Magazine article Marketing

Listeners Wake Up to the Latent Power of Radio

Magazine article Marketing

Listeners Wake Up to the Latent Power of Radio

Article excerpt

Radio is the 2% medium. It doesn't matter. You can add it on to your schedule late and use it instead of TV as a cheap regional stop-gap. It's stuffed full of local ads, you can't show the pack shot and it's complicated to plan and buy. So maybe we won't bother at all. This is not an unusual attitude for agencies and clients alike. Yet only three weeks ago, many of the industry's so-called leading luminaries went on the record in a trade title and selected radio as the star medium over the next 25 years. Why the change of heart?

Well, suddenly there are more than 150 commercial stations, when only 20 years ago there was one. Also, there are national stations with more to follow. Programme formats are designed to appeal to consumers' tastes and not restrictive legislative tastes. Classic FM is a runaway success. It's got upmarket loyal audiences, and will shortly be in profit. It is a tightly run ship and has attracted many new advertisers to the medium. An impressive, if unexpected, achievement. Capital Radio's profits make your eyes water.

Add to that the uncertainty over the effects of fragmentation on TV, and each channel's determination to succeed by undermining its nearest competition, and a change in attitude is more understandable.

In my view, however, the reason for radio's future good health is with its true judge and jury. You should take the time to talk to some consumers about radio. It really is surprising. Over the past year Pattison Horswell Durden has conducted many discussion groups. …

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