Last week, at the Advertising Research Foundation’s AUDIENCExSCIENCE conference, Mediaprobe unveiled a revolutionary study that challenges the conventional wisdom surrounding audio advertising. Using second-by-second electrodermal activity (EDA) measurements, Mediaprobe delved deep into the emotional impact of AM/FM radio ads, uncovering surprising results that defy expectations.

Here are the key highlights

  • Despite lacking “sight, sound, and motion,” AM/FM radio programming proved to be +13% more engaging than television, reshaping our understanding of ad engagement dynamics.


  • AM/FM radio advertising’s Emotional Impact Score (EIS) outperformed TV advertising by an impressive +12%, reinforcing the effectiveness of audio ads in capturing audience attention and driving brand recall.



  • Among various genres, AM/FM radio News emerged as the most impactful environment for advertising, offering a compelling contextual backdrop for brands to connect with their target audience.


  • Mediaprobe’s analysis revealed that the sound contrast between AM/FM radio programming and ads plays a pivotal role in enhancing attention and brand recall, highlighting the importance of strategic audio placement.
  • Creative best practices include utilizing female voiceovers, incorporating jingles, and ensuring at least five brand mentions for maximum effectiveness.

“For advertisers, this means the AM/FM radio context for their ads has greater engagement than the TV context,” Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard says in Westwood One’s weekly blog’s analysis of the study. “Mediaprobe audio benchmarks reveal the sound contrast between AM/FM radio programming and the ads drives higher attention and brand recall. For example, ads with music and jingles perform very well in spoken word programming due to the contrast.”

Watch an 11-minute video of the key findings explained by Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer of the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group®.


With the projected market volume of US$7.05 billion by 2024 and an anticipated surge in listenership, the landscape of digital audio advertising is evolving rapidly.

Read the Westwood One Audio Active Group article here.

Download a PDF of the slides here.