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Why music streaming won’t kill the radio star

Claire Wright Strategy Consultant at Radio Advertising Bureau Blogger on
By Claire Wright  //  Thu 6th December 2012
In 1979 we were told that video killed the radio star. However the subsequent boom in commercial radio across the 90’s proved that the Buggles didn’t know everything. Hundreds of new stations were launched to entertain a new generation of radio listener, building record levels of reach.

But as we moved in to the late noughties a new threat to radio emerged in the form of streaming services. As a new form of audio entertainment, some people began to believe that this was the end for radio again.

But here we are in 2012 and although some of these services have grown and developed, so radio has endured. Why is this? With all the audio on demand available, it’s easy to believe that most people would want to consume their music, when they want it, where ever they want. However, according to the BBC share of ear study, 82% of us still choose radio as our number one choice for audio entertainment. I believe the reason for this is simple – people want to be entertained. They want the two way relationship you have with the presenter of your favourite show.

Radio is a broadcast to a community of people who have a mutual interest in the type of music/content of that show. They are bought together and entertained as they go throughout their day, interacting with presenter and station via Facebook, twitter, text and phone. Radio introduces new music to you, gives you new content, allows you to catch up on what you missed and even share it with your friends and communities. Radio has not sat idly by whilst the digital audio world has grown, but embraced it whole heartedly and used it to extend conversations between listener and station.

And it is the context of these everyday conversations that are so important for an advertiser. Research shows radio that has the greatest impact on our energy and happiness levels than other media and consumers are more likely to be receptive to advertising in mood enhancing environments.

And that’s the difference between the two, “radio” as we know it is audio entertainment in its truest form. Streaming services are not radio. They are a playlist that plays the music that you have personally pre-selected. They do not embrace you into a community, engage you, share with you, interact with you and ultimately entertain you as you go about your day in the same way that radio stations and presenters have done and continue to do.

So, far from being killed off, our radio stars will continue to shine brighter and for longer than even the Buggles could have predicted.
 Why music streaming won’t kill the radio star Claire Wright
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