There’s nothing more frustrating to broadcast radio critics than radio’s continued success. The critics tell us that radio along with the other traditional media will soon be toast, just a distant memory of past glories.
Soon listeners will abandon radio for Internet alternatives. Media buyers will follow them pouring more and more money into new media, ultimately starving radio to a financial death, the critics tell us.
Yet listeners keep listening, media buyers keep buying. The latest projections have broadcast radio spot revenue continuing to grow for the foreseeable future even without digital.
How can that be? How can radio critics be so righteously confident they’re right, and yet so wrong-headedly wrong?
A recent MediaPost column by Bill Rose, Seiter & Miller VP/Director of Account Services, notes that:
Big, old media brands with their passive audiences, one-way communication and clunky buyer/seller interactions (face-to-face selling, really?) are just not ready to leave the party. Many of these crusty old buzzards are having banner years in this, the second decade of the 21st century.
Rose believes these crusty old buzzards aren’t toast for a very good reason: They deliver value to the advertiser. He attributes traditional media’s continued strength to its ability to:
Drive fundamental awareness and positive perceptions for a product or brand. It is the gateway to deeper brand relationships; (it) is the battleground for the biggest marketing bucks.
He believes that “Digital media (online, mobile and social) have not inspired confidence that they can be the lead spears in putting a brand quickly on the map of consumer's consciousness.”
Advertisers may like to dabble in new delivery systems, but ultimately they put the lion’s share of their budgets into media that deliver value. Radio’s reach is unsurpassed. Radio’s ability to efficiently target an audience beats even television.
New media is not radio’s greatest threat. It is radio’s self-doubt and a fire-sale mentality that diminishes the product and willingly drives CPPs down.
Be sure to read his entire commentary.