Audio is the “it” media of the moment and radio stations are primed to be the go-to source for all audio – from on-air to on-demand to podcasts. AM/FM stations are experts in high-quality, local audio and feature charismatic hosts who connect with listeners and feel like trusted friends. These ingredients make for great radio, as well as time-shifted audio and podcasts, allowing more listeners to find content they like and to listen on their schedules.
Time-shifted audio and podcasts can attract new audiences, generate incremental revenue, and increase brand engagement. How much upside is there? According to a new study by Futuri and Nielsen, about 80% of radio listeners said they would listen to time-shifted radio content. Podcast listening is booming as well. In a survey of podcast listeners, the University of Florida and Futuri found that, on average, podcast users listen to 4 podcasts per week for either 30 or 60 minutes.
Despite radio’s built-in advantages, many stations are missing out on on-demand audio’s potential. Still need convincing? Here are six reasons why your station should dive into time-shifting and podcasting:
You can leverage content you’re already creating
Stations produce hours of programming, but once the live broadcast is over that content is history. By posting segments to your website or social media for future listening, you can extend the life of your audio. Hosts can take bite-sized snippets of popular benchmarks or post segments that might be too long for radio such as an interview with musicians or local personalities. Either way, fans can listen on their own time and you’re expanding the reach of your content and brand.
Time-shifted audio can expand your social media reach
By posting radio segments across social media your station can attract more users and extend engagement. In fact, more than half of radio listeners say they’d listen to short, time-shifted radio segments on social media, per the Futuri and Nielsen study. Users who tune into time-shifted audio are also more likely to share that content on their own social accounts, the report noted. Radio content can also be posted to podcast platforms like Apple and Spotify, as well as YouTube. To boost engagement consider adding photos, video, and station branding. These are all things made super easy by our software POST.
Younger listeners gravitate to on-demand audio
Younger Americans consume audio when and where they want on their digital devices. Time-shifted audio and podcasts cater to these preferences and can help stations connect with elusive young adults and male listeners. In fact, the Futuri and Nielsen study showed men 18 to 34 years-old were most interested in time-shifted radio programming. The University of Florida and Futuri podcast study also noted that self-identified podcast listeners (meaning those who consider themselves to be podcast listeners, whether or not “true” series-style podcasts or other on-demand audio — consumers often don’t differentiate) tend to be younger audiences who overwhelmingly listen on mobile devices. Podcast listeners are also educated, with about half holding a college degree, the study noted.
Grow your owned digital platforms
With original podcasts and time-shifted audio, you can use your content to populate your websites and mobile apps, increasing the value of these channels. By driving more traffic to your owned platforms, your sales team can leverage increased audience to generate more ad revenue. About 80% of podcast users listen via mobile devices, according to the University of Florida and Futuri study, creating added incentive to post content to your website and mobile app.
Digital audio can grow your ratings
Digital content is obviously important for developing new and creative opportunities for your partners to advertise, but when time-shifted audio is PPM-encoded and distributed quickly, it can have a positive impact on your ratings. Stations receive PPM credit for any listening within 24 hours of the content’s initial broadcast. Also, according to the Futuri and Nielsen study, almost half of listeners who have accessed your time-shifted content will share it on their social media channels, easily broadening your station’s reach and impact. POST software is integrated directly with your station’s board and specifically designed to directly capture your PPM-encoded audio for easy use on all digital platforms.
Strengthen your position as local experts and trusted friends
Radio listeners value AM/FM stations for their local expertise and their familiarity with hosts and DJs. Similarly, podcast listeners value hosts who are knowledgeable and trusted sources of information. Who better than radio personalities to extend those talents to podcasting? Hosts can take topics they are passionate about and create podcasts thereby creating a new community of listeners. Stations can also produce audio around off-air activities to give listeners more access to engage more deeply.
Once you’re creating and posting time-shifted audio, make sure to promote it on-air. The Futuri and Nielsen study found that only three out of ten radio listeners were familiar with time-shifted audio, and only 16% have listened in the last month. This leaves a lot of room to raise awareness and educate audiences.
At Futuri, we’ve developed tools to help radio stations create on-demand content quickly and easily. Our POST podcasting and on-demand management system allows hosts and producers to grab PPM-encoded audio segments and seamlessly post them to social media and online channels. Nielsen reported that stations that use POST attracted three times more time-shifted listening within 24 hours of the original broadcast than other stations, and those numbers were even higher among the key 18 to 49 years-old demographic.
With POST, you can add licensed images and graphics, as well as station branding and text to make your audio segments stand out. Basic, station-branded video and the ability to send content to YouTube is now included with POST, but for videos that really stand out with high-quality, fully-licensed clips and images customized directly to your audio our premium POST Video features are an absolute necessity. In the race to attract listeners, promote sharing and go viral, speed and appearance are what matter.
By embracing on-demand audio, stations can move beyond focusing on day parts and shows and focus on content distributed on multiple platforms. In the race to stay ahead of pure play audio companies and other local media outlets, these strategies are crucial.