Audio Content Drives Unmatched Engagement - Radio World

Entercom study lays data foundation to “make the case” for audio’s strength

By Idil Cakim and Devora Rogers ⋅
Published: March 3, 2021

Idil Cakim is senior vice president, research and insights with Entercom. Devora Rogers is chief strategy officer with Alter Agents.

Idil Cakim

Life in our modern, always-on world has made for shorter attention spans as more options for information, entertainment, engagement and connection vie for our time. Today’s audiences jump from one media source to the next in a flash, giving brands only a few seconds to tell their story and call consumers to action.

When Entercom set out to discover how audio content and advertising fit into this equation, we wanted to understand how audio amplified messages and engaged audiences compared to other media. We designed a study to measure the impact of audio on audiences and define “engaged impressions.”

We employed a number of market research techniques to dive into how audiences consumed media and contextualize media choices they made as they: navigated their everyday activities; leaned in to get information about their communities; and sought entertainment.

Devora Rogers

Together with market research firm Alter Agents, Entercom decided on an approach consisting of a survey of a nationally representative population of adults, coupled with an agile neuroscience study by Immersion of individuals from the major U.S markets of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. We compiled the data to examine consumer experiences with audio such as over-the-air (OTA), streaming OTA and podcast versus other mediums such as TV, video, social, and pureplay platforms.

Immersion, the key metric in our study, is a scientific measure of emotional connection and attention. It reveals what audiences truly love and predicts their future actions.

Using our neuroscience partner’s platform, backed by 20 years of peer-reviewed science funded by DARPA, we measured variations in heart rate in order to understand what the brain values. We then coupled these findings with our survey results to create a multidimensional picture of media audiences.


Our findings fell into three core areas:

Immersion Index:

Audio             57

AVOD            54

Digital video  54

Linear TV       52

Social media  52

The findings from this study are critical for the audio industry, as they lay a data-driven foundation to “make the case” for the strength of audio.

As more and more mediums compete for audience attention, this study proves that audio can effectively reach, engage and mobilize audiences. Audio leads all other media formats in its natural ability to guide listeners into spaces where they are hyper-connected, open and receptive. Immersive audio experiences trigger memorability, trust and connection. Listeners are drawn in with a sense of community and belonging. And advertisers see consistent results.

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Idil Cakim is senior vice president, research and insights with Entercom. She has devised marketing and communication strategies for Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations for 20 years.

Devora Rogers is chief strategy officer with Alter Agents, a strategic market research consultancy. She has led research teams, developed the methodology deployed for Google’s groundbreaking ZMOT research, and worked with dozens of global brands.


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