The Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group® Reveals New Advertiser and Consumer Studies on Media Attentiveness and Ad Skipping

Consumer Attentiveness is Important for Measuring Media Investments

AM/FM Radio, Print, and Podcast Ads Lead in Attentiveness

NEW YORK, NY – February 28, 2022 – CUMULUS MEDIA (NASDAQ: CMLS) | Westwood One’s Audio Active Group ® (AAG)today released a new Media Attentiveness and Ad Skipping Report. The report incorporates several new studies that examine consumer attentiveness and concentration levels when using various media platforms, ad-skipping tendencies, and the reasons why listeners choose to use various audio platforms.

“Our new Media Attentiveness and Ad Skipping Report demonstrates that AM/FM radio leads all media in advertising attentiveness with the lowest levels of ad skipping,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “Consumers also devote very high levels of concentration to podcasts since listeners actively seek them out to learn something new, which justifies premium CPMs for podcasts.” 

The report reveals valuable insights for marketers, agency media planners, and buyers. Some highlights include: 

  • Attention grows in importance among marketers and agencies: Nearly half of advertisers have discussed consumer attentiveness as a metric. Two out of three say it is important for measuring media investments.
  • Traditional media ads have greater engagement compared to digital ads: AM/FM radio, print, and podcast ads lead in attentiveness. Consumers skip social and digital ads the most.
  • Social media disconnect: Agencies/marketers overestimate consumer concentration of social media. Two consumer studies reveal social media has the lowest attentiveness of media platforms.
  • AM/FM radio CPMs should be a premium to Pandora and Spotify: Pandora/Spotify audio impressions are not the same as AM/FM radio impressions. The greater proportion of spoken word content on AM/FM radio generates much higher levels of concentration and attentiveness. The information and personalities of AM/FM radio satisfy consumer need states for information and connection.
  • Audio platforms satisfy unique need states: AM/FM radio is associated with information, connection, and entertainment. Podcasts are a source of information, learning, and entertainment. Music streaming entertains, relaxes, and lifts moods.
  • High CPMs for podcasts are warranted: Podcasts generate high attentiveness levels as they satisfy multiple “lean-in” consumer need states: information, learning, and entertainment.

The Media Attentiveness and Ad Skipping Report from the CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group® is available in full for download at Reports are available on the blog as part of CUMULUS MEDIA’s commitment to share insights and research findings with the marketing community. 

Report Methodology 

CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group® commissioned Advertiser Perceptions, the gold standard in brand and agency sentiment, to probe 301 media agencies and marketers in December 2021 on the importance of consumer attentiveness and media platform concentration. 

The results were compared to a 2018 MARU/Matchbox study of 1,901 persons 18+ commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which measured consumer concentration levels with media platforms. 

Cumulus Media | Westwood One also worked with Signal Hill Insights to conduct a MARU/Matchbox national U.S. study of 1,520 U.S. persons 13+ in October 2021. Respondents were asked about media platform attentiveness and ad skipping. These findings were compared to similar studies Signal Hill Insights has conducted in Canada. 

The Audio Active Group, led by Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer of CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One, partners with clients to provide media and creative strategy and business outcome measurement of their entire audio campaign. 

About Cumulus Media 

CUMULUS MEDIA (NASDAQ: CMLS) is an audio-first media company delivering premium content to over a quarter billion people every month — wherever and whenever they want it. CUMULUS MEDIA engages listeners with high-quality local programming through 406 owned-and-operated radio stations across 86 markets; delivers nationally-syndicated sports, news, talk, and entertainment programming from iconic brands including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, CNN, the AP, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and many other world-class partners across nearly 7,300 affiliated stations through Westwood One, the largest audio network in America; and inspires listeners through the CUMULUS Podcast Network, its rapidly growing network of original podcasts that are smart, entertaining and thought-provoking. CUMULUS MEDIA provides advertisers with personal connections, local impact and national reach through broadcast and on-demand digital, mobile, social, and voice-activated platforms, as well as integrated digital marketing services, powerful influencers, full-service audio solutions, industry-leading research and insights, and live event experiences. CUMULUS MEDIA is the only audio media company to provide marketers with local and national advertising performance guarantees. For more information visit 


Karen Glover | CUMULUS MEDIA |