True or False: Radio Is Dying

Technology Transforming Media, Including Audio Consumption

True or False: The explosion of digital music services like Pandora and Spotify signals the radio industry’s demise.

Answer: False.  This according to insights discussed at an Advertising Week marketing symposium in New York earlier this year.  If anything, the industry is buoyed by favorable trends.

AW8_Phoenix Rising – How New Technology Is… by advertisingweek

Emmis New York Market Manager Alex Cameron (center) took part in the Advertising Week panel.

Entitled “Phoenix Rising: How Technology is Transforming Foundational Media”, industry heavyweights from companies like Pandora, the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Emmis Communications, and Clear Channel revealed insights for marketers regarding the relationship between mobile audio (terrestrial radio or online) and consumers.

Key takeaways include…

  1. Radio’s penetration remains remarkably high. While over 35 million domestic consumers use ‘pure play’ services, well over 200 million Americans – 90% of all American adults – over age 18 tune to radio at least once a week!  The scale of radio’s reach is paralleled only by television.
  2. Personal connection is important. Pandora personalizes content for the consumer via algorithms.  Radio delivers the personal connection through engagement and personality.  With longstanding ways like show call-ins and song requests, radio is the original ‘social media’.  Personalities deliver unique content and opinion or perspective that connects with users.
  3. Emotion is needed. “It’s the new ‘black’ for brands” to bridge a connection with a target audience.  Yes, customized music selection can do that somewhat; but nothing has delivers emotional connection like live local content because of radio station personalities.
  4. Audio consumption is rising — a pivotal trend to follow over the next year or two.  Broadcasters no longer treat online audio as an afterthought, and as technology improves both on the content providers’ side and on mobile devices, we will see a continual increase in mobile audio usage whether that be through traditional radio over the air channels or new distribution forms.  (The same thing has already happened in the publishing business model as more people are reading than ever before, it’s just not necessarily via paper, ink and printing press.)
  5. Daytime is the new prime time. Radio is the #1 medium Weekdays 6am-6pm.

Learn more by viewing the panel’s entire session.