According to recent reports, Radio is alive, kicking and constantly evolving. In the U.S. alone 242 million weekly listeners (93% of Americans age 12+) tune in to their favorite radio stations, consuming a weekly average of more than 2.5 hours of radio a week (Nielsen 2015).
But here is where the evolution comes in. Streaming, or online radio has taken a hold of the public’s consciousness in a big way. The leader of the pack is Pandora, which allows you to customize playlists based on your music preferences, and their “Music Genome Project”, is the most sophisticated taxonomy of musical information ever collected. Following closely behind, is Spotify, a free service that allows users to find the right music for any moment. Other challengers include iHeart Radio, Apple Music, Google Play and Tuneln, (and many others) each providing their own variation of custom programming that includes music, news, comedy; (i)podcasts and pretty much any content that your heart desires.
The key to all of these is user control. No longer are we at the mercy of radio stations who make all the music decisions for us. In each case you, the user, have the full control of the music you get to listen to.
Almost 20% of the overall audio advertising market will go toward streaming audio within the next four years. So, how can you as a marketer take advantage of this shift in audio advertising?
- Take advantage of platform integration. People access online radio through desktops, tablets and mobile phones. This allows you to custom tailor your messaging based on how they’re consuming their music.
- Target your audience based on what they’re listening to. You can have multiple messages. One to the fans of hip hop, and another to an audience streaming classical. The important thing is to speak to your audience in the correct tone.
- Utilize visuals and video to amplify the message. Streaming radio gives you the opportunity to amplify your message using more than just audio accompanying banners with full vide ads and is getting more sophisticated every day. This allows you to connect with your audience in multiple ways.
As mobile phones, smart cars, smart homes, and wi fi hot spots become ubiquitous, online radio is sure to become even more popular. Make sure that your brand is not left out of this engaging platform.