Industry Views

Pending Business: We Are Growing

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

imSurvey says nearly half of all Americans over 13, nearly 135 million, listen to spoken word formats. The growth curve boasts an eye opening 52% jump in time spent listening at home.

Please keep in mind we are listening in 2023 via different platforms including AM/FM radio, smartphones, computer streaming, smart speakers, and smart TV. Podcasting is a major driver of this growth curve, almost tripling its share of total audio consumption. And the closer is traditional AM/FM radio is still the morning drive, in-car winner controlling 62% of listening, despite the auto industry’s attempt to shun the king of spoken word distribution – AM radio.

Audio marketers, please pound the drum a little louder when you pitch this growth story. I still haven’t seen this new validation pushed aggressively on X (formerly Twitter) among the Taylor Swift running to hug Travis Kelsey posts, have you? Anything on Instagram? Facebook? YouTube? Rumble? Are we reframing a modern version of that 1600s philosophical “if a tree falls in the forest…?”

All sellers need to take a minute to digest, discuss and integrate the findings in the Edison/NPR Spoken Word Audio report and start the drumbeat of growth, impact, engagement and influence. How else will we pushback on the taken-for-granted, same old-same old, spoken word presentation. Freshen up that media kit! Growth is an important sales point to make in any presentation and audio sellers need to keep pointing to that growth curve as competitors lean in on their own story lines.

Let’s get down to how best to answer W.I.F.A (what’s in it for advertisers) on your next presentation.

1) New. One of the most powerful words in sales and marketing. New information can drive new decisions. Let the numbers help make your point as you shape your presentation.

2) The Trend is Your Friend. Every business owner, entrepreneur, investor and CEO always want to be informed and in front of growth trends. You now have the opportunity in front of you.

3) Keep it Simple. Keep your information simple and easy to understand. Many influential newsletters use the simple technique of a bold number followed by a fast fact story line. If it works for the big boys, the technique should work for you.

4) Managers. Bring good news to your sales and marketing teams. Sellers, bring good news to your advertisers. The survey says we are growing, and positive growth is an important part of any business.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at:

Industry News

Audacy Releases Modern Blueprint for Audio Advertising

Audacy is releasing the fifth installment of its bi-annual audio thought leadership series, State of Audio: Level Up, that it calls “a modern blueprint for audio advertising, designed to provide a go-to playbook – including planning tips, creative how-to’s and innovative trends – to help advertisers level up the performance of their audio investments.” Audacy chief marketing officer Paul Suchman says, “Audio is proving itself as a must-have media for marketers. Our advertisers are embracing the power of multiim-platform audio with media plans that utilize radio, digital audio and podcasts, working together to reach audiences with unprecedented precision and drive quantifiable outcomes for their brands.” Some of the findings within the guide include: 1) Audio advertising works harder – driving more than two times the attention of TV and social media at more desirable CPMs; 2) Radio and digital audio are stronger together. A multi-platform audio strategy is so powerful that advertisers see 1.5 times the return on ad spend compared to digital-only campaigns; 3) Advertisers are leaving upwards of $6 billion in revenue on the table by not including total audio – a balanced mix of traditional broadcast radio and digital audio – in their media mix, according to a study conducted by Audacy and Neustar. The report also offers actionable tips for producing effective ads under the section titled, “5 Ways the Best Audio Ads Crush the Status Quo.” Here, Audacy says, “Advertising on the #1 reach media — Audio — will get you the most ears. But to keep them, your creative can’t just be good — it needs to be really freaking great.” See the report here.

Industry News

iHeartMedia: Study Reveals Disconnect Between Consumer and Marketers

iHeartMedia and Malcolm Gladwell’s Pushkin Industries release the results of a study conducted by Morning Consult and Advertiser Perceptions that explores the growing disparity between consumer values and behaviors and marketing priorities in the U.S. They say that the report “underscores the increasing urgency for marketers to reset and realign their marketing and media plans with American consumers to ensure the success of campaigns in an increasingly polarized post-COVID economy.” iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman comments, “This research is a reminder of how different we marketers are from today’s consumers, especially post-pandemic. Based on these results, we need to challenge ourselves as we build marketing and media plans to be sure we use real consumer data and not just trust our instincts and personal experiences. These personal biases are too detached from the consumers most marketers are trying to engage, and which are often behind major marketing misfires. This study aims to level-set the conversation to benefit both our audiences and advertisers.” Some of the key findings from the report include: 1) While 40% of consumers report that they’ve never heard of NFTs, that number drops to 0% for marketers; 2) 62% of consumers have never heard of the TV show “Succession,” while less than 5% of marketers have never heard of “Succession”; and 3) Almost one-third of consumers have never heard of pickleball, while all marketers [surveyed] have heard of pickleball. The findings were presented by iHeartMedia’s Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeartMedia’s Digital Audio Group, and author and podcaster Malcolm Gladwell at iHeartMedia’s AudioCon 2023 on Wednesday (9/13).

Industry News

Westwood One: Marketers Underestimate Consumers Time Spent with Media

According to this week’s blog from the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group, marketers and agencies tend to dramatically underestimate the amount of time consumers spend with certain media, including AM/FM radio. Based on data from Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, “Marketers/agencies dramaticallyim underestimate time spent with AM/FM radio. While they believe Americans spend 9% of their media time with AM/FM radio, the reality is 15%.” Why is this? The report cites two reasons. First, longtime ad agency executive Bob Hoffman says, “How can professional people who work in an industry that is largely constructed on media behavior be so astoundingly misinformed? The answer is pretty simple… marketers always overestimate the attraction of new things and underestimate the power of traditional consumer behavior.” Second, marketing professor Mark Ritson adds, “There is increasing global evidence that marketers are basing their media choices on their own behavior or that stoked by the digitally obsessed marketing media, rather than actual audience data.” Read the blog post here.

Industry Views

Pending Business: The Fastest Billboards

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

imUntil NASA approves company logos on rockets, the fastest billboards an advertiser can buy move at over 200 miles per hour, weigh less than seven ounces and are three-hundredths of an inch thick.

Who wants fast-moving billboards? The longer you can read the message the better, right? Not a problem when a marketer identifies a hard-to-reach target combined with an engaging new opportunity. No, these are not the colorful logos you see on NASCAR vehicles or the old school logos on Formula 1 cars. These are the new-age digital billboards on Formula 1 race cars.

These new billboards are the first of their kind, strategically placed on Formula 1 cars. These magnificent machines, featured at races around the world, can reach speeds of nearly 250 miles per hour. When a race car is moving that fast every ounce of weight counts, hence the paper-thin design. You see (excuse the pun) it is all about a camera angle and what the viewer sees when TV coverage cuts to that strategically placed camera and over 2 million viewers are looking on. Angles count.

Formula 1 racing not a threat to local radio ad sales, you say? Not yet, but when over 13 million people watch the top 12 Grand Prix races worldwide, it’s just a matter of time. The Formula 1 billboard lessons for local sellers and managers are not simple “how many calls, how many closes?” The Formula 1 billboard story is about:

— Sales and marketing innovation in a sport that is nearly 130 years old. The idea of creating a paper-thin, super lightweight digital billboard is an amazing accomplishment.

— Try again. How many times have you pitched a package to an advertiser who told you what was wrong with your package, only to lead to frustration at not winning the business? Can your manager quickly adapt to the advertisers’ needs? Managers, please read that last sentence carefully. The designers of the digital billboard were sent back to the drawing board until the weight and thickness worked for these incredible race machines.

— While you are thinking about getting your pitch together, somebody is already moving forward. In plain English: you snooze, you lose.

— Collaboration is the way to win. It took sellers working with engineers, working with marketers to make the concept work. How about you? Are you comfortable selling in collaboration with teammates?

The sales and marketing innovation clock never stops. How about you? Is your learning clock still ticking?

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve Lapa will be moderating the “Generating Revenue” panel at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University.

Industry News

Audacy Releases Fourth State of Audio Guide

Audacy releases its latest “State of Audio” guide. This fourth installment of the company’s bi-annual e-book explores audio’s impact throughout the brand funnel, from awareness and intention to action. Highlighting case studies from today’s biggest brands, the guide gives advertisers a look into how they can use radio, podcastsim and streaming for everything from brand awareness to consumer purchase. Audacy chief marketing officer Paul Suchman says, “Audio holds the title as the undisputed leader of brand-building channels – working its magic with the one-two punch of massive reach and beloved and trusted personalities. But if you’re thinking of Audio as just a top-of-funnel play – good for sparking a conversation but not driving conversion – think again. The truth is the game has expanded in recent years and audio is now a truly multi-purpose platform. Thanks to precision targeting, authentic influencers whose listeners follow them across channels, and advanced measurement, marketers are uncovering the best-kept secret in media – audio’s ability to drive impact at every funnel stage.” See the “State of Audio” guide here.

Industry News

iHeartPodcast Network to Present Influencer Summit

The iHeartPodcast Network announces what it is calling “an industry-first Influencer Summit where some of the most successful podcast creators will open the mic and teach marketers the art of podcast advertising” on Wednesday, April 26, at the iHeartMedia executive offices in New York City. The company says, “The hands-on educational event will feature diverse podcast authorities such as the wildly popular media personality and founder of The Black Effect Podcast Network, Charlamagne tha God; the woman behind the successfulLogo - Graphics ‘Stuff You Missed in History Class’ podcast, Holly Frey; and esteemed journalist, author and co-founder of Pushkin Industries, Malcolm Gladwell, joined with today’s biggest marketers to explain why podcasting is growing rapidly and how brands need to adapt, invest and create audio advertising that resonates with podcast fans.” iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne says, “Podcasters are the most creative, fastest-growing, diverse wave of influencers to hit content and marketing in years – just as influencer marketing more generally was becoming a key new way to reach audiences. This event came together because our podcast creators are deeply invested in the brands and advertising that become part of their shows, that they asked us to give them a chance to sit down with marketers at scale and talk about what makes host-read creative work. What really differentiates podcasting and our iHeartPodcast Network from other mediums is that creators and fans expect the advertising to be endemic to the shows, often voiced by the hosts and authentic to the listening experience. This is a chance to roll up our sleeves and co-create, collaborate and showcase the simplicity, speed and creative potential of podcasting.”