As we jump into the new decade, it’s become apparent that the more things change, the more the questions stay the same.
What do audiences care most about? What about the youth? How are they engaging? What do we do to ensure that the market engages with our brand or platform?
Radio needs to take a bow and we need to acknowledge its resilience. We’re seeing radio consumption remain consistent and even growing worldwide. It still remains one of the biggest platforms for music discovery. In addition, radio is the perfect complimentary medium to integrate other content platforms into its eco-system.
Jacaranda FM has the biggest radio website in the country, and it remains driven by its core broadcasting platform. However, it enables the brand to engage audiences on a variety of platforms, including on air, created content on the website and social media, podcasting on Jacpod, as well as the Jacaranda Mall, its e-commerce offering. Radio has a personal relationship with its audience, which it is able to extend onto other platforms.
Streaming is also seeing great growth in South Africa. The more connected we become as a country, coupled with advancements in data prices, the more streaming will thrive.
So, where is this all going?
We’ve seen a really interesting development in the last couple of years relating to content consumption. Audio. Is. Exploding! Whether it’s radio, streaming, podcasting, voice assistance, smart speakers or the connected car, audio is the main vehicle for engagement in new technologies. Audio platforms allow audiences to engage seamlessly, and without having to divert their attention from anything else that they might be busy with at that time.
Audio consumption is at an all-time high, and it’s driven by the youth. Studies show that Gen Z listen to audio for more than 18 hours per week. Radio remains strong, and podcasting is taking up precious minutes from video rather than traditional radio. Brands are following suit at a rapid rate, with many implementing specific audio strategies to drive engagement and sales. Even media entrepreneur and founder media holding company, VaynerX founder, Gary Vaynerchuk, has adopted Sonic Branding as part of his strategy.
Another consideration for engaging with the next generation of audiences is the authenticity of the message. Once again, radio has a massive advantage here as authenticity is and has always been at its core. It’s real people, talking about real things, playing the music that the audience relates to.
The fact that radio remains live, local, and free means that, especially in the South African context, it will continue to engage audiences, in particular Gen Y and Gen Z.
Fine, but what does it all mean?
It means that we all have a responsibility to embrace audio. If you decide to not engage your audience on an auditory basis, you cannot expect to engage with Gen Z.
The demand for content is ever-increasing, and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Sure, the preferred platform or medium might shift, but it is once again audio’s turn to drive innovation.
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