Streaming of digital media continues to grow in popularity, making it easy to understand why industry observers ask how, and if, terrestrial radio can survive. After all, television networks struggled to confront the emergence of Netflix and Hulu. Only in recent months have they identified possible ways to compete with video streaming providers.
Research, however, indicates that traditional radio is alive and well. A recent Nielsen study found that Q2 of 2015 saw the highest number of people tuning into radio ever, with 91 percent of the American population tuning in at least once a week.
This doesn’t mean that music streaming services are a fad. Research predicts mobile music-streaming audiences will grow from 320 million in 2014 to 808 million by 2021. Broadcasters must recognize, and adjust to, changes in audio consumption or risk not having a seat when the music stops playing.
In this slideshow, streaming music service provider Slacker Radio examines strategies that might serve to open up new opportunities for terrestrial broadcasters, as they continue to search for ways to modernize and stay competitive in an increasingly crowded and digitized market.
Modernizing Terrestrial Radio
Click through for strategies that could open up new opportunities for terrestrial broadcasters, as they continue to search for ways to modernize and stay competitive in an increasingly crowded and digitized market, as identified by Slacker Radio.
Leveraging Existing Talent
In-house local talent is one of terrestrial radio’s star qualities. These powerful, differentiating personalities play a vital role in the creation of brand loyalty, a competitive advantage in the battle for users’ attention. By aggressively extending shows onto streaming platforms, listeners can remain engaged with the personalities and brands they love for longer periods of time.
Creating On-Demand and Personalized Experiences
The consumption of media is shifting to on-demand, intelligently curated and personalized experiences, as users demand the ability to consume content on their own terms (think Netflix and Amazon). Broadcasters need to move quickly to convert their loyal anonymous listeners to account-based, one-to-one relationships that can drive both modern consumer experiences and advertising opportunities.
Simply repurposing on-air content for digital platforms is not enough. Throughout history, the emergence of new distribution platforms has resulted in content innovations that maximize the opportunities of the new platform (think YouTube, smartphone games, Twitter, etc.). Radio personalities have an opportunity to create new expressions of their shows that extend their brand relationships in new and fresh ways. If they don’t, new talent will emerge and fill the void.
Investing in Ad Tech
The terrestrial business model is about connecting advertisers with audiences. Local radio stations have long had strong position in this lucrative market, but their simple people-meter focus is increasingly at odds with what advertisers expect: highly targeted and measureable impressions. Broadcasters have a window of opportunity to evolve their strong local sales capability by investing in programmatic ad technologies and actively incorporating digital into the sales process.
Creating Dual Revenue Streams
In addition to the improved ad revenue opportunity, stations can expand into paid subscriptions. For example, a high-profile morning show can offer limited, free, ad-supported access to a streamed simulcast and to on-demand daily segments while placing rich, personalized, on-demand content behind pay walls. Done right, digital can expand the overall business opportunity, not simply cannibalize the traditional model.