World Radio Day

Radio trends for the year ahead - podcasts, streams and subscriptions

I’m not suggesting they’re not already a component for most broadcasters and digital companies operating in the broadcast field, but the shift this year will be in consumer consumption.

Adoption in the US had been slow, but the pace is increasing. More and better content has generated a buzz, which will accelerate the shift in the South African market and reduce the time for consumption to reach similar levels.

This is not to say radio listening is decreasing. Despite the changes, radio is still the most accessed platform in the US, reaching 93% of the US population each week (TV is at 89%, with internet via smartphone 83%).

Three predictions:

1. Subscriptions

This shift is a potential threat to music broadcasters, as the cost to get access to 30 million plus songs via subscription streaming services from Apple and Google becomes more affordable – at less than R100 a month. While few listen to the full catalogue, the improvements to playlists and algorithmically created “radio stations” will see the Top 40 pop playlists challenging the dominant pop music stations.

No ads or interruptions will be a compelling reason for some to sign up or increase the times that they only stream. Offline playlists take care of data costs outside of cheaper Wi-Fi zones.

Music radio though has never only been about the music, so broadcasters that will keep their fans will have hosts that can mix the music with content that is relevant and engaging in their lives. Music radio has always been working on this, but 2018 will see it become more of a focus.

2. Podcasts

The term has morphed to be almost any audio that is not broadcast live and includes standalone audio pieces and subscribed audio series. Both will see strong growth in 2018. In the US, a quarter of those surveyed had listened to a podcast in the last month, 15% had done so in the previous week. It is also attracting younger users. For those between the ages of 18 and 34 live listening is stable, but podcast listening for the same group is 46% of the total.

The reasons for the uptick here will be similar to the reasons that have driven the increase in other markets. Making more audio available after the live broadcast is one component. The second is that more audio series will be commissioned and will improve in quality. Comedy, education, news and sport are the most popular genres. True crimes stories have proved popular in a format that allows listeners to learn a lot about the crimes, the circumstances and the consequences. South African audiences would welcome a similar approach to the many high-profile cases in SA.

As data prices fall and handsets improve, the ability to download and manage the content will be less of a challenge.

In the US, most are listened to in the home with over 20% being in the car. The same is likely in SA, with other options being long-distance travel (plane, car) while exercising (jogging and cycling) and, for some, at the office (music is a better fit, but some, especially home-office workers, will find the talk-based content more engaging.)

Social media has made sharing and consuming audio as easy as video, and more audio is available as adapted video posts called audiograms.

3. Streaming

The increase in using voice both for voice notes but also for search queries via Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa may see users using the same interface for seeking audio. Asking your assistant to play a radio station would be the start, but in time you would be able to ask for a stream of a specific genre or news reporting on a particular subject, or more generally, to get the latest news broadcast.

The hands-free element will continue to grow as both the voice recognition improves and people get more comfortable talking to a machine.

In the US, listening via stream has grown by over 20-million to 104-million people per month.

If broadcasters don’t have a stream option and are not looking to optimise the integration of search for audio content, they may see themselves losing out as more traditional listeners add digital access to their listening habits.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
[LISTEN] #WorldRadioDay: How radio has withstood the test of time

[LISTEN] #WorldRadioDay: How radio has withstood the test of time

13 February marks World Radio Day and Franz Kruger, Head of Wits School of Journalism talks about the power of the medium.

'In less than 100 years radio has become king and remained king' #WorldRadioDay

'In less than 100 years radio has become king and remained king' #WorldRadioDay

Harvard African Studies director. Obenewa Amponsah takes a journey down memory lane and looks at the role of radio in her life.

[WATCH] EWN/947's Cindy Poluta: I love the immediacy of radio #WorldRadioDay

[WATCH] EWN/947's Cindy Poluta: I love the immediacy of radio #WorldRadioDay

EWN Sports Editor Cindy Poluta talks about the power of radio.

[LISTEN] 947's Ravi Naidoo says no other country can mirror SA radio

[LISTEN] 947's Ravi Naidoo says no other country can mirror SA radio

Naidoo says radio is heading towards a more integrated approach as we celebrate World Radio Day.

Opinion: Radio remains the most widely accessible form of media - William Bird

Opinion: Radio remains the most widely accessible form of media - William Bird

Media Monitoring Africa director reveals why radio still remains so powerful as we celebrate World Radio Day on 13 February.

[LISTEN] Life Beyond Olympics for refugee athletes

[LISTEN] Life Beyond Olympics for refugee athletes

Recipient of the prestigious Peace and Sport Awards 2016, Erin Hayba talks about her project, ‘From Refugee Camp to Rio’.

Popular articles
Why Capitec boss believes SA has a great future

Why Capitec boss believes SA has a great future

Capitec CEO Gerrie Fourie says he believes that you waste your time if you spend all your energy on negative things.

Ever wondered why university vice-chancellors earn millions. Here's why

Ever wondered why university vice-chancellors earn millions. Here's why

CEO of Universities SA, Professor Ahmed Bawa explains why university vice-chancellors earn a lot of money while students struggle.

[WATCH] Iceland’s Christmas advert banned- for being too political

[WATCH] Iceland’s Christmas advert banned- for being too political

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

Are you getting enough sex? Here's the truth about how often other couples do it

Are you getting enough sex? Here's the truth about how often other couples do it

Is there such a thing as too little or too much sex in a relationship? Dr Eve shares findings on the frequency of sex in couples.

Telkom 947 cycle challenge road closures update

Telkom 947 cycle challenge road closures update

Joburg motorists are urged to take note of road closures during the 2018 Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge.

[WATCH] South Africans going crazy doing the #MalwedheChallenge

[WATCH] South Africans going crazy doing the #MalwedheChallenge

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has issued a warning asking people not to do the challenge while driving.

NPO director murdered in his Cape Town home, mourned

NPO director murdered in his Cape Town home, mourned

Curran was found stabbed to death in his Cape Town home about 48 hours ago.