Thank you to Joey Taylor-Moon and Amanda Cheese for also contributing to this blog post.

There’s no question that the rise of data-driven online advertising has changed the media landscape. While traditional radio is still big and still relevant, the ability to target your audience directly through a streaming service like Pandora or Spotify is hard to ignore. Deciding how to build your schedule is more complicated than ever, so we’ve put together a guide to help you understand what these two forms of media can do for you and your brand.

Streaming Radio

The new kid on the block, streaming has taken the audio advertising industry by storm. Services like Pandora and Spotify give the consumer control over content and allow the creation of customized stations leading to a user-built audio experience. On the flip side, advertisers can then dig into the wealth of user registration data provided by each service and build more customizable and relevant audio campaigns. The advantage of targetable audio advertising cannot be understated and streaming media allows for niche targeting by demo, geo, or even device with relative ease. As a whole, internet radio now has a mainstream audience with more than 50% of all Americans tuning in to digital radio every single month.

Traditional Radio

Considered the “original” form of mass communication, traditional radio is integrated so tightly into modern society that it’s all but impossible to buy a motorized vehicle without an antenna and a tuner. It comes as no surprise then that nearly half of all radio listening takes place in the car, with 73% of America tuning in their favorite stations every morning. While digital media has expanded beyond local broadcasters, radio stations are a strong voice within the local market and can leverage personalities that connect with listeners at the community level and provide on-air endorsements, react in real-time to current events/weather/news, and deliver live copy from trusted sources.

How They Work Together

You will have to spend a little more than usual to effectively communicate in both traditional and digital radio platforms, but the sum of your efforts will be greater than its parts as you reap the benefits of a synergized marketing strategy built on good old customer relationships that are powered by modern technology. As the market continues to evolve we need to focus the channel choice based on the demographic information of our audience. If you are focusing on Baby Boomers you will want to stick with traditional radio and for Generation Z you will want to use internet/streaming music predominantly. If you are speaking to Millenials you will use a mix of both channels in order to reach the consumers that are using both channels. Digital and traditional marketing channels ultimately work well together creating not only a brand image, but an enticing sales invitation to your prospective and current customers.