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Study: Main Street and Madison Avenue Primed to Zone Target Audiences on FM Radio

Feb 25, 2020

Local retailers and national brands alike are poised to spend more ad dollars on FM radio when geo-targeting is available, according to a joint study by BIA and Advertiser Perceptions.

NEW YORK (February 25, 2020) – More than 90% of local retailers and two-thirds of national advertisers are poised to put more money into FM radio when geo-targeting, or ZoneCasting, becomes available, according to a joint study by BIA Advisory Services and Advertiser Perceptions. ZoneCasting is a new technology that enables FM radio stations to air different ads for listeners in different geographic areas within local markets. The FCC is reviewing ZoneCasting, and advocates are pushing for approval this year.

The joint study provided insight on advertiser perceptions and spending plans as it relates to geo-targeting. Currently, 81% of local retailers and 63% of national advertisers and media agencies currently use some form of geo-targeting. If ZoneCasting is approved by the Federal Communications Commission, 91% of local retailers indicate they would spend more on broadcast radio advertising.  Meanwhile, 66% of national advertisers indicate they are interested in ZoneCasting, and 49% expect to put more ad dollars into radio to support it.


“ZoneCasting will come to market fast because the appetite is there,” said Andy Sippel, EVP of Advertiser Perceptions. “Advertisers are already very comfortable using geo-targeting with cable TV and have had success. Now, we continue to see renewed interest in radio as a medium.”

The study is the result of two important surveys. Advertiser Perceptions studied 301 national brands and media agencies in October 2019. BIA Advisory Services then surveyed 300 local retailers in December of 2019. While the joint study finds Main Street more aware and prepared for ZoneCasting – with 70% of Main Street familiar with the capability vs. 26% of Madison Avenue – ease of adoption indicates the gap should close fast.

“ZoneCasting uses the existing radio broadcasting tech platform and existing consumer radio devices in cars, at home and work,” said Rick Ducey, Managing Director of BIA Advisory Services. “Once approved, there’s no barrier to advertisers that want to tailor their advertising messages to the most strategic locations within a radio metro area.”

Download the full report here.

About Advertiser Perceptions

Advertiser Perceptions is the global leader in research-based business intelligence for the advertising, marketing, and ad technology industries. Our expert staff delivers an unbiased, research-based view of the advertising market with analysis and solutions tailored to clients’ specific KPIs and business objectives. These insights provide media and advertising-related service providers with the confidence to make the very best organizational, sales, and / or marketing decisions, driving greater revenue and increased client satisfaction. Learn more here.

About BIA Advisory Services

BIA Advisory Services is at the forefront of local media analysis, creating and delivering unique data to examine traditional and digital advertising revenue, advertiser trends and activities, local market profiles and ownership/operational details and the trends and technologies guiding today’s media business. Since 1983, BIA has been a valuable resource for traditional and digital media companies, brands and agencies, the financial and legal community serving media and telecom, as well as the FCC and other government agencies. Today, we offer comprehensive local market advertising intelligence in our BIA ADVantage service to help clients discover the path to their best opportunities. Learn more about our offerings at

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MacKenzie Lovings
SVP Data Products & Marketing

Robert Udowitz
(703) 621-8060