By Sean Duffy, Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms, Barclays Commercial Bank.
Radio’s greatest success comes at the time when it faces its greatest challenges.
A record 43.6 million listeners flock to radio each week across all platforms, yet declining advertising revenues have not so far impacted the quality of output .
The pressure however is palpable. Clever marketing techniques like those of the Heart network, who have seen outstanding increases in listeners year on year, are needed to continue to attract the advertising required to sustain a successful radio brand.
The popularity of breakfast hosts on London stations demonstrates the success of cross-channel marketing, and talent harvesting.
New technologies are making popular shows even more accessible to today’s digital audiences, with ever increasing numbers moving from traditional FM/AM to DAB, mobile and on-line.
Local commercial broadcasters continue to feel the effects of the recession and have had to cut costs significantly in response to falling ad revenues and associated cash flow issues.
Successful stations have maintained their appeal despite this by focusing on local issues; securing strong sustained listening figures.
Current economic pressure seems to be driving the public’s interest towards more local matters such as the job market and regional industry.
Because of this, focussing content and news on real listener needs will see continued success for national and local stations alike.
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