Mon, 31 Jan 2022 / Published in Audio Streaming, LATEST NEWS

The new year is in full swing, and the audio revolution is showing no signs of slowing down. Audio creation and consumption have both gone through major shifts over the last two years, as the world continues to grapple with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The face of audio is set to continue changing in 2022. Perhaps even faster than we might think. 

From the rise of unconventional new competitors, all the way to opportunities to listen to, repurpose and distribute an abundance of premium content from all over the world, there’s quite a bit going on. Mindful of this, it’s worth taking a look at the potential impact of these changes within the evolving audio landscape over the next twelve months.

Radio’s essential role during the pandemic

Although it might feel like the first lockdown in 2020 was a long time ago, in the grander scheme of things the pandemic has only been a part of daily life for a relatively short period. Radio has been one of the mediums that really stepped it up since then, diving in head first and keeping people entertained and informed in a period of high uncertainty, and with the threat of fake news around every corner.

This has contributed to the now booming face of audio — which has long been on the radar of tech companies and Silicon Valley startups — but is only just beginning to gain a lot of mainstream momentum. The widespread adoption of voice notes have played an important part in this too. Radio is the master of reinvention, but as powerful as it is, it is going to come under more pressure from a variety of new sources this year. This is especially true considering the revenue growth numbers many commercial radio stations are posting in what is a very delicate global economic climate.

The revised face of audio?

The changing face of audio might be better described as a revised face of audio. Media consumption habits are going through major shifts all over the world. In the US, the average adult consumes about 11 hours of media every day; 20.2% more than a decade ago. Mobile consumption is up to an average of a rather staggering 252 minutes a day.

Audio content creators and distributors are having to think out of the box to meet the changing needs of their audiences, in order to get a slice of the (attention) pie. These all have to be mindful that consumption habits are generation-specific too. Baby boomers still prefer traditional media, whereas GenZ’s are quite predictably glued to their mobile devices. Knowing who you’re speaking to matters, but it’s about more than just high quality content these days. How it gets delivered and how that slots into the life of the consumer can mean the difference between good engagement, or simply being passed over for something else.

New competition from non-traditional establishments

Not being passed over means keeping an eye on all the new competition popping up. These are increasingly coming from non-traditional establishments that spot the opportunity of poaching a traditional radio audience. A prime example of this is the Los Angeles Times; formerly a written publication that has had to pivot over the last decade to counter dwindling revenues in print media.

By creating The Times — a popular daily podcast that has great monetisation potential — they have successfully navigated some very murky waters. They haven’t changed what they have always done best: high-quality journalism. The difference now is that these in-studio interviews, detailed reports and more are all going to live online forever, with the potential to repurpose the content elsewhere at a later stage too. Other podcasts are knocking on the doors of the attention spans of traditional radio audiences too.

Wonder(y) and podcasting power

That’s not to say that radio isn’t ready to put up a good fight. In a bid to get ahead of the curve, African Media Entertainment recently signed a deal to partner with Wondery, the biggest independent podcast distributor in the world. The collaboration means that AME has the rights to promote some of the countless Wondery podcasts through subsidiaries, like Algoa FM and OFM.

The latest PWC Media Outlook estimates 19 million monthly podcast users in South Africa by 2024.  By working together, both radio and podcasts have the ability to transform the audio landscape even further. I have a particular love for podcasting, and thoroughly enjoy being a guest on insightful shows like The DOC and the GURU. From a content creators perspective, podcasting is fun, engaging and relatively uncomplicated to get going with. Done well, it can be alluring to listeners in the same way radio has always been. It will also be big business in the future.

A view towards the year ahead

It’s safe to say that 2022 will see more players entering an already competitive audio landscape. On top of new apps entering the market, streaming platforms like Spotify are gunning for radio listeners in a big way. The Swedish powerhouse has already launched its own morning show that is free to listen anytime from 7am on weekdays. It differentiates itself from traditional radio by (1) letting the listener consume the content on their own time, (2) by allowing them to skip stories they aren’t interested in, and (3) by playing music specifically curated to the individual.

Online audio is only going to continue to explode during the course of this year. More people are going to open their own stations, dabble with podcasting and explore new ways of finding niche audiences. Radio has got to do what it can to get ahead of it, or to collaborate with the platforms in a mutually beneficial way.

By having the training, skill and expertise to create better products than the average teenager in their bedroom, the industry does have a leg up in many ways. How it uses that to satisfy the ever changing habits and needs of audiences begs to be seen this year.

Who else is ready to give it their best shot?

Dave Tiltmann is group chief executive officer of African Media Entertainment.

Mac G, who recently bagged Podcaster of the Year at the VN Global Media and Entertainment Awards, is the voice behind Podcast and Chill with Mac G. He has over the course of more than 200 podcasts, interviewed some of the most influential guests in SA and his star power is attracting more than one million downloads to his individual podcasts. 

With over 300,000 subscribers, Mac G is firmly established as SA’s No 1 podcaster and the partnership with United Stations is designed to accelerate his expansion and leverage the power of his growing audience base.


Mac G said: “We are thrilled to partner with United Stations, their team brings tremendous knowledge of the marketplace and they have a stellar track record in delivering creative solutions for marketers and brands to connect with audiences”.

Head of Digital for United Stations, Chris Borain said: “We are equally delighted, honoured and inspired by the opportunity to represent such an iconic creative powerhouse as Mac G. His ability to captivate audiences, tap into current events and entertainment news and bring the journeys of Blue Chip Brands and Business Personalities to life, is gold for advertisers. South Africans have an insatiable appetite for great storytelling and are becoming more and more obsessed with podcasts. The opportunity to work with Mac G in creating powerful value for brands across the country is a dream come true.”

For further information or to advertise, contact Chris Borain on 078 165 5855 or chris@unitedstations.co.za.

Wed, 03 Nov 2021 / Published in LATEST NEWS, Podcasting

in_Podcast is an online conference offering an inside view into podcasting trends and production, the rise of branded digital radio and how to use both to unlock new audiences in South Africa and Africa.   

The 2-hour Livestream will include talks from industry experts as well as deep dives real-world campaigns that offer insight into the medium, production challenges, lessons in building communities and how to tune in to what the audience really cares about. 

If you work in marketing, run a brand, want to find more meaningful and affordable ways to connect with audiences, or want to get the jump on the next trend in media and production, this conference is going to offer you a lot of value.

The in_Podcast conference will take place online on the 25th of November at 2pm.  

Get Tickets here.

Featured Speakers

·     Simmi Areff from Lesser Known Somebodies

·     Gareth Cliff from Cliff Central

·     MacG from Podcast and Chill with MacG

·     Chris Borain from United Stations

·     Jon Savage from in_Broadcasting

The In_Podcast Conference is held In partnership with Biz-Community

Tue, 31 Aug 2021 / Published in LATEST NEWS, United Stations

The race to the bottom for quality click-through rates is accelerating, people’s attention spans have become more fragmented, ad blockers are on the increase and banner blindness is real. So, how do marketers effectively engage the right target audience?

“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in, and be what people are interested in.” — Craig Davis

The best way to be what people are interested in is to be relevant and add value. When you walk into a room, you don’t just start talking, first, you listen, sense the mood, and then join a conversation.

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” — Tom Fishburne

People will part with their precious time and attention to engage with brands that tell stories and provide relevant and useful information. Content marketing allows you to join an existing conversation and weave your brand message into the fabric of the platform. It allows you to tell your brand story, position your expert’s opinions, establish credibility via information sharing and elevate your brand’s status in the mind of the reader.

“Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left.” — Seth Godin

What Seth Godin meant by this is that content marketing allows your brand the opportunity to deliver important and useful information that the audience genuinely cares about, rather than just a re-worked advertising pitch.

If you would like to engage with our valuable audiences, speak to your AE about the full range of United Stations Content marketing opportunities across radio, digital, podcasting and video.

Written by Tracy Parsons, Moneyweb Brand Manager.

Mon, 02 Aug 2021 / Published in LATEST NEWS, Podcasting, United Stations

The audio media ecosystem continues to evolve at a faster pace than anticipated.  The shift from consuming audio on traditional platforms to streaming platforms seem to be the driving force in accelerating the evolution of the audio landscape.

Some of the findings by The Infinite Dial report measuring online digital audio listening revealed that 44% of South Africansstreamed their favourite radio station.  The latest share-of-ear report from Edison Research in the US, revealed a time spent listening on a mobile device of 30% for those aged 13 years and older.

AMASA Joburg has put together a seasoned panel of experts in the field of audio media to unpack the latest trends in this industry.  

THOUGHT IGNITERS (PANNEL MEMBERS):

  • CHRIS BORIAN  (Head of Digital & GM – United Stations)
  • MUHAMMAD CAJEE (Chief Digital Officer- Primedia Broadcast)
  • JON SAVAGE (CEO – Inbroadcast)
  • MACG – SA’s Podcaster (Podcast and Chill)

REGISTER HERE: https://forms.gle/VZBRAM9PfpaDm2eZ7

Mon, 26 Jul 2021 / Published in LATEST NEWS, United Stations

Has anyone else noticed how conversations with agencies and clients are different now, especially about radio?

Ordinarily, these conversations focused on the radio station’s listenership stats and how much audience could be bought for how little. The cut and thrust of radio sales, I guess?

I am just not seeing that anymore. Advertisers are just not that interested in a station’s listenership as much as they are in a stations impact and connection with its audience. They are also not that interested in rates anymore (rate cards have become irrelevant anyway). Advertisers now need business solutions, not media plans.

The agency mantra of “how much for how little” is also being replaced by “results before reach”. Smaller media owners and their agility, hunger and innovation is competing (quite nicely in fact) with the larger stations who (and good for them) could always rely on a massive audience and historical momentum.

OK, so why is this? Well, maybe it’s because radio listening has changed too, certainly since lockdown. Where previously there was a clamour for space in the morning and afternoon drives, now the listening patterns are more evenly spread, and not as reliant on commuters pushing up the numbers.

People working from home (our clients included) are realising that you can’t work and watch TV, or work and read a newspaper, or work and browse the internet, or work and see a billboard. But you can work and listen to the radio, or a podcast even. In fact, radio has become so much more powerful now that many mainstream media are less relevant. Of course, this will not be forever, but the love affair with radio will last long after the pandemic becomes history. Radio needed a refresh, a rethink and a renewal, and I think we may have just got it.

I think I like it this way.

Written by Greg Norgarb, Creative Director at United Stations.

Fri, 16 Jul 2021 / Published in LATEST NEWS, Moneyweb

Moneyweb boasts a host of original podcasts that cover various themes and topics relevant in South Africa and abroad. All Moneyweb podcasts cover credible, verified and newsworthy content that influence and affect the day-to-day lives of our dynamic and varied audiences.

The Property Pod

The Property Pod is South Africa’s premier property investor podcast, with insights from industry executives. This podcast offers in-depth coverage of the local property sector, including commercial (office, retail and industrial/logistics) residential, and specialist sectors such as storage and healthcare. Each episode will cover industry developments, sector performance, trends, as well as new policies/laws affecting the sector from both local government and national government level. This podcast publishes two episodes per month. The Property Pod is hosted by Moneyweb’s deputy editor Suren Naidoo, who has a keen interest in property, tourism, retail, media and sports.

Click here to listen to or download Property Pod episodes.

The Money Savvy Podcast

Money Savvy features interviews with certified financial planners and wealth managers to answer readers’ pressing financial questions. Each episode will focus on a specific theme, covering topics such as retirement, retrenchments and investments, to help listeners make better financial decisions. This podcast publishes two episodes per month and is hosted by Boitumelo Ntsoko. Boitumelo is the editor of The Citizen newspaper’s business section, CitiBusiness (which Moneyweb manages), and is passionate about all things personal finance.

Click here to listen to or download episodes of the Money Savvy Podcast.

Moneyweb Crypto

Moneyweb Crypto with Ciaran Ryan explores all things crypto and blockchain: the good, the bad and the impossible. If you’re looking to invest in cryptocurrencies, or understand this evolving universe, you’re in the right place. Ciaran is a Johannesburg-based freelance writer who has a background in finance and mining, having previously headed up a gold mining operation in Ghana. He currently writes for several South African and overseas journals on matters ranging from mining to investment.

Click here to listen to or download episodes of Moneyweb Crypto.

MoneywebNOW

MoneywebNOW is South Africa’s premium business breakfast podcast show. The podcast can be livestreamed from Monday to Friday at 06:30, and downloaded from 07:00. The host, Simon Brown, is a trader, investor, money enthusiast, photographer, surfer and beach lover – who brings the latest in business, trading and investment news, as well as insights into world markets and company news, to get you ready for the trading day ahead. Whether you’re listening on your way to work or at home, the podcast promises punchy, informative and bite-sized interviews with industry experts, CEOs, entrepreneurs and more. The MoneywebNOW podcast has yielded just over 250 000 audio downloads in the short time since its inception.

Click here to listen to or download episodes.

Moneyweb podcasts available to download and listen to on the app. 
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This was originally published on Moneyweb.co.za here.