“The sky is not falling for broadcast radio,” said Entercom CEO David Field at the RAIN Summit in Orlando.
Traditional radio continues to innovate, and that its listeners remain attached to their local stations, he said. He cited the recently-announced Cumulus Rdio deal as an example of “major” innovation, as well as the Sprint-NextRadio deal on the FM chip. Plus, some 50% of new cars will have built-in HD Radio receivers or technology by 2015, according to Field.
The Entercom executive also questioned Pandora’s claimed listening levels and measurement methodology. The Internet audio service says it has some 7% of all U.S. listening. Field says others believe it’s more like 4%. Some of those listeners leave their streams on all day. “They may be out — yet that listening counts,” said Field in a keynote.
Broadcast radio has 20 times Pandora’s listening, according to the Entercom executive.
Returning to broadcasting, the future of radio is bright, said Field, citing radio’s “massive” reach. He says traditional broadcast radio is undervalued. If the medium continues to innovate it will grow. “We are living in the golden age of radio. Its best days lie ahead,” said Field.