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 Norgrab, Creative Director at United Stations.
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