The Radio Show presented by the NAB and RAB wrapped up this past Friday, leaving attendees with an optimistic outlook for the future of Radio. Sessions throughout the show highlighted the strength the industry has demonstrated over the years as broadcasting continues to evolve with new digital media. Top industry professionals emphasized Radio’s opportunity to leverage the latest technology to distribute content across multiple platforms and strengthen advertising dollars.
A $17.6 billion dollar industry, radio continues to maintain its position as a significant medium for advertisers, still significantly larger than online video at $2.1 billion and mobile at $2.9 billion. A unique factor contributing to the success of radio, is radio’s ability to provide specific content that listeners want across multiple platforms. Continuous advancements in smartphone, tablet, and radio technology over time make it easier to access the valuable content radio has to offer.
One specific example of a new technological advancement for the radio industry is a recently launched app called NextRadio. This application enables the streaming of FM stations across mobile devices, creating a new advertising opportunity while providing an interactive user experience between listeners and their stations via smart devices.
HD radio receivers continue to be added by automakers into more models with an estimated 14 million HD receivers currently available. HD radio provides high quality sound along with cool features to engage listeners like iTunes® Tagging, digital traffic, and multicasting which provides more listening opportunities. With Crutchfield indicating that 85% of time drivers spend in a car they listen to the radio, HD radio technology will continue to be featured in even more models.
Digital ad spending continues to gain more attention from media buyers as radio’s quickest growing segment. ”Reaching a high of $767 million in 2012, Digital grew thirteen percent to $401 million by the first-half of this year – that’s over eighty percent higher than the first half of 2009″ said RAB President/CEO Erica Farber.
Radio continues to capture advertising dollars through new opportunities, while increasing revenue with existing advertisers. Communications, financial, automotive, TV broadcasters and restaurants remain the majority of radio advertisers, however recent growth has been found in professional services and casinos. Recruitment advertising also provides a new digital revenue source for radio broadcasters in the form of a white-label job board. As digital ad spending heats up, custom job boards are just one new source broadcast media is tapping into for alternative revenue.