We have often touted the flexibility of radio to adapt to a changing media landscape, whether it’s through podcasts, streaming, using Facebook pages or employing Twitter. For a traditional medium that is sometimes characterized with an old-time cabinet-style radio, current day stations are actually dynamic, multiplatform operations with their websites, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and YouTube channels an integrated part of their listener communications.
Case in point: Last week in the Wall Street Journal, NPR’s President Vivian Schiller addressed National Public Radio‘s digital growth. Schiller said, “We are agnostic about whether somebody listens over broadcast or listens to the exact same radio stream on the Internet… For the listener’s ear, whether they’re listening via an Internet stream or broadcast, it’s identical.”
Schiller’s comments echo those of the radio industry as a whole. Our station surveys and daily contact with stations show that the radio industry seems to inherently understand that they must innovate while at the same time continue to provide what their listeners want. It’s the “and” approach to growth rather than the “either” that other industries, namely print, are suffering from. It’s either the newspaper or online. It’s either the nightly television broadcast or cable ratings.
Radio programmers understand that it’s not either the radio in your car or the Internet stream on your computer at work — it’s both. And they’re targeting both for maximum audience reach. No wonder radio consistently performs with 90 percent of the age of 18 plus audience listening weekly and a higher penetration than television, magazines, newspapers or the Internet.