There is confidence in the City, and media buyers are far more optimistic about the sector than they were a year ago, according to the report backed by the Radio Centre and entitled “The Future of Radio.”
“Currently the Internet attracts over three times more advertising revenue than radio, but almost five times less consumer time – this relationship appears unsustainable and suggests that advertising spend will swing back towards radio,” it says.
The report claims there is renewed excitement surrounding the industry, being fostered by activities including cross-group events like UK Music Week and the imminent launch of Channel 4 radio.
So says UTalk Marketing as they point out the likelihood of an upswing in ad revenues based on the listening habits cited above. They also cite the variety of devices one can access radio programming through in the modern age as another important component in their “positive outlook.” This sort of talk brings to mind Jeff Haley’s quote from our February 13 post about radio being “…everywhere there are speakers and headphones!”
Listeners are increasingly tuning in via a variety of digital devices. According to Rajar [Radio Joint Audience Research], in Q3 2007 15% of all listening took place over DAB or DTV or the internet. “As listeners migrate to digital platforms, new advertising revenue streams are opening up,” says the report. “We believe commercial radio should feel confident in its role as an advertising medium.”
Once again, the signs point to evolution, not extinction of the medium. From broadcast to bandwidth, there are an amazing array of places for radio to thrive in the media infosphere. The trick is to see these different aspects as complementary, not exclusionary.
The fact that consumer time with Internet ads is so tiny by comparison speaks volumes. It would seem that radio still has a solid grip on the needed mindshare needed to be competitive despite rumors to the contrary.