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Media Intelligence : Media Trends+Strategy 2012
For information on your sector go to www.mediabiznet.com.au MEDIA Trends + Strategy MEDIA Trends + Strategy 39 radio Enhancing the audio message Co-existence between platforms How is digital transforming the market? I am not sure that it is transforming the market yet as it still in the very early adopter stage. Australia has had a much more successful launch of digital radio than Europe. The biggest change is in the provision of more new services: both commercial and public broadcasters are providing distinct services in a way that they have never done previously. What are the greatest challenges facing the sector in the next 12 months? There are a few key areas: regional rollout for digital radio, in-car digital radio deployment and retail support, and new services from broadcasters. The radio industry is doing all it can to support and encourage the government to have a regional solution for digital radio and is also encouraging new car manufacturers to be equipped with digital receivers, that in turn encourages retailers to stock product with digital radio in mind. It is an industry education process for them to understand that digital radio is a good profit maker for retailers. New platforms like Pandora are hitting the market – what will be the long term effect? I don’t know what the long term effects will be but for now they create new opportunities for people to engage in music. The radio station’s role is to curate a lot of that material. Listeners now have choices: like all curated services if you don’t want to do it yourself you can get Pandora to do it for you. There is happy coexistence for all these platforms. On one hand it does commodotise music but overall it a fantastic stimulus for music consumption on all platforms. What new technologies or platforms do you see transforming the commercial proposition of the radio experience? The biggest challenge ahead is that we need to be on all the devices that people are on, so that is a commercial risk for broadcasters. As our distribution platforms widen that puts pressure on the cost model. Search and personalisation still hasn’t been fully realised yet. Dirk Anthony Audio & Language Content Director SBS Radio What are the biggest challenges for network owners currently? Just as with any business, maintaining revenue in uncertain and difficult trading times is always a challenge. With radio, there is also the challenge of keeping content fresh and relevant and maintaining listeners. Radio networks are media businesses with online, broadcast – analogue, digital and social media outlets to channel content. Radio has been able to adapt to new technology: rather than see iPods, podcasts, the Internet as competitors, the industry has used the technology to complement free to air broadcast radio and the challenge is to get DAB+ digital radio into as many devices as possible to make it accessible to listeners. In addition radio networks continue to work with agencies and advertisers to secure a consistent share of the advertising dollar – and hopefully increase that share. Commercial radio is able to provide cost effective and targeted advertising to a loyal audience. How is digital transforming the market? Digital media in general has given people more choices in how they experience and consume content – but in spite of that radio listening figures remain constant – that is 97% of Australians listen to the radio with 80% listening to commercial radio. There are up to 20 new DAB+ only stations in each market playing everything from dance music, comedy and unsigned artists – to chillout, country and sport, plus special event or pop up stations for sport, festivals and concerts. Digital radio is transforming the image of traditional radio by providing the interactivity that younger listeners are seeking without alienating the older listener; (instead of) having to fiddle around tuning – they simply select the name of their favourite station and find it sounds better. DAB+ digital radio is leading the way in radio innovation – it maintains the great tradition of broadcast free to air radio but it has more diversity, choice and information through vision, scrolling text, digital quality sound, pause and rewind, and new digital-only stations. Digital radio allows radio audio, online, scrolling text and DAB+ slide show to all work together. The scrolling text and slide show features enhance the audio message and provide radio advertising clients with an opportunity to explore ways of capturing new advertising on radio through the digital platform. To ensure the synchronisation of visual and audio components for advertising on DAB+, the industry has produced a world first software package called Piñata that links all aspects of new digital radio advertising – audio, text, images, scripts and an audit file: another way that radio has worked with a new technology to produce the best for the listener. What are the greatest challenges facing the sector in the next 12 months? The radio industry’s challenges include but are not limited to the uncertain economic conditions in which we are operating; increased competition from new content platforms; the threat of increasing media regulation; ensuring the quality of our content on all services remains high to meet the needs of the almost 80% of Australians who listen to commercial radio; planning the rollout of digital radio to regional areas and getting digital radio into cars. What is the next big thing that will change the game? Digital radio, obviously, once it takes hold and is available outside cities and in cars will open up another era for free broadcast radio. Digital radio has already captured nearly a million listeners after just 24 months on air and people who listen to digital are listening for longer with digital listening nearly three times that of listening to radio on the internet. Joan Warner CEO Commercial Radio Australia p38-40_radio.indd 39 28/11/11 2:30:08 PM
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MT Resource Guide 2012