Radio Show Navigates the Media Mix

Organizers emphasize how ‘digital fits into the landscape’
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The Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Forget radio as a single discreet medium. Instead, consider it as part of a “media mix” that embraces broadcast, the Web and mobile — and then find ways to make money from it.

This idea is at the heart of this year’s 2011 Radio Show, the second to be produced jointly by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau. It is scheduled for the Hyatt Regency Chicago Sept. 14–16. Show organizers hope to attract managers wanting to get on top of the media mix trend and profit from it.

Our industry’s overall revenue has been challenged in recent years; so the 6 percent growth reported by RAB in 2010 was a welcome change. But within that number was faster growth for “digital” revenue: money from websites, streaming and HD Radio multicasts.

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Jeff Haley. ‘CBS’s secret: They make money not just from radio, but the Web, mobile and other nontraditional revenue streams.’

That number was up 24 percent last year; and the trend continued in the first half of this year, up 19 percent, compared to 2 percent growth for the industry.

“Whether meeting the challenges of a younger workforce, embracing social media or adapting to new technology, radio is undergoing tremendous change, and managers need to be prepared,” says Ann Marie Cumming, NAB’s Vice President of Communications.

“NAB and RAB have developed a conference program for the Radio Show designed to help radio professionals meet these challenges and identify opportunities to grow their business.”

When it comes to challenges, “The most compelling trend broadcasters need to deal with today is the diversity of the media mix,” said Jeff Haley, RAB’s president and CEO.

“CBS is already doing this, which is why they tend to beat the market when it comes to revenue performance. CBS’s secret: They make money not just from radio, but the Web, mobile and other nontraditional revenue streams.”

Pursuing a media mix approach allows a station/radio group to bolster revenues from other areas, when traditional sources are having a tough time.

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iStockphoto/Talaj

“We have seen a strong recovery from the top five radio advertising categories, with automotive leading the way,” Haley said. “But there was a slight hiccup in Q2, where spot sales didn’t go as high as we expected. Having a media mix allows a station to cope with a soft spot market, by ramping up revenues from other advertising and money-making sources.”

Various sessions are intended to help broadcasters achieve media mix success.

For instance, “Maximize Radio’s Assets to Gain Share of Marketing Spend” will explain how radio can use the media mix approach to get a bigger slice of the $716 billion spent annually on U.S. sales, promotion and marketing. “R U a Social Misfit?” will cover the successful use of Facebook and Twitter to build brand audience and loyalty. “Research Spotlight: A Positive Perspective of Radio and its Future” will tap into three years’ worth of PPM data to show how stations have maximized digital assets to engage listeners.

Pittman speaks

Highlights

Advertiser Luncheon
Wednesday, 11:45 a.m.
Eddie Combs, Vice president and chief marketing officer for Sears Home Appliances

Opening Remarks and Keynote
Wednesday, 3:45 p.m.
Jeff Haley, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau, and Gordon H. Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters.

Leadership Breakfast
Thursday, 7:30 a.m.

The Road Ahead: Entertainment and Information in the Car
Thursday, 9:30 a.m.

Total Radio
Thursday, 1:45 p.m.
Bob Pittman

Marconi Radio Awards
Thursday, 6 p.m.
Elvis Duran and Ronnie Dunn

RAB’s CDMC 2.0 Digital Sales Certification Course
Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Radio Luncheon
Friday, noon
Steve Newberry and Michael Smerconish

Career Fair
Friday, 2–5 p.m.

The Radio Show’s Super Sessions reflect the media mix theme. In ‘The Road Ahead: Entertainment and Information in the Car,” speakers from Arbitron, Edison Research and Scarborough Research will address the past, present and future of in-car entertainment, information and communications. That is likely to be of interest to any radio manager worried about, say, Pandora.

Bob Pittman, chairman of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Platforms, will tackle the media mix issue in his Super Session “Total Radio.” He is expected to talk about dealing with digital technology, and how Clear Channel Radio’s iHeartRadio platform is keeping the big broadcaster in touch with listeners wherever they are. Pittman also is likely to mention the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, which takes place shortly after the convention in Chicago.

“These are exciting times for broadcasters who understand that today’s radio brands need to extend their content and listener relationships wherever they can to leverage as much marketing activity as possible," Haley said. “That’s the point we are trying to make at the 2011 Radio Show.”

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