Understanding Audio Webinar Summary

On Thursday 17th September RTÉ hosted a webinar which featured Jennifer Legge, Head of Research at RTÉ Media Sales, Richard Colwell, CEO of RED C, and Peter Woods, Head of RTÉ Radio 1. We launched a large-scale piece of research that was completed earlier in the year about listener habits, behaviour and needs. We also investigated the effectiveness of advertising on RTÉ Radio 1, something we knew from customer feedback but are now able to confirm.

The Research

We carried out this research because we wanted to better understand the Irish Audio Market and our listeners, especially those in the 35-54-year-old age bracket. We focused on 35-54 year olds as this dynamic group is one of our advertisers’ core target audiences.  It’s also an audience that Radio 1 are actively targeting as is reflected by our new schedule. Part of the research also lookedatRTÉ Radio 1's advertising effectiveness among 35-54s.

Advertising Effectiveness

The approach here was a pre and post stated reaction test to programming and advertising.  150 respondents completed a short recruitment survey to gather baselines.  Sometime later they were then asked to listen to a 30-minute reel of typical RTÉ Radio 1 programming containing advertising.  After the programme they were asked to complete a 10-15 minute survey which measured brand recall, brand consideration and various other measures.


So, starting with the all-important Brand recall measure, in our test we found that listeners exposed to radio ads showed a significant uplift in brand saliency through improved top of mind awareness. The average increase in brand awareness across the four categories (motors, insurance / financial services / retail / fast food) was 21%.

The ads played during the radio shows were liked by the majority of listeners.  This demonstrates the receptive nature of radio as an advertising platform and of course highlighting the importance of good creative.

We also measured the emotional reaction of listeners to the ads. We used System 1 testing to assess emotional connections to brands.  Our test showed that brands advertised on Radio 1 displayed high levels of positive emotion. In fact, the average happiness score of the four brands advertised in our test was well above the benchmark score of 31%.  The implication of this is that Radio 1’s quality advertising environment has a positive impact on the brands advertised across it.

The combination of improved saliency alongside a strong ability to deliver emotional ad and brand connections coupled with likeability makes for a winning formula that delivers strong consideration and purchase uplift for RTÉ Radio 1.

This complements what we already know about our brand safe environment with our recent brand tracker research re-enforcing our trust and other reputational credentials putting us in the lead across many important metrics.

Understanding Audio

A big part of this research was around better understanding our listeners and how their needs & behaviour change during the day. We know that media – in particular audio – is consumed when doing other activities and we wanted to find out more about this.  We also wanted to understand what people were looking for at different times of the day and week and how their needs change.

Hence a nationally representative Needs and Behaviour survey among 1,000 respondents was conducted.  In this we asked questions around what media was typically consumed at different times of the day and what type of needs were people trying to fulfil when consuming audio.  For example, were they listening to the radio to chill out or to be informed?  We also asked people what they were most likely doing at different times.  For example, were they cooking dinner or going for a run?  We didn’t just ask this at a general level but rather drilled into it across various time slots of weekdays and weekends.

On the back of this data we’ve created our Understanding Audio dashboard which we believe will give planners additional insights into the behaviours and need states of audiences at different times of the day.

More Information

If you wish to know more about this webinar and to view an on-demand version email mediasales@rte.ie.