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Journal Breakfast, Radio still a relevant medium?

It’s the first Journal of Marketing breakfast and Virtuosa once again are here giving live updates through Tweeting and Blogging to bring you all the news firsthand. Moderated by Jeremy Maggs this morning we are talking about Radio and why this medium is still relevant. The panel consists of Lance Rothschild (Media Consultant & Radio Commentator, Opportun(at)e), Norman Gibson – (GM, Radio Advertising Bureau) Omar Essack (Executive Director: Broadcasting, Kagiso Media) Andrew Smythe (GM Radio Sales & Alternative Revenue, SABC, Terry Volkwyn (CEO, Primedia Broadcasting).

Some of the highlights during the morning:
  • Omar Essack – I don’t think radio was better in the old days. It’s just different today, there is less competition but things changed TV has come into play, it’s forced Radio to evolved. Radio has to constantly re-invent itself.
  • Terry Volkwyn – I am very passionate about radio because of the immediacy, creativity and pace of it all. You are able to communicated one to one which means it’s a much richer experience.
  • Lance Rothchild – One thing about radio you can create your own personal pictures for the content.
  • Andrew Smythe– Truth is quality has wobbled in radio, radio industry is due for a shakeup late this year with the granting of three new fully commercial licenses in CPT, KZN and Pretoria. This will bring fresh blood out there, new marketing managers and new ideas.
  • Terry Volkwyn – Radio now has all this interactivity with the emergence of digital – whole new way of going about radio. Radio is integrating with digital which also gives it a new life.
  • Norman Gibson – Advertisers have a great responsibility to make sure the client understand the intrinsic of radio
  • Terry Volkwyn – Clients are demanding more from Advertising Agencies, become far more one on one.
  • Omar Essack -We want to get better at managing communities that gather around our radio stations and websites
  • Norman Gibson – Stations are very mindful of the digital explosion. But the numbers aren’t there for us.
  • Terry Volkwyn – Website, mobi site is part of the station not just an add on. For us it’s an integration and we don’t sell different space on the website it’s part of the package.

Interesting for me is the panels diverse opinion around what role digital should be playing in radio stations. Some seem to be of the opinion that internet access in South Africa is not high enough to warrant really investing into it. I find these opinions surprising. Others on the panel recognise that digital is exploding and see this as an unique opportunity to offer an integrated approach to their listeners. What’s clear is that there is an uncertainty on how best to integrate digital with their offering and how to  manage the communities that are developing around the station and especially the websites.

If you want to read more about what was discussed during this morning session be sure to get your hands on an issue of the next Journal of Marketing.


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