According to the Radio Advertising Bureau‘s RADAR report, 3 million new listeners tuned in to radio’s offerings in 2008. In contrast, The National Association of Broadcasters reports a 9% decline in ad revenues for this same period of time. Something is obviously out of sync. In an effort to locate and address this disconnect, the RAB and the VCU Brandcenter hosted a round table discussion aimed at examining why this revenue decline is occurring despite substantial increases in radio audience.
The panel was preceded by a judging panel for this year’s Radio Mercury Awards and included many of the same people. Our colleagues Jeff Haley (president-CEO, RAB), Rick Boyko (director, VCU Brandcenter), and Kelly O’Keefe (managing director, VCU Brandcenter) were joined some of the top creative directors in the industry. Also in attendance were:
- Elizabeth Talerman, managing partner, Talerman & Partners
- Jose Molla, creative director, La Communidad
- Bill Bruce, co-chief creative officer, BBDO, New York
- Pete Favat, chief creative officer, Arnold Worldwide
- David Fowler, worldwide creative director, Ogilvy & Mather
- Ronny Northrop, creative director, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
- Mark Gross, group creative director, DDB, Chicago
- Mike Hughes, president-creative director, The Martin Agency
- Joyce King Thomas, chief creative officer, McCann Erickson
- Mark Nardi, creative director, Hill Holliday
- Bob Scarpelli, chief creative officer, DDB Worldwide
- Mike Shine, creative director, Butler, Shine & Stern Partners
- Bill Wright, creative director, Crispin Porter & Bogusky
The inimitable Andrew Hampp over at Advertising Age has a lovely little eight-minute video from the meeting as well as a nice summary of the proceedings in his column from the 21st of this month. I highly advise checking it out; seeing these guys dissect the problem and suggest possible solutions is truly worth the time. Some of the remedies they come up with have some real potential, as this excerpt from Mr. Hampp’s article shows:
Elizabeth Talerman, of Talerman & Partners, proposed reviving the old trend of “live reads,” in which popular radio personalities give brands on-air shout-outs for sponsoring contests and other promotional efforts. VCU Brandcenter’s Rick Boyko suggested limiting the number of ads during premium programming to boost engagement. “I think radio stations should charge more for the spots that work,” he said.
If you work in, or have an interest in, the radio industry or the creative sector, I think you’ll find the video and summary worth your time. I’d also heartily advise reading the comments as they add a lot to the gestalt and provide some wonderful depth to the subject. Stop back by when you’re done and let us know what you think.
Tags: Arnold, BBDO, Bill Bruce, Bill Wright, Bob Scarpelli, Butler Shine & Stern Partners, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, David Fowler, DDB, Elizabeth Talerman, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Hill Holliday, Jeff Haley, Jose Molla, Joyce King Thomas, Kelly O'Keefe, La Communidad, Mark Gross, Mark Nardi, Martin Agency, McCann Erickson, Mike Hughes, Mike Shine, Ogilvy & Mather, Pete Favat, RAB, Rick Boyko, Ronny Northrop, Talerman & Partners, VCU Brand Center, VCU Brandcenter