In part 1 of our Radiodays Europe wrap-up we shared insights we gained on podcasting at the conference. One of the other key trends we learned about at RDE 2017 was the rise of voice-activated devices. This is certainly a trend that we have spotted before, but really, what does it mean for radio and how can you take advantage of it as a broadcaster?
Reach your audience in a new way
While radio still dominates earshare in the car, the days of families gathering around the radio in the living room are way behind us. In fact, we bet you'd be hard pressed to find a friend who has a radio in their home. However, the growing proliferation of voice-activated devices provides radio with a renewed opportunity to connect with your audiences in their homes.
The upcoming Jacobs Media Techsurvey suggests more than 10% of homes have a voice-activated device like Google Home and Alexa - and growing! Radio's opportunity to re-establish itself as a content option within the home lies in its ability to integrate with these voice-activated technologies. By making it easy for listeners to source their favorite radio station streams on demand, radio will once again be able to reach their audiences at home. Many listeners have these devices conveniently placed in their kitchen, making it once again possible for a family to gather around the kitchen table at breakfast and listen to the local personalities and unique content that radio offers. This is certainly a practical way that these devices can be used in tandem with radio!
Create podcast-light content for voice activated devices
Another way to take advantage of this growing trend is to create “podcast-light” content that is easily consumable from a voice-activated device, such as an update with the top sports or news clips from the past week. Users can say something like “Alexa, play Station X’s top sports clips from last week”. Figure out ways that you can expose your radio content based on speech-related requests.
There are several opportunities that your radio station can take advantage of here. You can create snippets of audio content for things such as weather, traffic conditions and local news. For instance, your station can create mini-podcast episodes such as ‘Station X’s local news report’ that users would be able to access via a voice-activated device simply by saying “play Station X’s local news report”. Users can even gain access to custom content such as updates from their favorite sports teams.
Radio stations can create their own plugins for devices such as Google Home which that allow broadcasters to create custom content widgets for their audience. This enables them to deliver the podcast-light content that will see significant take up on voice-activated devices.
In sum, voice-activated devices are clearly a huge trend with major implications for radio. In order to be best poised to take advantage of this trend, your station should be:
- Optimizing its content to be consumed via voice-activated devices
- Creating podcast-light content that can be customized for specific users
Realistically, voice-activated devices are still a very new technology and they have much undiscovered potential for radio. With the goal of supporting radio's evolution in the digital age, SoCast will stay on top of new technology trends to ensure that our products make it easy to capitalize on and extend audience reach to meet ever-changing consumption habits. We'll be sure to share all of our insights in our upcoming blogs. Don’t be afraid to test new formats and types of content for voice-activated devices. You just might find the next big thing that works for radio in this space.
So that’s part 2 of our key takeaways from RDE 2017. We’ve got more coming in part 3, so don’t touch that dial!Having a strong online presence is important for any radio station to succeed in digital. By aligning with the right technology partner, your station will be able to maximize engagement and revenue. SoCast provides your stations with the tools that you need to build a strong website and social media cadence to help monetize your digital assets. Talk to a SoCast Specialist today to see what you can do to advance your station in digital, improve your website and maximize digital revenue opportunities.