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Why is radio doing so well?

02 Aug 2018  |  Newsline Staff 
Why is radio doing so well?

The latest findings from the Ad Association and WARC show that radio has witnessed a huge surge in adspend, rising 12.5%, while radio’s digital ad formats have grown almost 40%. We asked those in the sector what's behind the strong performance.

Ruth Cartwright, head of AV, Amplifi

Radio has historically been an undervalued medium - so it’s incredibly gratifying to see it getting the commitment it deserves from clients and brands giving it a central role in their media mix. Radio has always provided an environment that speaks to listeners, perfectly complements a TV campaign and drives reach and higher ROI, but there are several new developments driving this impressive momentum.

Crucially, advertisers and agencies are finally starting to use radio more strategically. Radio has always been seen as a strong tactical medium, but new have demonstrated the importance of high reach and emotional connection for brand building campaigns, pointing to the value of radio for brand-led media schedules.

Lauren Croly, head of audio, MediaCom

Audio now has the unique flexibility to offer advertisers a 30-second spot targeting a small town, a streaming campaign aimed at granular millennial audiences, and huge partnership opportunities such as Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball or summer festival branding. Very few media channels can offer such diversity in targeting audiences.

Radio is now benefiting from the growth of the wider audio market from new revenue streams, formats and platforms, with digital audio a core component of this growth.

In addition to the feel-good factor around the medium, there is also a growing uncertainty around other media channels which has definitely strengthened advertisers’ investment and confidence in radio.

Siobhan Kenny, CEO, Radiocentre

Radio’s great strength lies in its ability to deliver experiences that are simultaneously intimate yet shared with many others. DJs, radio presenters and radio brands score very highly on the trust barometer with audiences, as our research Breaking News demonstrates. Trust is the holy grail allowing marketers to ensure the safety of their brands and is going to be an ever more important attribute in years to come.

New ways of listening via connected devices have also provided interesting new ways to talk to audiences which marketers and their agencies are increasingly excited about. So I would say trust and digital innovation are behind the record audiences and advertising revenues which radio is currently enjoying.

Mike Gordon, chief commercial officer, Global

There’s real momentum behind radio, as shown by these impressive figures. The industry has seen a dramatic change in recent years and now new technology is impacting the way radio advertising is being planned and bought.

Radio has always been one of the most cost-effective media channels, along with being judged to be the most trusted news source; and now advertisers are seeking data to allow them to connect brands with target audiences in right place, at the right time.

With radio, advertisers can target listeners by demographic, location, day of the week and even time of day. The ‘Re-evaluating media’ report from Ebiquity reinforces the effectiveness of radio advertising, finding that in terms of targeting audience segments, radio outperforms any other media, including social media and TV.

And now, we’re also seeing more and more people listen to their favourite radio stations via connected devices. Research from Radiocentre indicates that 40% of UK households will own an Amazon Echo in 2018, making it increasingly important for brands to establish themselves in the audio space.”

Simon Kilby, group commercial director, Bauer

The results this week are not surprising to those in the radio industry. Radio continues to demonstrate a fantastic ROI for brands and marketers. Re-evaluating Media, a recent report by Ebiquity, reveals that radio is firmly at the top of best performing medium, second only to TV. And when looking at the metric of targeting the right people at the right time, there are no other forms of media that are more effective.

This continued effectiveness is no doubt down to the ongoing investment in ensuring the medium is innovative, in an increasingly competitive environment. Radio is now seen as an always on, mobile platform. This has been crucial in keeping it front of mind for agencies and marketers when considering the right marketing mix for their clients.

Digital audio and advanced properties like Instream+ give brands the ability to hyper-target advertising at scale, down to calling out what device a listener is using or even their name.

The sustained investment in creating distinctive radio brands by us and our competitors over the last ten years has been instrumental in making sure that the likes of Magic, Absolute and KISS are deeply embedded in the nation’s psyche.

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