Is digital the reason radio is dying?

The cause isn’t as straightforward as you might think

It’s easy to see how new generations brought up on mp3, cloud music libraries, youtube, spotify, napster, etc, – all accessible through a multitude of devices, have effectively been unplugged in terms of radio listening. Back in the 70s there was only radio, tape or vinyl, with radio being the most direct and interesting way to enjoy music as well as providing background conversational company in your home or at work. It’s not hard to understand that the decline is now fully underway and although we can point to the reasons previously mentioned, there’s another more important reason why radio is declining.

The ability to monitor ROI is where radio now falls down, conversely, monitoring digital advertising response is relatively easy and direct, with tracking mechanisms ensuring that calculating ROI is seamless. With radio advertising, you certainly can’t demonstrate ROI in the way you can by using Facebook, Google, etc. Unfortunately, in terms of the guys selling radio advertising, the sales proposition has become much more difficult as the digital barriers continue to be increasingly dominant.

Of course, there’s an even greater problem with the new way of marketing, the ethos now is much more results based, radically changing the way marketing is perceived and conducted. Concepts such as ‘positioning’, branding’ and ‘top of mind recall’ are diminishing in the digital marketing arena which is worrying because not all business is conducted on price (which is where the internet dominates – and where local businesses may not be able to compete!), many services and products are chosen by the public purely because of their perception of local businesses – this ‘perception’ can only be put in place by businesses if they conduct branding and name awareness type marketing, which isn’t just about immediate ROI.

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