Commercial Advertising on Radio Has Come A Long Way in 96 Years

Saturday, August 20, 2016, is National Radio Day, a time for communities across the country to celebrate radio. Today the radio ecosystem has not only expanded globally, but it has also crossed the bridge from traditional terrestrial broadcast, to online broadcast avenues. 

 On November 2, 1920, KDKA hit the airwaves as the first commercially licensed radio station in America by Westinghouse. Most early radio stations were put on the air by the manufacturers of radio equipment, such as Westinghouse. After all, they wanted customers to buy radio but in order for customers to buy them they had to have something to tune into. It wasn’t until years later on August 28, 1922, that the first paid radio advertisement were aired by the Queensboro Corporation. The advertisement aimed at selling a new apartment complex in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Today, radio continues to be one of the leading advertising mediums for businesses to spread the word and expand their brands. Companies can effectively target their audience by gender, age, income, in addition to endless psychographic options depending on the radio station they choose to put their messaging on. It continues to be a very powerful advertising method and a very cost effective way to reach thousands of hungry consumers waiting for your message. 

 Sometimes I get asked the questions if radio is still relevant and if consumers still listen to it with so many other listening options available. My experience is that clients will question the effectiveness of radio until the wrong information airs by mistake and they realize how many people hear that wrong spot and note the incorrect phone number in the ad for example.  They never question if anyone is listening after that. It is proof that people pay attention to radio ads and so should we as brands.

 Need some help with your radio or advertising buys?

-Karin