One of radio's great problems is its inherently parochial nature.
We rightly celebrate increases in revenue year-over-year without necessarily recognizing that this growth does not happen in an otherwise static environment. And it is these very transformative changes which are making today's "100-Arbitron-share world" less relevant by the day.
The bigger picture is where the advertiser plans to spend their money, regardless of the media involved.
In a recent STRATA survey of ad agencies, there are several tidbits worthy of note:
Nearly 40% of ad agencies believe it will be at least five years before they anticipate spending more on digital media than traditional media including broadcast and print. However, just as TV ad share continues to decline, traditional print advertising appears to be declining even further. Nearly two-thirds of respondents say their clients are less focused on print than they were a year ago. Not one agency polled feels it will increase print ad buys.
The most interesting thing about this excerpt is that it acknowledges the belief by a plurality of agencies that digital spending will exceed traditional media spending in as few as five years.
And what medium is currently advertisers' favorite? TV – at 42%. Radio stations saw a slight increase from the previous quarter with 16.4% of agencies pointing to radio as their top advertising choice.
Meanwhile, 32.1% of the agencies say that their clients' focus on spot radio will be less than it was a year ago.
And one "buried lead" sentence that, in a few words, spells out the core of the opportunity for big media, radio and otherwise: "Our survey taps into the perception that digital has its limitations in reach and effectiveness and must still be used with traditional media like TV."
In other words, it's not about radio – and it's not about digital – it's about effectiveness, not platforms.
Are you thinking about effectiveness? Or ratings points?