What to watch out for in radio in 2012
Right up there is the growth of nontraditional radio
January 3, 2012
Pandora and Spotify, online radio sites, saw huge growth, but so too did internet broadcasting by terrestrial stations and satellite radio. The big story to follow in 2012 will be the continued development of these alternative delivery devices and whether the radio industry can figure out how to monetize them, which has been a real problem for virtually every traditional media expanding into the digital world. But overall radio heads into the new year
in better shape than some of those other traditional media. The ad recovery that began in 2010 continued in 2011, and 2012 looks to be healthy with strong political spending. Radio ad revenue will be up 2.1 percent, predicts ZenithOptimedia, with national sales especially strong, up 3 percent. Nancy Haynes, principal at Collins, Haynes & Lully, talks to Media Life about 2011’s most defining radio developments, what to look for in 2012, and how non-traditional radio is growing.
What was the defining story in radio during 2011?
The growth of non-traditional listenership for local broadcast stations, i.e., on a device other than a radio.
MarketWise, non-traditional listening has grown to 36 percent in discrete demos. Advertisers who do not include separate streaming schedules in their radio campaigns can miss a significant percentage of a local station’s audience.
What will be the three things to keep an eye on in radio in 2012?
Continued non-renewal of contracts for long-standing morning personalities, thanks to PPM’s revelation that morning drive isn’t all that when compared to midday and afternoon drive. TV meters seem to confirm this, showing higher viewership of morning shows [than was reported in diaries]. We might wake up to a clock radio, but then we’re turning on “Morning Joe,” et al.
PPM panels. They must find a way to advance panelists’ employment to a level that comes closer to the general population.
Continued growth, or not, of non-broadcast radio such as SiriusXM, Spotify and Pandora, and whether or not that growth impacts traditional radio.
What do media buyers and planners need to know about radio in 2012?
That reach and frequency and cost-per-thousand continue to be the appropriate primary measurement for a radio campaign “ not cost-per-point.
What developments will you personally be most interested to see with regard to radio this year?
What CBS Radio actually does to implement its 2010 initiative toward more local programming.
How would you judge the health of the ad market in local spot? How does that compare to national?
I’ve not seen significant changes in either category. By significant, I mean plus 5 percent or minus 5 percent.
For 2012, though “ yikes! Sales directors need to remember not to project those windfall political dollars for 2013.
What are local stations doing to incorporate more digital media?
Doing a good job of selling it is another matter entirely.
Many stations have excellent digital products for advertisers. Some even offer very good on-location video vignettes. But I’m finding that many sellers are confused and even apathetic about how to incorporate digital products into an overall radio campaign. I’m often the one who has to bring it up “ unless my reps are participating in some kind of sales contest for digital products. Then they want to shave money from spot rates to include streaming at no extra charge.
Also, what’s up with making it next to impossible for a media planner to find contact info on a station’s web site? The large media companies might have a link somewhere in 2-point type.
The best web site I’ve seen was in a small market. Before I could enter the site, I saw an full-screen, interstitial page reading click now for advertising info. Then every seller was shown with a headshot, email address, direct phone number, and a pithy quote.
Which ad categories were strongest for radio last year? Why? Which continue to struggle and why?
Automotive seems to have come back pretty well, but homebuilding continues to struggle mightily due to the ongoing mortgage problems. First-time buyers often can’t get a loan and move-up or retirement buyers can’t sell the current house in order to move to a new one.
What impact, if any, is satellite radio having on the radio marketplace? Has it lived up to the promise of five or six years ago?
Media Audit markets.
It’s top five in some demos “ for example, adults 35-64 with above-average income. In that demo in San Diego, satellite is No. 3 behind KPBS and KOGO.
This does not necessarily mean that traditional radio listening has suffered, just that satellite is part of the mix. It could be that someone is listening the same amount of time to KPBS, but has added an hour or two of XM7 (’70s pop hits), XM67 and/or XM71 (both jazz).
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