iHeartMedia Automotive Radio Advertising Study: Key Takeaways

On November 19th 2019, iHeartMedia and LeadsRx released their partnered study on the automotive radio advertising industry —  titled the “iHeartMedia/LeadsRx Automotive Advertising Marketing Attribution Study.” It is one of the largest studies on the subject to date.

“iHeartMedia is taking a leadership role in the broadcast industry by leveraging marketing attribution in strategic-level discussions with its advertisers,” said AJ Brown, CEO of LeadsRx. “The goal of any attribution study is to demonstrate how to make campaigns more effective, and this study confirms that advanced attribution helps automotive businesses to plan, measure and evaluate their advertising.

Using LeadsRx advanced radio marketing attribution technology to analyze the impact of automotive radio advertising over a 17-month period, the study examined more than 300 automotive advertisers across more than 2 million commercials.

The study analyzed data across seven different media factors to provide actionable strategic insights and recommendations to automotive businesses. The factors analyzed included daypart, day of week, ad length, and ad frequency, among other factors. 

The results are certain to bring value to dealerships, body shops, service centers, and automotive advertising agencies. Using the findings in this study, they will be able to hone in on effective creatives, optimize budgets for maximum Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), and build better relationships with consumers.

Automotive Radio Advertising on iHeartMedia – What the Study Showed

The findings of the study were eye-opening, contradicting commonly-held advertising industry beliefs and exposing new strategies to help drive more automotive shoppers to dealers and other businesses. The findings represent a benchmark for the $1.2 trillion (2018) motor vehicle and parts sales industry and could change the way that automotive advertisers view and evaluate strategies and opportunities internally. 

The long-held belief in automotive advertising was that evenings were when consumers did their car shopping. The thinking behind that was that buying a new car is a big purchase, and consumers prefer to have time to sit down and study the options that are available to them. By focusing your advertising efforts on evening dayparts, automotive companies could catch customers at times when they were most receptive to the message. However, our study showed that this may not be the case, upending long-standing automotive advertising wisdom. 

The study found that morning and afternoon commutes are the most effective timeframes for automotive advertisers. Those dayparts outperformed other times by more than 150%. By zeroing in on these dayparts, automotive advertisers put themselves in a position to better satisfy the needs of consumers and reach broader, more engaged audiences. 

These insights represent just a small portion of the content delivered in the in-depth study. Using the findings of the study, automotive advertisers will be able to:

  • Identify effective creatives that resonate with their market
  • Hone in on dayparts that drive automotive consumers to dealerships and businesses
  • Find opportunities for budget and ad optimization
  • Improve the ROAS of their advertising campaigns across the board

“The iHeartMedia/LeadsRx study provides a great deal of insight and helps automotive advertisers to get the quantifiable results they need to develop the most effective advertising strategy,” said John Karpinski, EVP Automotive Business Development and Partnerships, iHeartMedia, Inc. “Importantly, the use of attribution upended several commonly held industry beliefs as to what makes for a successful advertising campaign. We are now fully committed to marketing attribution to drive 100 percent of our automotive advertising business.” 

Download the Automotive Radio Advertising Study

The complete findings will be presented at:

To download the study, please click the button below: