Are Some Media Buyers Ignoring New Media’s Impact?

Flickr photo credit: sokab

Internet and satellite radio have limited appeal and do not pose a threat to traditional radio. That’s what the majority of reader respondents of Media Life Magazine said recently. More than 4 out of five thought the threat was limited or non-existent, maintaining that most people that are interested in that have already switched over.

I’m thinking this finding indicates that Media Life readers who took the survey are vastly uninformed and/or invested in the status quo.

No offense to the 11% surveyed that actually thought that Internet radio, satellite and HD are forcing terrestrial radio to be more innovative. While they are a minority, they do seem to understand the dynamics at play in the radio industry today.

The fact is, more and more of traditional radio’s audience is shifting to new listening platforms where they are finding more listening options. Seventeen million people listen weekly to radio online weekly, and 6% of listening to terrestrial stations is now occurring online.

Indeed, Internet radio is driving terrestrial stations to be more creative. Leading broadcast companies like Clear Channel and CBSRADIO have lead the charge by creating vast and innovative online platforms chock full of new audio content.

The growing ubiquity of wifi is further driving online listening, not just on smartphones but also on new tabletop and in-car devices. The radio game is changing. It’s scary to think that media buyers might be the last to know…

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One response

  1. Although I am a huge fan of both Satellite and Internet radio, it’s now hard to argue that both may have hit a level of saturation for now. We’ve already known Sirius/XM’s sub numbers haven’t changed much even with the churn. And now with the latest Infinite Dial 2010 report, it looks like Internet radio listening has leveled off at the 43 mil/week, 70mil users/month average. If the data is flawed, then it has been flawed from the beginning since the methodology has been consistent throughout the history of this report. There is some compelling qualitative data that substantiates the high quality of the internet radio listener that buyers (really planners) are overlooking, but when it comes to numbers, growth for now has seriously slowed down. The industry needs a real measurement service and since it’s the internet, there is no excuse for real time data. Hopefully Ando Media will continue to grow in this area. A strong sales effort needs to continuously be made at the most senior levels of planning (EVP level) if any progress is to be made at the agency level. This is a long term, multi-year process that no one has fully committed to yet. It appears that internet radio sales efforts are still focused on skimming existing radio dollars and not working on developing IR as a new line item the way Cable TV did years ago to separate itself from Net and Spot TV.

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