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Radio Show: Remarks From RAB’s Erica Farber

The RAB President and CEO says that radio is a healthy industry

From the Radio Show — provided by the NAB.

RAB President and CEO Erica Farber gave opening remarks this afternoon during the 2013 Radio Show.

I am delighted to welcome you to the Radio Show. By being here, your presence shows your dedication and enthusiasm for this great business we all live and breathe every day.

I’d like to thank and recognize all of the sponsors and exhibitors at this year’s show. I want to thank our great partners at the NAB — John David, Gordon Smith and the entire team who we have worked so closely together with to produce this year’s Radio Show.

It is also my pleasure to acknowledge the advertisers who were participants at this mornings “Advertiser Speak!” panel and, of course, State Farm and their agency partner, OMD, who joined us for lunch today. On behalf of everyone in this room, we appreciate your time, knowledge and insights and of course your business. Having a strong dialogue with our advertising partners is critical.

I’ve been at the RAB for a little more than a year and a half and during this time I have seen the impact of positive energy across the industry. Radio continues to be a healthy industry at $17.6 billion. Interestingly enough, it is still greater than some of the newer area of business like online video at $2.1 billion and mobile at $2.9 billion. And unlike some other media, radio has taken an aggressive stand and taken advantage of technology to deliver content listeners want, in whatever format they want and when they want it. And advertisers recognize the importance of delivering their ad messages across all of radio’s platforms including radio’s fastest growing segment — digital.

Reaching a high of $767 million in 2012, digital grew 13% to $401 million by the first-half of this year — that’s over 80% higher than the first half of 2009.

Communications, financial, automotive, TV/networks/cable and restaurants continue to be radio’s top spending categories. Radio has also realized growth from advertisers in mid-tier categories like professional services and casinos. We need to continue to position radio to capture dollars from new categories as well as identify new dollars from existing advertisers. We have a great opportunity right now with consumer messaging regarding the Affordable Care Act, estimated to reach $1 billion by 2015 according to Kantar Media.

Some of you have already taken a first step. Nearly 500 people attended the RAB webinar last month focused on how to develop and uncover new and evolving revenue streams from the upcoming changes in healthcare legislation. And many of you attended today’s session on healthcare advertising as we learned what we need to do to capture our fair share.

Our goal at the RAB is to provide the resources and information our members need today, tomorrow and long-term. Our successful CRM tool, Account Manager, has 51 hundred users, helping sales people and sales managers manage their businesses. Available on mobile devices and fully integrated with RAB research databases.

Our professional development programs are created to benefit every level within your sales organization, from the entry level salesperson to the seasoned professional in the digital age.

An average of 2,000 sales professionals each year have used RAB’s online training and certification courses and we are pacing to have over 3,000 this year alone. Some of these certification courses deliver a deep dive into best practices of digital sales, as well as education and training to go from transactional seller to client-centric leader.

Earlier this year, we launched a new member benefit — Finding Consumer Trends Report. Via online surveys to radio station data bases, the F.C.T. Report taps into consumer insights focused on specific ad categories to help you sell — both locally and nationally. Our first two were focused on automotive and shopping, and generated nearly 50,000 responses in total from radio station websites. On Friday, you will have the opportunity to hear firsthand the successes some stations have already experienced using this research.

According to NPD Group’s Annual Music Study, broadcast AM and FM radio stations are the still the top choice for both core and casual music fans. Specifically, 95% of music buffs tune into broadcast radio as their top choice for music content.

Radio’s positive momentum in delivering content, like news, music and information, across additional platforms and devices will continue as NextRadio hits the market. This hybrid radio takes broadcast radio’s efficiency combined with interactive capabilities to create a content rich listener experience with new advertising opportunities. Since it’s very recent launch, it has already been downloaded over 25,000 times and over 3,000 stations have been tuned in coast-to-coast. We now have another exciting platform to take to our advertisers.

And it should be noted that, according to Miller Kaplan data, the number one category spender in radio for the first half of this year is communications /cellular and the number eight in rank of overall top radio supporters for the second quarter was Sprint — who increased their support of our medium by 153%!

HD Radio receivers are continuing to be added by automakers to more and more models. Did you know there are now over 14 million HD receivers in the marketplace? Every six seconds over 30% of all new cars are driving off one of your client’s car lots with an HD Radio! Thirty-three automakers have announced their plans to incorporate HD Radio technology in over 170 models by year-end with over 80 HD Radio receivers being included as standard equipment.

The Streaming Initiative Committee, which you will be hearing more about in the coming weeks, is rolling up its sleeves and taking a deep dive look into all aspects of streaming — definitions, delivery, metrics, etc. And this will be important to radio’s future especially as eMarketer projects that music listening via streams or downloads on smartphones will be used by 33% of the population or nearly 108 people in 2017.

As an industry we must speak with one voice to deliver one important message: commercial broadcast radio is nearly 1,100 strong. And the diversity in radio’s programming is unquestionable. This medium allows marketers to reach their target audiences according to their lifestyles, interests, age groups and languages at any point in their day and most important closest to the moment they are about to make a purchase.

The RAB works with advertisers, broadcasters and industry associations and partners to elevate radio’s position as a growing and healthy medium. We endeavor to exceed in our objective to enhance the perception of radio as a primary medium to all advertisers and increase radio’s advertising and marketing revenue and share.

We also work closely with the creative community to develop best practices and to celebrate those that excel in understanding, supporting and that use radio to deliver audio messages that resonate with their potential customers — our listeners.

At the Radio Mercury Awards this past June, we celebrated and honored advertisers that epitomize a level of excellence in radio creative and use. This year’s Radio Marketer of the Year Award was presented to Target. For the past several years, RAB’s Business Development team has worked closely with Haworth Marketing and Media — Target’s media agency — to understand radio’s strengths and create ways to effectively use radio across all of its platforms. Let’s hear what Melissa Schoenke, Target’s director of Media Strategy, had to say.

That is a true success story for radio. And there are more like these out there so let’s keep the momentum going and promote them.

Education is critical to our future and there is a wealth of information available to you during this year’s Radio Show in every session you attend — to share with your colleagues, managers, stations and advertising partners. I encourage you to take in as many of the sessions, special events and networking opportunities programmed with you in mind by our steering committee — led by, as you know, Univision Radio’s José Vallé. We did our best to follow your lead.

So you can take full advantage of the conference, be sure to download the Radio Show app. Simply call star star app. That’s **277 from your mobile device. Also, don’t forget that some of today’s sessions are being streamed and are available for download later. Check out the app or your program and exhibit guide to find out further details.

Enjoy the conference and remember. . . . Radio, it’s on!