Friday, February 02, 2007

Radio as we don't know it

The announcement of the latest Rajar figures is heralded as a great success for radio broadcasting by the broadcasters and the media. It is nothing of the sort.

Radio was dieing.

Then came the Internet

Then came that hackers and illegal file sharing folk

Then came light. Broadcasters found that MP3 was a friend, streaming Internet Protocol radio shows was a friend. The long tail is a friend.

They told the copyright lawyers to go away - well almost.

The shared their shows and find that digital radio is up, Podcasts are up, radio on TV's is up, Radio via mobile phones is up, listening via PC's is up.

Top programmes are up, niche programmes are up, listening to historic programming is up.

As the Independent put it: The digital revolution and the expansion of new ways of accessing information through the Internet has given a huge boost to one of the older and more traditional forms of electronic media - the radio.

There is one other angle. You can listen to the radio and do other things. It is great multitasking medium.

The research says that we we do things concurrently by switching from one task to another when we multi task so that is worth bearing in mind. This is not full and complete attention for much of the audience for much of the time.

PR practice has a big challenge, alongside the Rajar channels there are all the podcasts. Dozens of them.

Offering content both in terms of talking heads and ready made content is now a very definite part of the communication mix for PR.