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Radio's Role in Today's Media Landscape


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Radio remains relevant in today's world of time-starved consumers. As the original mobile and social medium, it provides programming content meeting the entertainment needs of people according to their demography, geography, ethnography, etc. via nearly 11,000 on-air stations1, over 7,200 streaming stations1 and more than 2,3200 stations2 broadcasting multiple HD radio channels.

Radio is ubiquitous, reaching consumers, on-air, online, on site and on demand – whether they are at home, at work or in their car. It is a passive medium allowing consumers to multi-task and listen while they work or play - essential in today's world.

It is a reach medium, delivering messages 24/7 to consumers personally, one-on-one, in an attentive environment. It provides information as it reaches consumers closest to their time of purchase, as they drive to or from work, or even during a lunch break. When used synergistically with other media, it increases brand awareness, brand recall, and an advertiser's ROI. In various studies, it has also proven to increase website visitation and purchase likelihood.

Radio's core strength continues to be the power of words and sound. With its human voice to convince it can be used as a branding medium. Advertisers continue to use DJ endorsements to build trust and drive business with DJs often providing personal experiences with the brand, on-air mentions and authentic chatter within their shows.

Radio is resilient. Its accessibility continues to expand. Various distribution platforms such as streaming, HD, MP3 also keep Radio relevant. Unlike other media, the audio experience remains intact platform to platform - whether it is delivered on a desktop, in a car, MP3 player or smartphone. The platforms allow Radio to maintain their local presence while also delivering to a national audience. Today's new technologies can increase and enhance the consumers Radio experience thru text messaging, mobile applications, time shifted listening via podcasts, etc. and can now also provide a visual experience not previously available.

The recent announcement by Sprint to include FM chips in smartphones is a game changer for radio. It offers enhanced advertising opportunities, provides additional radio listening opportunities and changes perception of radio. This could be the tuner of the future

The future of Radio is bringing all technology and platforms together to deliver true interactivity to the masses-one person at a time. Innovations in interactivity such as: listener influenced programming via platforms like Jelli or Listener Driven Radio; personalized playlists powered by broadcast stations, such as iHeartRadio; instantaneous ownership of audio content such as music, exclusive interviews and concerts, sports and news programming, etc. These are just the beginning.

Within this world of new technology and media fragmentation, Radio continues to be a top choice source for new music discovery3 and audio entertainment. It continues to be the medium Americans turn to for information during times of crisis and need.


Source: ¹ Inside Radio / M Street Corp., April 2014; ²iBiquity/HD Digital Radio Alliance, April 2014; ³The Infinite Dial 2014, Edison Research / Triton Digital