Radio and the internet is an established success story for advertisers, with them often playing complementary roles in media plans. Combined, they have a positive impact on brands and consumer behaviour and improve ad recall considerably, with research showing that exposure to radio advertising boosts brand browsing by an average of 52%.

 

And that positive relationship isn’t going anywhere: while the digital/mobile revolution shows no sign of slowing, 89% of us continue to tune into radio every week.

 

What is going to force behavioural change (at least among advertisers) however, is the rise of listening to the radio on the internet, with a 12% year on year increase in the 3rd quarter of last year, the already close relationship is set to get a lot closer.

 

Modern consumers don’t ‘go online’ the way they used to switch on a radio. We are surrounded by online, with it blending seamlessly into the offline world. As a result there is huge potential in internet radio for the advertising industry. Here are a few of the areas that excite us most.

 

Ad recall

 

Back in the pre-internet days, radio ads relied on the ability of the audience to recall the ad. The rise of the internet shortened the need for recall. Internet radio makes the need for long term recall almost nil. Smart internet radio adverts will reward speed of action, encouraging positive consumer behaviour and a seamless move from advert to action.

 

Interactivity

 

Being connected to the internet means that your radio is no longer a one way receiver. We predict that internet radio adverts are eventually going to encourage audience participation and allow the consumers to actually interact with the ad.

 

Specialisation (niche audiences)

 

The atomising effect of the internet encourages niche audiences. Classic FM not Baroque enough for your tastes? Then you can up the rococo factor by choosing to listen to their online Baroque specific channel. Having a niche audience allows the media space owner to not only keep their audience happier but also collect more specialised data about that audience.

 

Data

 

The internet gives more audience data, allowing access to a greater variety of data fields (browsing activity, interests etc). In much the same way that Facebook make sure their ads get seen by the right audience, so too will internet radio. Radio station owners will have to be like all media space owners in the digital age and recognise that the value of their media space is in their audience – not least their data, email address and patterns of behaviour.

 

Improved quality of data could also lead to a diminished importance of the quantity of data. Massive listening figures for one brilliant DJ won’t be worth much if the data of that audience isn’t of good quality.