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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
For information on your sector go to www.mediabiznet.com.au Keeping on the pace Rob Gamble Chief Executive – Radio and Digital Media, Prime Media What will be the impact of digital on the radio off er? Because our company is a regional-based broadcaster we’re only at the early phase of planning for digital. However the more channels you have the more fi nite you can market. In a market with only two channels there’s wide audience dispersal, so it’s hard to capture a fi nite demographic. The more stations you have – and that is by nature what digital provides – the more fi nite the demographic that will be listening to that station. This becomes an effi cient way to target a demographic from an advertiser’s perspective. The rollout this year is only metropolitan but (when digital does come about) for regional – though it’s spread over a smaller population, the same principal applies: it allows advertisers to target their demographic to a certain format. It really depends on the take-up of receivers. Television has experienced the same thing: unless you make the digital offering substantial, then the take-up of digital TV and digital set-top boxes is slow; to date there hasn’t been an overwhelming reason to do so however the free-to-air broadcasters are upgrading and making more products available on their digital format so it’s going to give the consumers a reason to take up and migrate to a digital TV. We have the same problem in radio: because we have 100% penetration in an analogue capacity, there’s going to have to be an offering that is attractive for consumers to buy digital receivers to pick up their radio stations. New formats are the principal reason for that. How is the technology progressing in regional radio? DAB was the original standard in the UK and we’re into phase two of that. That’s been mandated as the standard for metropolitan and it suits the metropolitan footprint where you have a high capacity of audience in quite a small area: whether that technology is the right one for regional where you have smaller pockets of audience in much larger areas has yet to be tested. It’s likely to be the standard for Australia as long as the conditions of the technology allow the regional broadcasters to provide service to the length and breadth of their service areas or their licence areas. Reach of the whole population is paramount to us. What do media buyers and planners need to know about radio? What’s going to change is keeping up with the new formats that are coming online. Our business at the moment and for the next couple of years is analogue radio and that will still be the driving business for all commercial radio for the next fi ve years at least. Digital re-invigorates radio Joan Warner CEO, Commercial Radio Australia How is the implementation of digital radio progressing? It’s early days yet. Digital radio has been switched on since May 4 – in interference mode in Perth, since May 11 in interference mode in Melbourne, since May 18 in Adelaide, in Brisbane since May 25 and in Sydney since June 15. The hits on the web site spiked during the weeks we switched on in each city as the ads came on and the public read it was switching on – all of a sudden they were interested. Interest has spread across the demographics – of course we have some new youth-focused digital stations: Novanation is a seven-day a week dance music station which is one of DMG’s new ones and they also have another called Koffee which has chill-out music. Austereo’s two new stations are Radar – streaming through the web however this can also be heard through free-to-air as well – featuring unsigned artists with a focus on Australian; and Pink Radio for a short term of three months to cover her tour, this will most likely evolve into something else after this time. Following the launch of digital in Perth we had around 500 enquiries from the public to our website in the fi rst few weeks. Digital is going to give radio the chance to re-invigorate itself and encourage listeners to refocus on radio. How are advertisers taking advantage of digital radio? There have been advertisers who have jumped in, like Optus sponsoring the Pink Radio Station and a brand of coffee sponsoring Koffee. However until there’s a critical mass of listeners, advertisers will take a cautious approach. We are suggesting advertisers come in early and learn how to use the medium because receivers are coming into the market now and as they’re more functional, advertisers can start experimenting with text and graphics and the product picture feature on the radios that have screen-enabled sets. We also have a couple of groups working on the transition. The Advertising Advisory Group is comprised of the heads of a number of the large agencies and prompted us to put online tutorials on the Digital Radio Plus website for retail sales staff and station staff. Another group comprises retailers and manufacturers. This ensured we had digital radio devices available for the switch-on and that retailers and manufacturers receive details of new sets coming out. What other initiatives are the CRA working on to drive radio? We have our on-air brand campaign – our works hard through tough times – “Radio Advertising. Economically Sound” and that’s been running for a few months across every radio in Australia. We’ve gone into our second phase which is a series of Vox Pops with Mark Mitchell. That’s being played in metros focused on breakfast because the digital ads are being played the rest of the day. This campaign seems to be hitting a good note with advertisers as we’ve had a lot of enquiries from those who were thinking of cutting their ad budget who are now thinking of moving it to radio. In the fi rst six weeks of running the tough times campaign, in this offi ce alone, we had 200 calls from potential advertisers. Will cross platform promotions continue to be a priority? Radio stations do a lot of crossplatform content. Our websites have been an integral part of radio for a long time. That’s why Austereo and a lot of networks have started calling their program directors, “content directors” because the content they have to come up with for the station has to translate across platform. Whatever they do for radio should be able to be supplemented and enhanced from what’s on their website because some of that has visuals that can be easily repurposed for digital broadcasting. Pink is in a deal with Optus so there will be some cross-platform content across the mobile space. MEDIA Trends + Strategy p60-61,63_radio.indd 61 p60-61,63_radio.indd 61 62 3/7/09 12:07:46 PM 3/7/09 12:07:46 PM
MT Resource 2010