Study: Radio ad clutter lower than TV

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Commercial time on radio stations is averaging less than 10 minutes per hour, lower than the average number of commercial minutes per hour (12 to 14) on television, according to a study released Tuesday by Empower MediaMarketing, which analyzed Nielsen Monitor Plus data in 15 of the nation's top markets.

On average, radio stations air 9.42 minutes of commercials per hour, with Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles airing the most at 10.25 and 10.15, respectively. The three markets with the lowest number of average commercial minutes were Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., (8.43), Atlanta (8.83) and Philadelphia (8.84).

"Our belief as an agency is that radio is generally undervalued, particularly by national advertisers," said Julie Pahutski, senior vp of research for Empower.

Sticking to its initiative to cut commercial spot loads, Clear Channel, which had 93 stations in the 15 markets analyzed in May 2006 averaged 7.99 minutes, 15% below the 15-market average.

The amount of commercial time varied by format. News/Talk and Sports formats devoted the most time to commercials at 11.91 minutes and 11.47 minutes, respectively. Country formats averaged 9.72 minutes per hour of commercials. Most other formats averaged just under 9 minutes per hour of commercial time with Classical and Religious having the lowest commercial spot loads at 6.81 and 7.78 respectively.

Nielsen Monitor Plus is owned by Mediaweek parent VNU.
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