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“Advertising goes off the radio”

Wow, did Business Week get this one wrong.

They write a piece on the growth of online advertising, which is about to pass the volume of spot advertising on radio, and the spin is all “bad news for radio.”

Eventually, they go on to warn about declines in print and TV as well, but they single out radio for primary emphasis. And, of course, they don’t even mention magazine advertising which is odd considering the web is an aggregation of special interest websites which resembles nothing more than your local newstand. It is, in other words, a better substitute for magazines – including Business Week – than it is for TV, radio, or print.

But let’s ignore that tiny oversight.

And let’s ignore that the most effective sort of online advertising – moving video – is the best substitute for TV and the owner of Business Week, McGraw Hill, owns four TV stations. Oops, they didn’t mention that.

Further, let’s ignore that radio is still easy and ubiquitous and familiar and mobile.

Now this doesn’t mean the storm clouds aren’t rumbling on the horizon.

Indeed, the danger for radio is very clear if we as an industry don’t focus on our future rather than our illustrious past.

But ss I’ve noted previously, it’s naive to imagine that radio advertising is all about advertising on the radio rather than advertising to radio’s considerable audiences wherever they may be found – including online.

If broadcasters are smart, and I pray they are, we will see a good share of that online revenue moving to radio’s own Internet tentacles, which can work in concert with the on-air offerings and produce a unique synergy for the advertiser.

That’s the idea, anyway.

An idea that hasn’t occurred to Business Week.

An idea that I hope will occur to radio.

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