In the midst of all the talk about the downturn in the economy, I have read several articles recently that discuss possible scenarios for online businesses during the recession. The good news is that digital media will still grow next year, as it continues to take more and more out of traditional media expenditures. Especially interesting is the trend within digital media itself for spending growth in new forms, while banner/display spending declines. Even within digital media the traditional forms will suffer. This sounds like an opportunity for Internet radio and podcasting.
A second, new debate has begun to surface which I find extremely relevant. Given the endless numbers of new sites and innovative ad opportunities, will there be enough ad revenue to go around? In other words, can you assume that if you develop a large enough audience (since we’re actually talking digital audio here), will ad revenue follow? The answer to this question is not necessarily. Expect this recession to be a game of survival of the fittest. Winners will not be the ones with the biggest audience or the largest traffic, they’ll be the ones that have the best ability to monetize – through ads or other means.
Advertisers will be spending, but experimenting less than they might have during better times. They’ll be scrutinizing their return, and looking for ways to quantify their spending. That can be a great opportunity for Internet radio. Internet radio can provide a strong return to advertisers when executed with good creative and understanding of the metrics required for proper analysis. Sellers who understand that will build better relationships with advertisers. Learn to speak the language of interactive buyers. Focus on returning results against dollars invested. Do that, and watch your revenue grow, recession or not, next year.