Where Should You Run Digital Radio Advertisements?

digital radio

Are you interested in running audio ads but do not know where to start?

Have you seen the fantastic return on investment for this type of advertising but want to know where to put your placements?

Digital radio advertising still has a steady foothold for markers in 2022. There are a wide variety of digital radio platforms where you will be able to place your advertisements.

In this article, we will walk through each of the potential options and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. Read on and you will learn which of these platforms will be best for you and your product.

Traditional Radio Stations

While many in our culture may say otherwise, traditional radio is alive and well. It is still thriving as a fantastic option for markers to use to reach Americans. One recent poll found that more than 90% of Americans still tune in to AM or FM radio. This is more than the number of people who watch TV or use smartphones or computers.

The great thing is that people will listen to radio stations in the car, at home, at work, or wherever it happens to be playing, such as a sports game or in a mall. There is no limitation to the bounds of where traditional radio can reach.

It is also useful as a local marketing tool. Typically people will be listening to radio stations that are based in their hometown. This way, you can secure better rates as an advertiser well also targeting and segmenting your audience.


Another great option for audio marketers is podcasting. There is a vast and growing number of podcasts every year. By some estimates, the podcasting world is very near to the 1 million podcast mark.

It has a different audience of listeners compared to internet or traditional radio. Typically podcasts are sent out in the form of MP3’s or related files. This is nice for both podcasters and listeners as it gives them a flexible file format that can be uploaded to many different platforms.

The best part about the podcasting option for marketers is that listeners can tune in whenever they want to. Instead of having to wait for their favorite radio show to come on at 6 PM, they can have their content now. This way they will be more inclined to listen to what you have to say because they are doing it on their own time.

Internet Radio

Internet radio is a relatively newer option that has taken off in the last two decades. It is now possible for anyone to come up with their own internet radio station and compete for airtime with longstanding well-supported stations. This makes the ease of access for new markers exceptional.

There is a difference between Internet radio and podcasting, however. In this way, internet radio stations are more similar to traditional radio stations. This is because a listener will need to tune in at a specific time if they want to hear the content that is played back for them.

For example, some major digital radio platforms will have thousands of programs on different topics, which helps customers and marketers alike. This way individuals can explore catered interests with a regular format to listen in for every day.


Spotify is a major player in the audio advertising game. Typically they allow for audio ads to run for a maximum of 30 seconds. They accept a smaller variety of file types, including WAV and MP3.

They do allow for specific demographic targeting, but it does not go down to specific ZIP code like other stations such as Pandora. In this way, they are slightly more limited compared to competitors in the space.

Spotify does allow you to see the number of impressions that your advertising will make. You can also look to see the number of clicks, and get a calculated click-through rate. What you won’t get is the amount of time spent on that and the number of social shares that have come from playing your ad on their station.


On the other hand, Pandora offers a bit more flexibility. You will be able to upload ads of different lengths. You can upload an ad that is 10, 15, or 30 seconds long. You can also choose to upload more file types including M4A, MP4, and AIFF files.

Their targeting algorithm is more complex. It takes into consideration ZIP Code and specific interests, activities, type of profession, and education status. This is invaluable information for any radio or audio marketer.

Pandora offers all of the same reporting metrics that you can find on Spotify’s output. However, they do also include time spent on the ad and on the landing page, as well as the number of social shares that have been issued out on mobile.

Digital Radio Advertising: The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, you have plenty of options for digital radio platforms  as a marketer. There are a wide array of potential platforms that you can use to get your audio ads out to your audience. It simply comes down to a matter of preference.

You may find that you want more complex reporting metrics and will choose to go with a platform like Pandora. Or you may choose to reach a much broader audience, and focus your efforts on producing quality traditional radio ads.

Each of these has pros and cons, and it is simply about trying to understand what your digital marketing strategy objective is and then matching it to your audience of interest.

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