[Haley] unveiled a bold industry mission to put radio receivers “on every mobile phone, PDA and MP3 player within the next five years” during his keynote speech at the RAB 2008 conference here Feb 12.
This ambitious mission could have a major effect on revenues if successful:
Making radio available on every mobile phone could bring the radio industry an additional $3 billion in incremental revenue, Haley said in his second keynote appearance since replacing Gary Fries in the RAB top spot in Sept. 2006. “We need to be everywhere there is a speaker and headphones,” he said.
Haley said there is evidence of demand for radio on additional devices. An FM tuner is the top selling accessory for Apple’s iPod, and a survey Microsoft conducted of users of its radio-equipped Zune MP3 player found that 74% of respondents say radio is the main way they discover music.
To tangibly demonstrate how the definition of radio is expanding, Haley played stations from a variety of devices that were set-up up on the stage, including a laptop, a cell phone and an HD radio receiver outfitted with iTunes-tagging, which allows listeners to tag specific songs for later purchase on Apple’s iTunes music store. He noted that nearly one in three stations in America is streaming its signal on the Internet and that off-air revenue is growing at an average monthly rate of 10% and is expected to reach nearly $2 billion next year.
The article goes on to relate other points Haley presented. The subjects covered ranged from targeted and tag-able advertising in the digital medium to development of new audience measurement standards.
One highly significant subject broached was the promise that radio as an industry would adopt posting, much as TV has, allowing ratings to be graphed against actual audience delivered. Once guidelines have been developed, this practice could very well lead to audience guarantees for advertisers.