Re­cently the an­nual ra­dio sur­vey moved providers to en­sure a more ac­cu­rate rep­re­sen­ta­tion of lis­ten­er­ship was be­ing tal­lied. Peter Richard­son dis­cusses how the shift af­fected this year’s re­sults and how he thinks the ra­dio in­dus­try is per­form­ing and evolv

New Zealand Marketing - - In Association With The Radio Bureau -

1 What are your thoughts on the lat­est ra­dio lis­ten­er­ship fig­ures?

The lat­est sur­vey re­lease is the first un­der a new provider – GFK. This is a ma­jor change for the in­dus­try as lis­ten­er­ship is now be­ing mea­sured for 40 weeks of the year from Fe­bru­ary to Oc­to­ber, com­pared to the pre­vi­ous two bursts of six weeks each. This will al­low more fre­quent data re­leases and will give ad­ver­tis­ers the most cur­rent and re­al­is­tic un­der­stand­ing of lis­ten­ers’ be­hav­iour.

There were clearly risks in both changing provider and method­ol­ogy - mov­ing from sur­vey­ing a pe­riod where sta­tions ran pro­mo­tions in an at­tempt to in­crease their lis­ten­er­ship to a con­tin­u­ous sur­vey mea­sure – but the rat­ings pub­lished show a 10.6 per­cent in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple lis­ten­ing, a fan­tas­tic re­sult for ra­dio.

Ev­i­dence of the ro­bust­ness of both data sets can be seen from the mi­nor move­ments in share be­tween sta­tions when comparing re­sults to the sur­vey pub­lished in Oc­to­ber 2015.

2 In the lat­est fig­ures, many sta­tions lost share among ‘House­hold Shop­pers with Kids’. Is there rea­son for con­cern in this cat­e­gory?

Cumes have in­creased in this cat­e­gory, though not as much as in some of the younger de­mo­graph­ics such as 18-34 where we have seen sig­nif­i­cant growth in lis­ten­ers.

This de­mo­graphic has also seen some volatil­ity in sta­tion share, largely as a re­sult of a strong per­for­mance by The Rock in T2 2015. The strength of the new sur­vey’s method­ol­ogy is that such ‘blips’ will be smoothed out due to the con­tin­u­ous na­ture of the data col­lec­tion.

3 Ra­dio ad­ver­tis­ing spend con­tin­ues to grow de­spite dis­rup­tion in the in­dus­try. What do you at­tribute this to?

The es­tab­lish­ment of a net­work agency sales team un­doubt­edly caused dis­rup­tion last year as agen­cies worked out how to work in ways that best suit them. Now that things have set­tled, agen­cies con­tinue to recog­nise the strengths of ra­dio in de­liv­er­ing au­di­ences at key times of the day.

4 How is the process of dig­i­tal in­te­gra­tion go­ing for the ra­dio in­dus­try? How do you see this evo­lu­tion con­tin­u­ing in 2016?

Both net­works have made sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments in dig­i­tal prop­er­ties in the past year. One of ra­dio’s great strengths is its flex­i­bil­ity and

this has en­abled it to adapt to the dig­i­tal world bet­ter than most media. Mov­ing for­ward, there will un­doubt­edly be some great op­por­tu­ni­ties for clients to ex­ploit.

5 What are some stand­out ex­am­ples of in­te­grated cam­paigns?

The way some, more tra­di­tional re­tail clients have em­braced in­te­grated ac­tiv­ity shows how far this area has de­vel­oped. For ex­am­ple, Count­down’s ‘Feed Four For $15’ cam­paign with The Hits drive team utilised Stace and Flynny on air; in­cor­po­rated video of chef Brett Mcgre­gor cook­ing the pro­moted recipes on The Hits web­site with a linked com­pe­ti­tion; used so­cial media to share the recipes; and had The Hits street teams through­out the coun­try hand­ing out in­gre­di­ent bags. This show­cases the way the most tra­di­tional of clients can har­ness ra­dio’s in­te­grated plat­forms.

6 Ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties seem to be very com­fort­able in the dig­i­tal space. What is it about work­ing in ra­dio that makes them so adapt­able?

Ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties have al­ways in­ter­acted with their au­di­ences far more read­ily than their TV coun­ter­parts. The great ad­van­tage so­cial media has given ra­dio hosts, is a read­ily avail­able tech­nol­ogy for them to use to en­gage with their lis­ten­ers. They are do­ing all the things they used to, but just en­hanc­ing and am­pli­fy­ing them us­ing avail­able tech­nol­ogy. The net­works have been quick to in­vest in stu­dios to fa­cil­i­tate this.

7 What are your thoughts on the state of niche ra­dio sta­tions?

TRB is priv­i­leged to rep­re­sent the in­de­pen­dent sta­tions through­out the coun­try. We be­lieve th­ese sta­tions of­fer ad­ver­tis­ers ac­cess to lis­ten­ers not cov­ered by main­stream ra­dio. Th­ese sta­tions are de­fined ei­ther by their lo­ca­tion or by their eth­nic­ity and in both cases of­fer a valu­able, trusted ser­vice to their com­mu­ni­ties. This makes them ideal ve­hi­cles to de­liver ad­ver­tis­ers’ mes­sages. As the new sur­vey method­ol­ogy reaches the en­tire coun­try, we will start to see an up­lift in per­for­mance when th­ese sta­tions are in­cluded in clients’ sched­ules.

8 The car has al­ways been a ver­i­ta­ble safe zone for ra­dio sta­tions, but this is changing with con­nected cars. Are you con­cerned about the impact that this may have on ra­dio?

There have been many new tech­nolo­gies that have been go­ing to ‘kill’ ra­dio, but none have. Ra­dio has al­ways em­braced tech­no­log­i­cal change, and in­deed utilised it, to cre­ate fur­ther touch­points with au­di­ences. Ra­dio is al­ready avail­able to be con­sumed on stream­ing plat­forms and lis­ten­ers will al­ways grav­i­tate to great con­tent.

9 The over­all per­cent­age of Ki­wis who lis­ten to ra­dio on a weekly ba­sis has de­clined over the last decade. Is this a con­cern? Is there any­thing we can do to stop it?

As we know, au­di­ences have far more op­tions to con­sume media than ever be­fore and frag­men­ta­tion is not a new phe­nom­e­non. The lat­est sur­vey show 77 per­cent of all peo­ple 10-plus lis­ten to com­mer­cial ra­dio ev­ery week, an in­crease of 3 per­cent from the last sur­vey. This demon­strates ra­dio’s con­tin­ued strength and rel­e­vance to Ki­wis through­out the coun­try.


Peter Richard­son

Be­low: The TRB'S Peter Richard­son, not to be con­fused with his dop­pel­ganger at Count­down (chef Brett Mcgre­gor), sees a lot of pos­i­tives in the ra­dio in­dus­try.

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