12 Mar

Radio Is Digital. Is Your Creative Ready?

Radio. Is. Digital.

It truly is.

Figures in last quarter’s RAJAR report show that listening via digital platforms accounted for a record 49.9% of all UK radio listening in Q4 2017, up from 45.2% in Q3. And it’s not so much a digital “revolution” than a strong, steady, continual growth. More than 3 in 5 adults aged 15+ are listening to radio via a digital platform in terms of weekly reach. With 34 million people now tuning in to radio via a digitally enabled receiver (DAB, DTV, Online or App) each week. That means that 62% of the population listen to digital radio every week.

So what does all this mean for advertisers?

Well, from a radio creative perspective, it’s not something that can be ignored. This continual shift in the audio landscape has to be taken into account at every stage of the creative process. These changes in the way people consume radio have to inform the way we advertise to them.

For example, 72% of all audio streamed on Amazon Echo is LIVE radio. It’s an impressive figure. 26% of all adults listen to radio via their mobile phone or tablet. And that figure jumps to 35% for 15 to 24 year olds. Again, big numbers. Over 40% of homes in the UK own a voice controlled smart device. We could go on! The point is, radio advertising campaigns have to reflect on these changes if they are to continue to be wholly effective.

If nearly three quarters of Echo owners are listening to live radio, shouldn’t our commercials be pointing them in the direction of the device itself? “Ask Alexa for X brand” or “Just ask Alexa about Y deals.” If over a third of 15 – 24 year olds are listening on headphones from their mobiles, how can we capitalise on this? We could produce ads in 3D audio. It only works if people are listening on head or earphones, but what a way to enhance the audio experience – fully immersive, 360 audio. It’ll certainly get people talking about the campaign. And the brand. And the product. Job done! And if you’re not listening on headphones, it still sounds like great stereo. Or we just simply tweak the scripts to acknowledge how people are listening – “search on your mobile for X” or “tap your screen and search Y”. We can make it personal. More relevant to the individual.

Really, it’s just a case of thinking about all these changes in audio consumption and making sure we consider them when working on our radio creative campaigns. And it’s about looking ahead to future developments and making sure we’re ready for them.

As we said at the beginning, 49.9% of radio listening is now digital. The government has previously stated that 50% would be the point when it started to consider switching off FM signals in favour of DAB. It’s certainly set to be a hot topic of discussion but it’s one that we, as radio advertising creatives, have to be ahead of!

Radio is digital. And over the coming years, it’s only set to get more so.

If you would like to discuss how your radio advertising can take advantage of this ever-changing digital audio landscape, then do give the team at Kalua a call.

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