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Thinking outside of the (radio) box

Ali Abhary, the CEO of Karnaval Media in Turkey, asked a question about digital devices and radio: is digital a “must-have” new service with no revenue, or is it a completely separate business unit?

Abhary gave examples of iHeart Radio, Absolute, Pandora and Spotify demonstrate that perhaps neither is true. Solely digital ventures that involve radio are rarely profitable but they do help reinforce a brand.


Ali talked about his idea of the “Digital Alsos”. These are radio stations that pay no real attention to digital services.


Whereas the “Digital First” understands that these services are highly important to their brand, and think about the separate purposes of apps, websites and social platforms.


He says it’s important to use the power of technology to help an audience, not just expect it to help them. Digital First stations won’t just fish for likes on Facebook and tell a listener what song they’re playing through Twitter. Instead, they will create hashtags, videos and integrate social media accounts to reinforce their brand and also help listeners.


Abhary finished by giving the example of his own Karnaval Media - which in four years has turned from a few radio stations, to a music streaming service, a web publisher and a video production house.


For Ali Abhary, aggregating stations, building with mobile and social in mind and also thinking outside of the simple “radio box” is key.