Radio, Why are you ignoring the elephant in the room?

Why does it appear that radio is the last of the media groups to truly embrace digital?


The numbers can’t be lying: the audience is moving to it and your advertising dollars are moving to it.


I think the real issue at hand is that stations across the country would have to look themselves in the mirror and face the fact that they can’t sell digital. RadioInk released a survey earlier in the week that asked owners and managers to give their opinion on the state of their sales forces, and how that translates into digital sales. You can read that article here.


The overwhelming concensus was that the majority of traditional sales reps aren’t as knowledgeable in selling digital. If the radio industry wants their advertisers to invest in digital, the station needs to take the first step in investing in itself, and properly train its sales staff on the power of the digital platforms.


But we don’t want to point out a problem without solutions. Important things to understand when it comes to digital ad sales are the metrics and how that applies to specific demographics.


Whether you are selling website ads or selling mobile ads, be sure that your platform has an analytics tool (Google Analytics is a free and easy to understand tool) that can measure user behaviors on your platforms.


Take some time to research national trends – doing so you may learn that web radio advertisers, when surveyed, gave nearly a 58% higher ROI than terrestrial broadcast radio advertisers. Much of that is the ability to introduce a visual ad as well as a nearby platform (computer or smartphone) to act upon the call-to-action.


In the end it comes down to taking the time to understand what the market is doing, and what your advertisers truly need – even if they do not know it just yet.


Most people are slow to change, but don’t let that be you.

Mobile Ads on Pace to Overtake Radio in 2014

If broadcasters had any doubt that embracing mobile is a wise move, a new forecast makes a numeric case for doing so. Fast-growing mobile advertising is, for the first time, set to take a larger share of ad dollars than radio this year analysts predict, according to today’s Inside Radio article.


Mobile ad spending will capture 9.8% of total media dollars, more than the 8.6% eMarketer predicts will be allocated to broadcast radio. It’s a reversal from last year, when radio’s 8.9% share was bigger than mobile’s 5.7%. Driven by the largest increase of any media segment, eMarketer forecasts marketers will also spend more on mobile than on magazines, print, and out-of-home media. Only television and desktop internet will have a larger slice of the advertising pie.

“There is a huge demand among radio advertisers to be in mobile,” Emmis Digital president Angie May Cook said in a recent interview. “They’re starting to understand that there’s real value in this, that’s it’s more than just an add-on to a radio buy.”


Helping that effort, a recent Nielsen-Digiday survey of advertisers and agencies found nearly a third of brands (31%) prefer to run mobile ads alongside radio. The eMarketer forecast estimates $17.73 billion will be spent on mobile advertising this year, an 83% increase compared to a year ago. By 2018, estimates are it will top $58 billion. Meanwhile, analysts project all traditional media — including radio, TV, outdoor and print — will see continued share erosion over the next several years as marketers shift more dollars into emerging digital options.


By 2018, eMarketer predicts digital will surpass even television, capturing nearly four of every ten dollars spent by advertisers. The firm says consumers spending more time with mobile devices is driving the shift.

Why Radio Doesn’t Make Money on Digital

It’s simple – advertising that’s not relevant!


Pandora has figured out the formula… less commercials, better ads. The days of straight AQH are quickly fading away. Advertisers now care more about 1 person that is willing and able to buy than 100 people who could care less about their advertisement.


It is no wonder that Pandora is the leading advertiser in some local markets. They are using technology to their advantage and offering advertisers the opportunity to reach a very narrow, targeted audience. And advertisers’ dollars are following. As the mobile device knows so much about the user who owns it, you would think that many stations would inquire into the demographic/psycho graphic information behind these users; but this is not the case for the most part. Most stations simply view the digital component as another way to increase their AQH and basic demographic info such as 25-54, male, Caucasian, and with an income over 100k.


It’s no wonder that pure-plays are stealing audiences and ad dollars… but there is a solution for stations across the county…


Offer fewer commercials digitally, and use that time for more content. In terms of advertising, pick a system that provides you with the data behind the users of your digital products, and begin to use it to your advantage. You can now say, “this ad will run to people 25-54, male, Caucasian, an income over 100k, in this zip code, that has a family of four, and drives a Chevy.” An automobile dealer will gladly pay much more to reach this person. It is very targeted. And at the same time a separate commercial could target a woman’s demographic. This is the nature of digital targeted advertising that over-the-air spots can not do.


Understanding your audience is key in keeping them engaged. Comment below with some of your thoughts on the nature of targeted advertising.




Six-in-ten ad buyers say they’re more interested in streaming radio than they were a year ago. That’s according to a new survey by STRATA among agencies that use its media buying software. The growing interest in online radio comes as the survey shows just 8% said they’re more excited about over-the-air radio ads than they were last year.


That’s the lowest figure in the 20 quarters that STRATA has been conducting its surveys. The high point was coming out of the recession — in late-2010 nearly one-in-four agency buyers said they were giving radio a fresh look. Of course dollars and interest are two very different things, with streaming still netting just a fraction of what FM/AM radio bills in a year. “In the advertising industry, the buzz often comes before the pay off,” notes STRATA EVP Joy Baer.


The latest survey shows radio still ranks third behind TV (51%) and digital (35%) for which medium agency clients are most interested in. Just 6% of buyers said radio — the lowest since early 2009. STRATA based its results on a sample of 75 agency media directors and agency executives. It’s not just web radio that’s capturing more interest.


The survey shows web video and social media are not surprisingly brighter features on buyers’ radar. Meanwhile ad agencies are less worried about clients cutting media budgets. It was previously cited as a top concern, but budget cuts have dropped dramatically, with only 8% of agencies calling it their biggest challenge.