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Better Together: Converging radio and social media

BY Jelli ON July 10, 2013 IN Jelli News

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The media choices that consumers make today are highly personal. Radio has traditionally been considered to be the most personal form of media – from music played to the personality of the hosts. Listeners choose their station of preference in their cars, homes, and workplaces in ways that TV never could permeate.

Today, social media has moved into this personal space by enabling active, two-way communication between family, friends, and brands. Combining the reach of radio with the power of social media presents tremendous value for both listeners and advertisers alike. It will help ensure that radio remains a thriving media despite the rapid change in technology that is underway.

Radio has already entered the online and mobile fray in some ways. Most stations can be streamed online or through apps like Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio, and users often Tweet or Facebook what songs they are listening to. Yet, for the most part, the experience has remained loyal to its origins – a one-way mode of communication (outside of the request line/submission format). Even TV, with seemingly tougher barriers to overcome, has incorporated more two-way experiences ranging from Tweet scrolls to actually crowdsourcing what storyline a show will take in real time.

The opportunity for radio to harness social for both listener and advertiser is tremendous. Music unites these two mediums in significant ways. For example, over 35 of the most liked pages on Facebook come from musicians. Twitter is dominated by music related subjects, so much so that they released a Twitter Music app earlier this year.

Additionally, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau, up to a third of Internet usage comes while radio is also being consumed. Apps are constantly being released that enable fans to be part of the radio experience in a more active way, like allowing users to pick which songs play next in the Jelli mobile apps.

A more screen-based experience can not only empower listeners and strengthen ties in the process, but it can be more appealing to advertisers. Stations will be able to pull in the social graphs of their listeners, gaining significantly more information about their audience. They can add a first or sometimes second experience where previously only a dial existed, and add additional layers and interaction into ad campaigns.

Turning a one-direction medium that has over 242 million weekly listeners into a two-way interaction model is the future for radio. Listeners want to be involved. Advertisers want to reach their most valuable customers and also gain more information about the audiences who hear their ads. Converging radio and social media is the path that not only keeps radio relevant, but drives it into a competitive space in a crowded communications ecosystem. Radio and social media, better together!

By Glenn Frese
Riverfreeze Consulting

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