Paddy Says: 3 most common audio advertising questions and answers

Feb 2021  RadioWorks Blog

audio advertising
Written by Patrick Gill, Media Manager

In our world, RAJAR is usually all the craze this time of year. As of this week, trading commences using the latest commercial radio figures. RAJAR has collated these figures using a 12-month rolling average from previous data, which has then been adjusted for changes in population to give us the best numbers possible. But since we are unable to share our specialist insight on RAJAR figures in the usual fashion this quarter, we thought we would take this opportunity to talk about some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about audio.

What’s more important for radio planning? Reach or frequency?

Obviously, both are important for a campaign to deliver, but understanding how people listen to radio is an important consideration when balancing the two. Radio is a broadcast medium with the emphasis on ‘broad’.

Commercial radio reaches 66% of adults in the country (RAJAR, Q1 2020), so getting great reach is at the heart of radio’s strength. For your campaign to really deliver though, frequency must be top of mind for radio. While team RadioWorks are radio obsessives, morning, noon and night, most people out in the rest of the world have a more ‘passive’ relationship with radio. Even people who love radio will tend to listen while doing another activity: Cooking, Cleaning, Commuting.

With listeners attention often not 100% on the radio, an ad will need a higher frequency to cut through than it might need on other media. When both reach and frequency are considered and balance in your plan, radio can deliver incredible results.

Can you reach radio listeners on Smart Speakers?

Live radio is very popular with smart speaker users. Listening to audio is the most popular smart speaker activity, and live radio remains a core part of this. Some stations broadcast the same ad breaks regardless of how you listen, however several stations and groups now operate separate Smart Speaker ad breaks.

With this in mind, the only way to guarantee you will reach smart speaker users is via digital audio buys. Smart speaker inventory will make up some share of most digital audio buys, but several digital audio platforms will allow specific targeting of smart speaker listeners.

How can I get involved with podcast advertising?

Podcasting has been a huge area of growth in the audio landscape for the past few years. This has continued to grow during the past year of lockdowns, with now over 15 million people tuning in every week (Statista, Podcast Listeners in the UK, 2020). This surge in popularity has led to many questions about how to get into this space.

There are various ways for brands to get into podcasts, the simplest of which is a ‘spot buy’. Like a radio ad, a pre-recorded message goes out before, during or after a show. This gets planned in a similar manner to other digital audio, but instead of targeting an audience, targeting is based on contextually relevant shows to appear around.

The next podcast buy is one of the most familiar forms associated with the medium, ‘sponsor reads’. The presenter or member of the podcast team will read a message about your brand with personal endorsement being the key value this provides. This can be a very exciting prospect for an advertiser as your brand can be directly associated with a particular voice, but we would caution that the personal flair of a podcaster reading your message means the talent gets final say on whether to take the read or not.

The final most interesting way for brands to get involved is to take over the whole show. This can be co-creating a specific episode of an already established show or even brands creating their own unique content.

Need more help developing your audio strategy, or interested in learning more about branded podcasts? RadioWorks Group can help with all the above, from planning your broadcast radio campaigns to helping create your branded podcast series via PodcastWorks. Wherever your brand or client’s brand is on its journey, RadioWorks Group’s media and creative teams will work with you on developing the best possible solutions.

Fill in the form below to start your audio journey today.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More News

As the temporary norm evolves, we’ll keep updating you with the latest news and research, and why audio is such an important tool in light of the current climate. For more radio or podcast advertising insight, call a member of the team or get in touch here.

For more industry news and views, visit


Sign up to the RadioWorks Newsletter and receive the latest radio and digital audio news, insights and trends, plus all-new sponsorship opportunities straight to your inbox.

Get in Touch

If you want to find out more about advertising on commercial radio stations or digital audio platforms in the UK or internationally – we can help!

Get in touch here and we’ll talk you through the process and deliver the best audio solution for you.



Call us to plan your campaign

0207 907 0670 / 01228 580 380

The RadioWorks Group