The cryptocurrency markets have taken some hits in recent weeks, and that might bring a windfall to radio. That’s because those companies may need to try harder to market their product to consumers whose curiosity may have been piqued but may not be ready to pour their cash into the next form of investment. When they are, a pair of new studies commissioned by Cumulus Media show why audio should be part of their media plans.
The first survey was conducted by MARU/Matchbox in January among 1,023 average Americans. It shows cryptocurrency intenders skew male and 18-49 years old. Importantly for audio companies, they also over-index on AM/FM radio and podcasts. The survey finds one in five people interested in cryptocurrency are heavy radio listeners compared to 17% of the overall population. And 13% of future investors are heavy podcast listeners compared to 8% of the overall population. On the flipside, the data shows heavy TV viewers under-index for being cryptocurrency intenders.
MARU/Matchbox finds nearly a third (31%) of podcast listeners and 25% of AM/FM listeners are either “extremely” or “very familiar” with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Both are ahead of the 19% of Americans overall. But heavy TV viewers have much lower (14%) familiarity.
The second study was completed by MESH Experience in December 2021 on behalf of a major financial firm that buys ads from Cumulus and is focused on high investable asset individuals who have at least $500,000 of investments. It offers a profile of the people that are investing in cryptocurrency, or plan to. It again suggests crypto brands make an investment of their own – in audio advertising – in order to reach these highly valuable consumers.
The MESH Experience study shows typical well-heeled consumers are older, with nearly two-thirds (63%) aged 55 or older. But that is not the case for those with $500,000 or more that they are considering investing in cryptocurrencies. This group is much younger, with 57% of crypto intenders in the 35 to 54 age group. But it is their media habits that will help radio. The survey finds they are more likely to be broadcast radio listeners and less likely to be TV viewers.
“High investable asset consumers who intend to invest in crypto are much more likely to be employed. Since AM/FM radio is the ‘soundtrack of the American worker,’ it makes sense that AM/FM radio is the ideal platform to reach crypto investors,” says Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer at Cumulus Media. “MESH Experience finds heavy TV viewers tend to much older, retired, and far less likely to change their financial advisor or consider crypto investments,” he says in a blog post.
The analysis suggests male-skewing radio formats such as news/talk, rock and classic rock are the best places for crypto brands to place their ad dollars in order to reach this growing segment. But others, including some that may seem less obvious – like top 40, R&B & hip-hop, oldies, classic hits, adult contemporary, and sports – are also options, according to Bouvard. “A diverse approach is the smart way to reach cryptocurrency intenders when it comes to AM/FM radio formats,” he said.
In a similar vein, when it comes to podcasting, certain genres are better suited to reach people interested in investing in crypto. That includes the news, sports, music, entertainment/culture, politics, and comedy genres.
Risk is the biggest reason people don’t plan to invest. More than half of AM/FM radio listeners (57%) and TV viewers (56%) are nervous about putting their dollars into cryptocurrency. But less than a third (32%) of podcast listeners are. “Heavy podcast listeners are fearless. They are actually under-indexed on being concerned about the risk,” said Bouvard in a video detailing the findings. Even so, he suggests the advertising copy acknowledges risk concerns. “There’s no doubt some hesitancy – the risk and volatility is real and should be featured in copy points,” he said.
Despite the opportunity, according to Kantar Media very little of crypto ad buys were directed to audio in 2021. It estimates those companies put four percent of their media budgets toward podcast ads last year, and less than one percent toward AM/FM radio. “That’s a huge miss,” said Bouvard.
Based on the two surveys, Bouvard suggests the companies should instead put 23% of their media buys into AM/FM and 14% to podcasts based on media usage. “The clear takeaway throughout this data from both studies is that heavy users of radio, podcasts and social media way over index on cryptocurrency intent to invest,” he said.