Monday, October 27, 2008

The internet branded us as slow and a dinosaur, iPods and streaming just made us seem like your father's brand of communicating, and we've done nothing to dispel that.

-Frank Flores, chairman of the New York Market Radio Association and VP-general manager of the Spanish Broadcasting System

In Andrew Hampp, "Radio Gaining Audience -- but Not Ad Revenue," Advertising Age, October 20, 2008

As a result of recent online research, Paragon Research argues that "the youth demo" (14-24 year olds) is, counter to many observers' beliefs, increasing rather than decreasing its radio listening. The reason, contends the president of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), is that, unlike iPods and MP3 players, radio provides "automated way to come across great new music." Yet youth's continued attention to radio hasn't stopped its decline in advertising revenue. The reason is that advertisers and their media buyers see the internet and its interactivity as being superior to radio in connecting with consumers.

In response, the radio industry has been trying to establish technology that also allows for interactivity. The "biggest industry initiative to date, dubbed 'Buy from FM,' is aimed at making FM radio tuners available on every MP3 player and cellphone in the next five years so consumers can identify and buy the songs they hear on the radio directly from their devices." In addition, the RAB is working with the American Association of Advertising Agencies on a way to working together on technology that will allow people to respond directly to radio commercials. The overall aim is to tie over-the-air radio broadcasting to the internet era. These initiatives have only begun, however, and it's unclear that they will take hold enough for the same number and type of radio stations to flourish as in years past.

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