3 of our Favorite News Stories from Radio this Week (And What You Need to Know)

Posted by Symon Edmonds

Jun 29, 2017 10:35:30 AM

With the continuous evolution in technology for radio, exciting opportunities in digital abound. This week, we wanted to take a look at some of the news that jumped out at us concerning digital in our industry and share our thoughts with you. KaboomPics_Man reading newspaper.jpg


More Digital Domination - Radio INK


This piece from Radio INK covers the increase in digital spending in radio and other forms of media.


Important points from the article:


  • Magna projects that digital ad sales are set to increase 14% (by over $10 billion) in 2017
  • Within digital, mobile will become the dominant format
  • By 2019, digital media will account for half of all advertising sales

Our take:


This echoes similar sentiments that we have seen in other studies. For instance, Borrell Associates predicts that digital ad revenue for local US radio stations will grow 22% in 2017. See the chart below:

borrell digital ad revenue growing.png


This is further evidence that it is especially important for radio broadcasters to grow their digital revenues as traditional revenues remain stagnant. To grow revenues, broadcasters must increase their audience’s engagement in digital and improve the monetization of their digital properties.


Check out our infographic to see what the most successful radio groups are doing to grow their revenues in digital.


Smart Speakers are Bringing Radio Back Into Living Rooms  - InsideRadio


There have already been a plethora of articles covering smart speakers and voice-activated devices. We found this one particularly interesting because it provides some interesting statistics on the rise of the technology.


Important points from the article:


  • Nearly 1 in 5 smart speaker owners say it is the most common way that they listen to radio
  • Almost 40% of these people are using smart speakers to listen to music radio, 32% to news talk and 22% for sports radio
  • 24% of smart speaker owners are using them to listen to podcasts regularly
  • Only 7% of Americans aged 12 and older own a smart speaker but 54% are somewhat or very likely to buy a smart speaker in the next six months


Our take:


We already called out in a recent blog post on voice-activated devices that this is a huge opportunity for radio in the coming years. It seems pretty much inevitable at this point that smart speakers and voice-activated technology will become a major component of the digital ecosystem for radio.


This new opportunity will bring its challenges for radio as the industry figures out how to best take advantage of the trend. For instance, how will radio be able to best package its content to suit voice-activated devices? We suggest developing “podcast-lite” content that will be easily consumable through voice-activated devices.


IAB Study: Podcast Ad Revenues are Skyrocketing - InsideRadio


As with voice-activated devices, podcasting is one of the hot new opportunities for digital growth in radio. This article provides some new stats on the explosive growth of podcasting and insights to help monetize this medium.


Important points from the article:


  • Podcast advertising revenues grew from $69 million in 2015 to $119 million in 2016
  • Marketers prefer ads read by podcasts hosts over those that are pre-produced
  • The average podcast listener is young, educated and affluent


Our take:


Podcast advertising revenues are expected to increase further in 2017, and we agree with this assessment as the number of podcast listeners continues to grow.


There is still a great deal of opportunity of learning that broadcasters need to do in terms of producing and monetizing podcasts as it is still a nascent opportunity for radio. According to our 2017 Digital Trends in Radio survey, only 14% of broadcasters listed podcasts as a “very important” traffic driver for their websites.



The last few weeks have seen a lot of exciting coverage in terms of what radio can do to grow in digital. Beyond the fact that yes, growing digital revenue itself is important, there are also new opportunities to grow in digital such as voice-activated technologies and podcasting, both of which bring their own new monetization opportunities. SoCast is committed to being at the forefront of this change and being your technology partner as the industry evolves. Contact a SoCast Specialist today to learn how we can help you craft a digital strategy for your radio stations.

Topics: Digital Strategy for Radio

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