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Industry Contributor 12 Aug 2020 - 2 min read

Here's a tip - audio and radio sector is set for new growth

By Venessa Hunt, Chief Digital Strategy Officer - GroupM
  • Australian radio broadcasters are working with major media agencies to develop RadioMatrix.
  • Three years in the making, the pilot program provides agencies a single platform to connect with hundreds of radio stations.
  • It reduces the reliance on manual processes at the briefing stage and aids real-time collaboration.
  • The first phase of RadioMatrix was launched in 2017 and digitised parts of the bookings process.

We have never seen a time like this before in the radio industry and the timing could not be better.  

The radio industry and wider audio industry is coming together and evolving the media and advertising industry for the greater good of brands. The excitement is turning up, if you'll pardon the pun. 

Whilst we do have a way to go, the announcement this week of Australian radio broadcasters working together with major media agencies on the development of virtual industry-wide workspace in RadioMATRIX shows the commitment of the radio industry in taking steps in the right direction. This will make traditional radio briefing and buying a lot easier for both broadcasters and agencies. 

As I look towards the future, I dream of a nirvana where the industry as a whole can see audio with the maturity that we have in video. It took some time to get there. But we will fundamentally begin to think of audio holistically rather than traditional radio plus reach extension into digital environments. Where, just as we have done in video (TV, BVOD, AVOD, UCG) we understand the human behaviour across all audio environments - radio, digital radio, music streaming, podcasting and more importantly, understand the incremental opportunities that we have access to, and how they can bring audio into more aspects of a client’s brand strategy.

Advertising across digital audio platforms is maturing, with 90% of media buyers placing ads in streaming services and 75% embracing podcasts in 2019 (up from 63% in 2018) according to the IAB’s Audio Advertising State of the Nation Report.

There’s also been a diversification of the devices on which audio content is consumed with the largest growth area in smart speakers. 

And now, with the recent consumer behaviour shift due to COVID, we have seen exponential growth in personal listening as more people spend time on their own and look for information and entertainment. Audio is also seen as a break from screens, which now dominate every aspect of life, which is an opportunity to capitalise on.  

I am most inspired by two areas of audio yet to become the norm. 

  1. The fast approaching future programmatic buying for digital audio allowing access for clients to once niche environments to incredibly large scale 
  2. An in-depth understanding about how to approach creative in personal messaging in personal audio to use the right moments and emotions to change opinions and build brands vs the direct, immediate and action-based creative that radio is currently known for. 

And while the RadioMatrix initiative is a leap forward for the briefing stage of radio, that will help clients and agencies engage with radio broadcasters. It still leaves some way to go until we reach that nirvana.

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Venessa Hunt, Chief Digital Strategy Officer


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