How Radio Can Cash in On Booming Digital Ad Spending
With brands spending at record rates on mobile, digital audio, and digital video, radio stations can showcase their best products and add new offerings to grow revenue.
Here’s some good news for radio broadcasters: The digital ad market is surging and now is the time for local stations to cash in. Local radio companies have invested heavily in digital audio, mobile and digital video, positioning them to grab a larger share of digital ad dollars. Consumers are shifting their media time to mobile devices and that’s good for radio’s digital products.
Just how much money are we talking about?
- U.S. marketers spent $28.4 billion on digital advertising in Q1 2019, up 18% from Q1 2018, according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
- The strong quarterly growth comes after a banner year in 2018, when digital ad sales jumped 22% to $104.7 billion, compared to 2017 levels.
- Mobile advertising spending doubled last year to $70 billion, compared to 2017 levels.
As more consumers turn to their smartphones for entertainment, digital audio and video streaming are booming, and advertisers want to reach these audiences.
- Thanks to red-hot podcasting and digital streaming, brands are doubling-down on digital audio, spending $2.3 billion last year, up 23% from 2017’s $1.7 billion.
- Digital video is similarly growing at a breakneck pace, with ad spend up 37% in 2018 to $16.3 billion, compared to 2017.
So what are the takeaways for broadcasters? Here are a few suggestions
Keep your mobile apps fresh
The best radio station mobile apps feature live streams, on-demand content, podcasts, and user-favorite features like contests. These are all key components to creating a positive mobile experience for your users. Make sure your mobile app is easy to use and continually revisit to explore new features and integrations. And don’t forget that with the growth of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SDL, mobile apps compatible with these technologies are your ticket into the connected car in a meaningful way.
Podcasts, podcasts, podcasts
Your listeners and your advertising partners can’t get enough of podcasts, so focus on developing more original on-demand audio and make your broadcast content available for on-demand, time-shifted listening. Offer advertisers opportunities in your on-demand audio including exclusive sponsorship and even branded podcasts.
Develop mobile ad opportunities
For local advertisers, offer mobile ad opportunities that go beyond banner ads. You can create branded content, including video and podcasts, and you can also offer sponsorships for popular sections of the app, such as weather or traffic. Lastly, make sure that your live stream quality is as strong as your over-the-air broadcasts to ensure users have a positive listening experience. Pre-roll, midroll, and post-roll video ads give local businesses a chance to get into digital video. Also, be sure to present podcast ad opportunities, these are a major growth area for digital audio.
Dig into digital video
Both users and marketers are clamoring for more digital video. Radio stations can shoot video in studio or in the community. Local events, sports and concerts all offer opportunities for video. There’s even opportunities to create video to accompany original podcasts. Local businesses can buy pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll video as standalone or in conjunction with audio spots. Radio can also produce branded video content for local advertisers, leveraging both their production and sales capabilities.
So how do you tackle all this to-do list? Futuri Media can help.
- Top-quality mobile apps: With Futuri Mobile, we can design mobile apps with custom features to showcase your best content and create an immersive mobile experience. Our apps are highly customizable; choose from one of three starting points and create a station app that has any of literally hundreds of customizations.
- Get into the video business — without derailing other parts of your business: To help time-strapped hosts and producers with content, we’ve added TopicPulse Instant Video. Subscribers can access dozens of videos daily, based on the day’s hottest topics that they easily can customize with their station branding and even their own PPM-encoded audio. Distribute these on your mobile, web, and social channels. And our POST podcasting system makes it incredibly simple to turn your audio into a video with a licensed image and a dynamic waveform designed to drive engagement. It’s a great way to take advantage of YouTube and other video sharing platforms for your audio content.
By embracing mobile, digital audio, and digital video, your station can participate in the fast-growing digital and mobile ad boom, as well as bring more innovative and exclusive content to your audience. That’s a win-win for everyone.