DEBRIEF: In order to judge what the future of radio is we need to look at the past. Why do I say that? Well, because when television came into being, way back when in the 1930s and 1940s, everyone said it would be the death of radio. How wrong ‘they’ were. Radio has, over the years, successfully managed to integrate with other mediums.
Today, the same is being said about print media. Many believe print won’t survive past this generation. I certainly do not believe that to be true. Many titles are evolving and attracting the much desired advertising revenue. I am not oblivious to the fact that advertising budgets are decreasing, but at the same time, I believe that by being innovative, you will ensure your space in the future
The question should be: what form will radio take as it evolves? Will it be live radio versus packaged radio? Live radio includes news/traffic/weather and that kind of up-to-the-minute information people need. But, at the same time, more people are migrating to more packaged radio avenues where they can buy packaged content/programmes that appeal to them.
Listening patterns and trends show that time spent listening continuously to any radio station will not be as long as what we are accustomed to. Media fragmentation is a way of life now, and people’s attention spans grow ever shorter as their access to information channels grows bigger, with more and more offerings available, especially online.
We in the radio business will need to think about how our medium shares space with other channels, and how we sell within the digital space.
From FM to digital, there’s a lot of radio out there. I also believe more radio apps will be developed, and that mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, phablets) will become increasing more important to listeners as app development grows ever more sophisticated.
But we need to remember that radio needs to move into integrating and not just complementing other publications.
Of course, in South Africa, accessibility continues to be a big issue. Data needs to become cheaper in comparison to the size of the population. This is one thing we cannot afford to mess up. The digital divide must be bridged, and cheap data is the only way we can do this.
We also need to be innovative within the 70% of below middle class so called “homogeneous group”.
- The 70% below middle class is what represents the future of this country
- The silence of the middle class is affront to the future of this country if they do not act to save those who fall within the 70% of South Africa
- The rise of live music The integration of multi-media platforms for radio like live streaming of events.
IMAGE: Kaya FM Facebook page
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.