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No, Radio Isn't Dead - In Fact, It's Doing Better Than Ever

Gary Osborne, Insight & Brand Planning Specialist

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Image by Fringer Cat on Unsplash

According to Radio Centre Ireland, radio advertising now accounts for almost 13% of the total advertising market and continues to grow year on year.

Around 81% or 3.2m of the Irish adult population tune into radio everyday according to research carried out on behalf of the JNLR. This isn’t limited to people aged 30+.  The research shows that younger audiences are listening to radio in significant numbers. In the 15-24 age group, almost 7 in 10 listen to Irish radio every day. In comparison, 38% of this age group listen to Spotify every day. Among this cohort, more than half (58%) listen to radio via an FM device and 16% listen on a digital device. Digital devices used are predominantly the mobile device (11.9%), with the PC / Laptop used by 2.6% and smart speakers used by 1.9%.  The penetration of smart speakers in Irish homes has increased significantly in recent years and now stands at 40%. It also isn’t the case that audio consumers are switching to on demand streamers and downloads at the expense of live radio broadcast. Again, according to Radio Centre Ireland, live radio accounts for 74% of all listening, including streaming services.

So what are Irish food and drink marketers to make of this and how do they leverage this insight to improve their marketing communication efficiency and build their brands? 

Traditionally radio has been sold as either a spot or package buy leaving the advertiser free to choose whether to target a specific day, days of the week, day part, audience, station, personality, direct response, housekeepers, a specific locality or region, demographic, a particular status group or key audience etc. These packages were generally sold as Primetime (PT) running offered across seven days from either 7am-7pm or Total Audience Packages (TAP) running across seven days 06.00-24.00.

These packages allowed brands and advertisers to tailor their radio buy to various differing needs and wants, getting on air within 24 hours and reaching your customers at the right time, right place, and right station whether it’s an attempt to build awareness for a new product launch or a branded advertisement to maintain a top of mind position in a particular category.

The cost effectiveness of the medium is therefore significant and shouldn’t be missed in the race to all things digital and ‘new’ media.  Clearly, contacting a national media agency can be the first step for those with larger budgets. Those with smaller amounts to spend should contact local radio stations directly and be honest about their budget and exactly what they’re trying to achieve.  The creative used can then also be tailored to drive business to local retailers further improving the effectiveness of the investment.



Inside Marketing. (2022, November 3). ‎Inside Marketing: Ep.83 - Listen Up! The Power Of Audio on Apple Podcasts. Irish Times.

Radio Centre Ireland. (2022). Radio Centre Ireland Annual Report 2022. Radio Centre Ireland.