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How Radio Can Reach More Multitasking Moms


It’s a good idea to listen to your mom. In many households, mothers make decisions about what to buy, where to go, and what to listen to and watch. American moms are also technology multi-taskers who embrace media to keep them informed, entertained and help make purchasing decisions. To reach these desirable consumers, radio stations should pay close attention to their habits and make connections on-air, online and social media.

The good news for radio is while moms adopt new technology, they’re still loyal to local radio. In fact, 78% of moms say they have listened to AM/FM radio on-air or online in the last week, up from 65% two years ago, according to the latest installment of Edison Research and Triton Digital’s annual “Moms and Media” survey.

Thanks to digital technology, moms are increasing their overall audio consumption. According to the report, 56% of mothers have ever listened to a podcast, up from just 36% three years ago, and 21% say they’ve listened in the last week. Using your existing talent and expertise, your station could produce podcasts on topics that appeal to moms, including parenting, food, local news and information, health or entertainment.

As YouTube grows as a destination for music and podcasts, moms are flocking to the site. About three-quarters of moms saying they’ve ever accessed YouTube for music and videos, while 58% reporting they’ve done so in the last week. Digital audio, which includes pure plays and online streams of radio stations, is another popular audio source choice for moms, with 70% saying they listen to online radio weekly, while 74% tuning in in the last month.  

Smart speakers and wireless devices are enabling moms to listen to more audio.  One-third of moms own a smart speaker, up from just 7% in 2017. More moms are finding hands-free ways to listen to audio as well, with 52% reporting they connect their cell phones to their cars to listen while driving and 39% own wireless earbuds or headphones.

While moms are devoting considerable time each day to audio -- including one hour and 31 minutes listening to local radio -- the Internet ranks as their most-used media.  On average, moms are online nearly four hours per day, up 24 minutes compared to 2018 levels. Moms overwhelmingly use mobile devices to get online, with 90% saying they access the internet through their smartphones.

Social media is a key way radio stations reach listeners off-air and moms are no exception. However, their social activity is shifting. Facebook is the most popular network for moms, but its dominance is receding. In 2017, 72% of moms said Facebook was their most-used social channel, but, by 2019, that number slipped to 64%. At the same time, more moms than ever are using Pinterest, a social channel that most radio stations haven’t explored, as well photo sharing network Instagram. This year, 63% of moms said they use Pinterest, while 53% use Instagram (Facebook still leads all comers with 81%). Both Instagram and Pinterest offer opportunities for radio stations to expand their social footprint and make fresh connections with moms.

The bottom line:  For radio stations and their local advertising partners intent on growing their reach, moms shouldn’t be overlooked. These women are consuming more audio than ever and have significant influence on purchasing. By creating content that appeals across media channels and devices, radio stations and their marketing partners can increase brand awareness, engagement and purchase intent with these highly-desirable consumers. Remember that your mom told you so!

Written by Paul Altman