Based on the digital landscape in radio today, here are 11 predictions for radio’s future in digital:
1. The fusion of on-air content and online platforms will be seamless.
As radio stations develop strong digital strategies for their on-air talent, the content and engagement of online platforms will be naturally integrated into the on-air show. As the request lines ring less and less, jocks will use texting, social media and website commenting platforms to add more listener interaction to their shows.
2. Air talent social media platforms will be owned by the radio companies who employ them.
Many of the major radio corporations are already enforcing company social media guidelines upon air talent for their individual and show accounts. While some may retain control based on a “grandfathered in” negotiation, many will lose control as they are required to follow specific rules and even give administrative access to corporate staff.
3. Air talent will be held accountable for their online results.
Website traffic and social media success will no longer be measured out of curiosity or used for bonuses only. Air talent will be required to meet quarterly goals set by management, for both the station website and their show’s digital platforms.
4. Stations will budget for social media third party apps.
To achieve results with social media, radio will invest in applications for scheduling, contesting, and analytics.
5. Podcasting will no longer be the redheaded stepchild of radio.
Radio will follow the model of television (think DVR, on-demand), super-serving the core listeners with on-demand listening. Instead of viewing podcasts as a threat to both radio’s ratings and budget, managers will innovate and restructure podcasts to create ROI, regardless of the minimal ratings return.
6. All stations will have mobile apps and websites.
As mobile website usage continues to rise, even the smallest companies will focus on the mobile optimization of their station websites, and will invest in reliable mobile listening apps.
7. Stations will own advanced video equipment.
As the pressure to incorporate video into digital strategies builds, stations will invest in video equipment for use in-studio, at promotional events, concerts, and client remotes.
8. Radio will invest in social gaming for branding and promotions.
As listeners become more savvy to standard online advertisements, digital strategists and sales managers will invest more money for better results, with creative branding campaigns and promotions using social gaming.
9. Radio sales executives will sell the entire brand, rather than just terrestrial radio.
As advertisers seek more creative, multi-platform ideas, radio’s sales superstars will view their station brand from a big picture perspective, creating unique solutions for clients that involve marketing from a variety of platforms.
10. The radio industry will become an early adopter to digital innovations.
We’ve watched the newspaper industry’s struggle to innovate, and we won’t be left behind. Radio companies will be exploring new innovations as they arise, mining them for revenue opportunities.
11. Social media strategists and content curators will be standard positions in the radio industry.
As radio’s digital efforts continue, companies will hire content producers and social media strategists to create online content, design individual station strategies, and measure results.
Get our your Magic 8 Ball and make a prediction of your own in the comments. I’d love to hear it!
Photo courtesy of Sassy-Stock at deviantart.com.