Media Facts
New Media

Advantages | Disadvantages | Plus Radio

Remember the story of Pandora's box? Those of us in "traditional" media are now convinced that her box contained iPods, smartphones, digital video recorders, satellite Radio receivers, e-readers, and tablet devices -- not to mention the current incarnation of Pandora. Like it or not, the offspring of technology have been unleashed and there's no turning back. Americans have an unquenchable thirst for tech toys and gadgets. But, each time a new device is introduced, America's media consumption is fragmented even further. More to the point, each new device is accompanied by people who are looking for ways to convert it into an advertising revenue generator.

The first step is to crank up the public relations machine. Of course, the print media is always more than accommodating. Why? Because they stand to gain whenever the perceived value of advertising in "traditional" electronic media goes down. So, the business community is influenced by the print media's skewed coverage of new electronic media technologies.

Fortunately, the dust eventually settles, and the damage to us is always considerably less than predicted. This isn't a new phenomenon, by the way. First record players were going to be the death of Radio, followed by eight-track tape players, cassette tape players, and CD players. We are also responding with our own technological evolutionary offerings like Internet Radio and HD Radio. The point is, don't resent or fear all the new media choices. Take the time to learn as much as you can about each one so you can help your clients develop an accurate perception of them and a better understanding of what they can do...and what they cannot. Then remind them of Radio's past successes, and how Radio is still the most cost-efficient and effective medium when it comes to branding local businesses using the time-tested combination of reach, frequency, and great creative. When it comes to media, new does not necessarily mean better.

Appealing: New technology appeals to younger demographics because it is new, fast and sexy.

Portable: Most of the new technology is portable and at the beck and call of the consumer who can access what they want, when they want it.

Growing Audience: By 2015, eMarketer estimates about 80% of the U.S. population will be online and more than half will have mobile web access, providing local marketers with a great opportunity to influence potential customers before they reach their stores. (eMarketer, 2011)


No Accountability: Currently the new technology has no accountability in terms of measurement.

Availability and Usage: The availability and usage of most of these new media is still too small in terms of U.S. penetration.

Don't accept Advertising: Many of these vehicles do not accept advertising, and for those that do, the industry is unable to capture their advertising revenue.

Reduces Overall Attention: Most of these vehicles allow for multi-tasking, and multi-tasking reduces overall attention levels.

Requires Investment: Acquiring the hardware requires an investment that is substantially higher than the purchase of Radio.

Do Results Justify the Hype?: According to an early-2011 survey by ForeSee Results, social media drove just 5% of visitors to retail Web sites. The study found that more traditional media not only generated more traffic, but delivered better-quality customers. (ForeSee Results, 2011)

Plus Radio

Strong: Radio is still strong despite the competition. A study conducted by Paragon Media found that a majority of Internet Radio station listeners are listening to broadcast Radio about the same amount. Three-quarters of MP3 player owners are listening to broadcast Radio about the same amount, and 40% of satellite Radio subscribers are listening at about the same level. The Radio industry is also competing with new media through its innovative new Radio technology -- the HD Radio.