The Auto industry flashes radio the yellow “caution” light

From Inside Radio:

Auto companies embrace online, but radio’s still along for the ride. Despite the shift of auto dollars to digital platforms, the author of a new report on automotive spending says radio won’t be left at the side of the road by automakers or dealers. Kelsey Group CEO Neal Polachek tells Inside Radio “a sense of performance” is driving the shift as advertisers look for “more tightly measured” media…. [A]s the audience continues to shift online, auto advertising dollars will also move from traditional to online media. The report predicts Internet’s share of auto ad dollars will grow from 5% today to 13% in 2011. During the same period, newspaper share is expected to decline from 17% to 14% while radio’s share will hold steady at 7%.

This kind of story reinforces two false things:

1. That everything will be just fine with traditional radio if we wait out the storm 2. That “radio” and “online” are two different things

Both of these are popular myths, and woe unto you and your company if you believe either one.

Here’s a message to radio’s trade press: Stop showing our industry the rear view mirror. We don’t need to fix our makeup where we’re going.

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