PERSPECTIVES: A growing beast

By Ciaran Davis, CEO and MD, HT&E | 13 December 2019
Ciaran Davis

This first appeared in the AdNews 2019 Annual edition. Subscribe here for your copy.

In the past few years we have seen audiences’ appetite for audio
content grow exponentially and that trend continued into 2019, so it’s an exciting time for ARN and audio operators.

What is most important about this trend is that radio audiences continue to grow and other forms of audio content like podcasts are complementary, expanding our audience base as we broaden our audio offering.

Radio continues to be a thriving part of the audio landscape. Content is live, local and free, delivered by trusted on-air talent setting it apart from other audio offerings. While it’s acknowledged that we are in a soft media market and that has been a challenge in 2019, radio has continued to play to its strengths in offering advertisers a targeted, flexible, immediate and cost-effective way to reach their audiences.

In 2020, I see radio as being in a prime position to take more of a lead within the audio space as the industry works together to create a data led offering — like a podcast ranker, audience measurement — to ensure a more comprehensive offering for advertisers. We see the continued growth of podcasts as a significant opportunity, and ARN will be working in this space with an integrated, data-led offering to cross promote radio and podcasts for the benefit of our audiences and advertisers.

There will be continued pressure across the industry to deliver on spend. But radio has an opportunity to excel in a tough economic climate, if savvy marketers and commercial teams leverage its strong ROI and increased data capability to fully capitalise on its unique offering.

I think we will continue to see consolidation of the market, so it’s more important than ever to put consumer audiences, clients and shareholders at the centre of every decision — what provides real value for consumer audiences and clients will benefit shareholders long term.

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