
“Sports stations are distillings of community, right?” Suchman asked rhetorically. “On WFAN, our sports station in New York, 50% of our listeners on the stream come from out of state. It’s displaced New Yorkers consuming that content. They want that content and conversations in their home city from voices they know [and] from voices that they trust.”
The company affirms that audio should continue to be broadcast to cars, a reason why it is still a point of emphasis for a company doing things in a variety of more modernized spaces. There are a variety of advertisements played over the air though that prioritize efficiency and reach rather than accentuating the distinctive qualities of the medium to more effectively communicate a message. New Balance, for example, engaged in an advertising campaign specialized for listeners of the sports audio format through podcasts. In the end, the campaign achieved its goals and attained a 342% return on advertising spend.
“This comes back to the whole state of audio: reach; frequency; plus precision,” Suchman said. “When New Balance and their agency wanted to boost awareness and track sales on their basketball sneakers, our sports podcasts reached those younger basketball fans who wanted that performance and they wanted to be very trendy as well.”
Audacy outlines various key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine if the objectives are being reached, some of which include brand awareness, web visitation and app downloads. Through a wide array of measurement tools, the company looks to guide advertisers into allocating funds into audio-based programming with the mission of generating compelling content and an affinity with each individual listener.
“People are coming to audio because they can have long-form, real, deep personal conversations with their listeners,” Suchman said. “So when you have a distribution strategy that allows a Gen Z consumer to get that audio content wherever they are; however they are; whenever, then you have the people they love, trust and listen [to]. It’s an absolute winning combination there.”
92.9 The Game Enjoys Ratings Growth in Atlanta Summer Book
In weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p), the station finished 2nd overall with a 6.8 share.
The summer ratings book is out in Atlanta, and 92.9 The Game once again turned in a strong quarterly performance with Men 25-54.
In weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p), the station finished 2nd overall with a 6.8 share for the book. For the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid), the station remained 2nd with a 5.6 share.
Looking at the weekday shows, in mornings, the summer book represented the second ratings period for the station’s show helmed by Tiffany Blackmon, Mike Johnson, and Beau Morgan. The Morning Shift saw a slight drop from its first book, finishing with a 7.1 share for the quarter. That figure was an 8.4 share in the spring book. Nonetheless, the program remained in a strong position, 2nd overall in the market.
In middays, the station had a pair of shows finish 2nd, with The Steakhouse — featuring Steak Shapiro and Sandra Golden –enjoying an uptick from a 6.9 in the spring to an 8.1 in the summer. Shapiro and Golden are heard weekdays on the station from 9a-11a.
Additionally, middays with Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael generated a 7.1 share, which was one tenth of a point off from its spring book. Similar to The Morning Shift and The Steakhouse, Bunker and McMichael secured 2nd place in their time slow.
The venerable 92.9 The Game afternoon duo of Carl Dukes and Mike Bell, which airs from 2p-7p, saw a slight dip this quarter to finish with a 6.6 share, good for 3rd in the market. In the spring book, Dukes & Bell were 2nd with a 6.9 share.
Ratings information for 680 The Fan was not made available for the summer book.
Jon Ritchie: Joe DeCamara Deserves Credit from ESPN For Idea That Turned Phillies Season Around
Earlier this year, 94 WIP producer Jack Fritz received acclaim for sharing an idea that Philadelphia fans should give struggling shortstop Trea Turner a standing ovation. Morning host Jon Ritchie believes his partner, Joe DeCamara isn’t getting the credit he deserves.
During DeCamara and Ritchie Wednesday morning, the former NFL star argued that ESPN’s Karl Ravech got the story wrong in its retelling during the Phillies National League Wild Card Game Tuesday.
“This is good stuff. Last night during the during the broadcast, I started getting texts and tweets about this, but didn’t hear it live because I was at the game,” DeCamara said. “But during the broadcast, Karl Ravech and David Cone talked about what Fritz did and the Trea Turner thing.”
The show then played the clip of Ravech and Cone talking about Fritz’s idea of giving the standing ovation and how it helped turn Turner’s season around. Ritchie jokingly took issue with the fact that it was actually DeCamara’s idea.
“I guess (Fritz) did do the organizing, that is true, but the idea was hatched by Joe DeCamara on our show,” said Ritchie. “This was Joe’s idea. He hatched it. Let’s give him some credit here, and if Jack Fritz is gonna get a ring, why doesn’t Joe DeCamara?”
DeCarama joked Jon Ritchie just “wants to cause trouble”, before his co-host pushed him to say it was his idea.
“If I say yes, I seem like a bad guy. If I say no, I’m lying. So I will say no,” DeCamara said slyly.
Last week, during an appearance on the station, Turner thanked afternoon hosts Jon Marks and Ike Reese for helping turn around his year.
“Obviously, the whole thing happened and the rest is kind of history. Started playing a lot better and it was thanks to you guys and the crowd,” the Phillies star said.
98.5 The Sports Hub Delivers Strong Summer Ratings But WEEI’s ‘Greg Hill Show’ Closes The Gap in Mornings
“98.5 The Sports Hub remained the top overall station in the summer book but WEEI’s Greg Hill Show made up significant ground in morning drive.”
Boston has long been one of the hottest sports radio markets in America. With the latest summer ratings period now closed, we know it is also one of the most competitive between 98.5 The Sports Hub and WEEI.
In morning drive, Toucher & Rich still topped the market with an impressive 15.1 share. That rating is one that most shows would gladly take but after producing a massive 24.3 share last Summer, maintaining that performance was going to be a tall order. Though the show was 1st with a strong number, a decline of more than 9 shares year over year has to get the attention of the morning show and the management team. If anyone can rebound though and regain that past performance, T&R have shown they can.
Scott Zolak and Marc “Beetle” Bertrand continued to earn the number one spot in middays, garnering a 14.6 share for The Hub. That number was also down year-over-year but not as much as mornings. Zo and Bertrand turned in an 18.1 share in the 2022 Summer book.
Felger & Mazz — hosted by Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti — remains the best-performing show in Boston. The afternoon show held a 17.2 share to finish 1st in their time slot. The show did drop from a 19.7 share last summer but remains comfortably ahead of any market competition.
In weekday prime ratings, 98.5 The Sports Hub remained the top overall station with a 15.3 share. That number was down 25% year-over-year when it held a 20.4 share.
Meanwhile, WEEI rose more than 34% in weekday prime to a 7.4 share, up from a 5.5 in the same book a year ago. That placed them 3rd for the book.
WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show was the station’s biggest winner, more than doubling its share year over year. Hill’s program ranked 2nd with an 11.6 share this summer compared to a 5.2, 7th place finish last year. Only 3.5 shares now separate Hill from Toucher & Rich.
The midday pairing of Andy Gresh and Christian Fauria saw a slight increase for WEEI this quarter, moving to a 7.0 share. That figure was up from 6.3 last year. They were ranked 4th overall this quarter.
The afternoon pairing of Adam Jones, Meghan Ottolini, and Christian Arcand saw a noticeable drop, garnering a 3.9 share during the summer book. That put them in an 8th place tie during the summer book. Last year, WEEI’s afternoon show of Lou Merloni, Fauria, and Ottolini saw a 6.0 share in afternoon drive.
All numbers reported above are for sports radio’s target demographic of Men 25-54. The Hub did also have strong stories with Men 18-34 (1st for the full week, 2nd in prime), Persons 25-54 (1st for the full week, 3rd in prime), and Men 18-49 (1st for the full week, 1st in prime).