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THE MADIA JUNE 2018

… the broadcasters who wil remain profitable and sustainable are the ones who understand how to redefine the value they offer both advertisers and listeners… a station needs to be agile and adaptable, in terms of responding to listener demand and behaviour. “we see higher effectiveness in campaigns that use digital AND radio. We do believe that multichannel touchpoints on a campaign leads to better consumer engagement”. Advertising decision-makers and broadcasters tend to agree on the challenges facing radio. Lazarus calls music “the heartbeat of radio”, and believes that “the ease of accessing music is a major threat to broadcasters, particularly streaming platforms, such as Spotify”. He further lists “the growth of smart speakers (wireless speakers controlled by voice recognition) and the newer motor vehicles providing access to music streaming services” and “the need for broadcasters to evolve to ensure that radio remains relevant, particularly amongst the youth”. Ndlovu points out that “internet penetration and/or fibre to the home is still an issue affecting many South Africans and the price of data”. These circumscribe the local broadcaster’s capacity to keep up with the fast paced audio evolution, being experienced in many first world countries. Gostner points out that while there is an audio renaissance with consumption at an all time high, it is not necessarily linear audio. He also stresses that the local digital market is relatively immature. For him, the key challenge is to balance futureproofing the business, with commercial sense in the present. Reassuringly, there is widespread agreement with Lindemann’s view of “renewed positivity both within the broader economic and political environment”. Bunce affirms that “revenue over the past three months shows that momentum is growing once again”. Bailey-Norris believes “the broadcasters who will remain profitable and sustainable are the ones who understand how to redefine the value they offer both advertisers and listeners”. She believes that “a station needs to be agile and adaptable, in terms of responding to listener demand and behaviour. Some stations are well ahead on this journey... The number of recent presenter changes and switches between stations indicates that there is a lot of focus on attracting presenter talent and hopefully new audiences.” Meeting advertiser needs requires “redefining the relationship from purely transactional to partnership based. It is not enough to chase a cheque – there needs to be a value equation that benefits both parties”. Broadcasters and their sales houses have been giving this a lot of thought. Gostner refers to a “sociological shift in the way businesses operate”, with there being a “greater openness to partnership and integration”. He explains that Primedia has developed its capacity to deliver nontraditional radio solutions and innovations such as ‘Radio to Road’, in which a radio promo triggers the same campaign creative to roll out on digital billboards. Lindemann refers to “solution based selling”. He says radio stations are “constantly growing and refining their digital and on the ground channels to reach their audiences wherever they are”. Examples are the East Coast Radio and Jacaranda apps, ECR TV and its ECR Shop, Kaya Travel, and Kaya TV. Together with radio stations’ social media channels and repurposed and curated on-air content, these offer advertisers “the opportunity to touch the consumer across of all of these channels in a way that is authentic to the brand and fits in with their broader strategy”. While times may not yet be booming for radio broadcasters, those who have a clear vision of how to deliver to their advertisers will prosper. • RADIO Having spent some decades working in media agencies, Britta Reid now relishes the opportunity to take an independent perspective on the South African media world, especially during this time of radical research transformation. P 10 The Media | wagthedog.co.za


THE MADIA JUNE 2018
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