Technology is always moving forward. It affects every area of our life, so... what can we expect to see from radio in the future?
Because we are, as an industry, connected to our listeners and their communities (for example we are at local charity events, local businesses and informing listeners of breaking local news), we are an important part of peoples lives. They want to stay connected with what is happening locally, as well as state-wide, nationally and around the world. It makes sense then as an advertiser to be where locals are listening and advertise to them.
Smart speakers, DAB+, streaming, apps and podcasts have changed the way people connect to radio - but they are still listening to it. While some people still get their news from newspapers, TV and even social media, more people are listening to radio than ever before (in all of it's variations) and we will continue to innovate - DAB+, Streaming, Smart Speakers and Apps are only going to get more interactive and innovative (I am thinking about Geo-Fencing ads which only play when someone is in a particular location, or ad's that mention you by name - this technology is not that far off at all and it is already being used in some parts of the world) - and moving forward internet radio in cars is going to have a HUGE impact on peoples daily commute.
While time spent listening on apps, streaming and using smart speakers is increasing - the fact is that relevance is probably the singular most important factor that radio has. That relevance is also reflected in convenience. Being able to connect with listeners where they are, no matter what they are doing is vitally important to them.
As an example... For someone can wake up in the morning to their favourite breakfast radio station, and listen to the news and topics of the day while they get ready to head to work... let's then say that they work in a space without access to radio during the day, they can stay connected after their morning public transport commute by checking social media feeds and local news updates on the radio station app during their break or lunch. Or perhaps listen to a live stream when driving, catching up with a podcast if they missed something they want to know about. And when they get home they use their smart speaker, or traditional radio.
The Future Then is...?
It's bright for radio - by focusing on being local, responsive, and accessible to our community, our listeners and our advertisers we can connect, innovate and be relevant to their needs. As an industry we will use the feedback we get from listeners and clients to evolve our medium, and change where we need to to meet them both... it's an exciting time!
See you in the future!