It was another fantastic year for the Radio Show last week. The 2017 edition of the conference, produced by NAB and RAB, featured a lot of great learnings and insightful sessions for radio. SoCast once again had the pleasure of going down and sponsoring the event, also enjoying all that Austin had to offer.
In this short blog post, we cover some of the main highlights of the 2017 Radio Show in tweets. Our highlights include notes voice activation, growth in digital and connected cars. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Voice-activation is a huge trend and was certainly a hot topic at the 2017 Radio Show. We already covered the rise of voice-activated devices in a previous blog post, but it bears repeating that 75% of American homes will have a smart speaker such as Amazon Echo or Google Home by 2020, up from just 7% at the end of 2016, according to Gartner.
Voice-activated technology is important to radio for the following reasons:
- It gives radio the opportunity to get back into the home as voice-activated devices are often present in listeners’ kitchens and living rooms.
- It provides an innovative new way for advertisers to reach consumers with interactive audio advertising spots.
Speakers at the conference also highlighted how important it is for broadcasters to create “Alexa Skills” for their radio stations. Creating “skills” will put your radio brands on devices such as Amazon echo and Google Home. This will make it so that when someone says “play X101”, the device will play X101’s broadcast.
Growing your digital presence:
This year’s Radio Show included several sessions on digital including SoCast’s own On-Air to Online: A Checklist to Accelerate Your Digital Growth. These sessions focused on how radio can use their digital properties to extend their content into the online space and use that presence to increase engagement and revenue. Since digital revenue for radio is expected to grow 22% in 2017 while traditional revenues remain stagnant, this is an important trend for broadcasters to be on top of.
Some of the key learnings for radio in digital at this year’s conference are:
- Be consistent with your digital efforts: It takes a dedicated effort over the long-term for digital to generate results. Leverage your website and apps as extensions of your brands to connect with your audience, and do so on a consistent basis.
- Capitalize on your strengths: Do you have events or radio personalities who are particularly effective at engaging your audience? Focus on these in your digital activities.
- Post compelling content that encourages your audience to engage: For instance, before playing a particular artist, post interesting content about them to your Facebook page and have your announcers tell the audience to leave their comments on the post while the song is playing. Posting about topical issues and utilizing digital for contests will also help to drive engagement.
One of the biggest topics this year was the connected car, which is becoming a bigger reality for broadcasters, automotive companies and listeners alike, especially since that by 2020 there will be 1/4 billion connected vehicles on the road worldwide. The in-car listening experience is changing rapidly, with voice-activation technology becoming more popular in new cars. Charles Steinhauer, the Chief Operating Officer of Westwood One, views voice-activation as one way to safeguard radio’s earshare in the car. Smartphone integration is also becoming a bigger part of the experience, with more listeners using services such as Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Since in-car listening is critical to the success of AM/FM radio, it is important for broadcasters be on board with these trends.
In sum, 2017 was another great year at the Radio Show. In the next couple of weeks, we will be compiling our insights on the conference and sharing them with you in future blog posts. Stay on the lookout for more great content from your friends at SoCast!
Need help optimizing your online presence to grow digital revenue and engagement at your radio stations? SoCast provides an integrated platform to make digital growth easy for radio. Speak to one of our Specialists to learn how you can get started and accelerate your digital growth.