Radio's Role in Today's Media Landscape
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 commercial on-air stations, over 7,200 streaming stations (Source: FCC; MStreet; Inside Radio, 2014) and more than 2,200 stations (Source: iBiquity/HD Radio, January 2015) 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, and apps 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. These platforms allow Radio to maintain its 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.
NextRadio is a game changer for Radio. It is the product of an industry initiative to place or activate FM chips in smartphones. NextRadio is an FM tuner application that receives FM Radio signals within local areas. NextRadio also provides a platform for Radio broadcasters to share information about their station and their broadcast content so that listeners can receive real-time updates as they listen.Â 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 the use of platforms like LDR technology; 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., are just the beginning.
Within this world of new technology and media fragmentation, Radio continues to be a top source for new music discovery and audio entertainment. It remains the top in-car device for entertainment with 86% of drivers citing AM/FM Radio as their primary in-car entertainment device (Source:The Infinite Dial 2015, Edison Research / Triton Digital).Â Even in this digital age, Radio continues to be a primary medium that Americans turn to for information during emergencies or other crises. When the power goes out or cellular towers are down, Radio is always there.