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A New Strategy for Radio

Four leaders from the radio industry defined their vision for the future in ‘A New Strategy for Radio’.
Tim Davie from the BBC talked about the challenges to provide growth.

He felt that radio at the moment is in great shape, but from an investment perspective it’s seen more as a ‘utility play’ – the question is can radio see any growth? He offered four suggestions to deliver growth:

  1. Beyond live. Only 0.35% of UK radio is on-demand. If we turned that into 5% - that would offer huge growth.
  2. Beyond Borders – working together hugely important, we’re too small to argue about Public vs Commercial radio, we need to pool our efforts to grow.
  3. Beyond audio – every device has a screen it’s important to deliver the right kind of imagery to every device.
  4. Beyond the radio - “We’re not doing anything for the computer any more” was Tim’s quote as he talked about the importance of mobile devices. He said that more work still needs to be done with the mobile operators: “The most important thing you can do today is tell your mobile operator that you want phones to receive broadcast signals, as IP can’t deliver us the growth that we need”.

Erwin Linnenbach from Regiocast talked about the unconsolidated nature of German radio and how there’s a great opportunity to change this. He felt the lack of national radio has meant that its market share of radio advertising is only 3.3% compared to the European average of 6.9%.
Regiocast’s aims are to develop strong regional brands nationwide - to normalise the Geman radio market, and to consolidate local structure. Erwin felt that radio will be the last mass medium and that radio will be the winner of digitalistation.
They believe their new service – 90elf – is a harbinger for the future. It’s a soccer audio brand – nationally heard on DAB+ and online and on mobile. It’s also built on a broad selection of revenue opportunities - audio ads, pay apps, video ads, sponsorship, online display ads and mobile display ads.
Olaf Hopp from NRJ international talked about how the world is changing and the need for radio to change at the same time. He described NRJ’s success in moving to new markets around the world and also being aggressive about adopting all potential platforms. The NRJ brand now exists on TV, broadcasting, as a music business, events and digital – it works to be a complete entertainment company and to stretch the value chain as far as possible. Olaf suggested five things to think about as you develop your radio business:

  • Capitalise on our key assets
  • Embrace the digital world
  • Create international synergies
  • Keep up high standards of quality
  • Build loyal and enthusiastic audiences

Annika Nyberg from the EBU provided three strong concepts that radio should think about:    
Be open. That’s having an open mindset, embracing open source and open standards, being open to discussion, open to criticism, breaking boundaries and embracing creativity.
Be bold. It’s important to take risks, to not to worry about making mistakes. It’s from failing that you learn. It’s important to work with people you’re not used to working with – agree on technology, compete on content.
Be proud. Stop whining – there’s no reason to complain – 86% / 3 hours every day. We need to get on with being proud of the job we’re doing.