Radio Rocks On!

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Old Spice’s YouTube responses, albeit clever and buzzed about, will not be discussed in this blog today. Nor will I be the 47 millionth writer to kick the iPhone 4 where it hurts. That’s because the biggest news in media, online marketing and social media is”¦ wait for it – radio.

That’s right, cowboys and cowgirls. The little fuzzy sounding square where you used to listen to Doctor Demento is back. In truth, radio never left; rather, it has morphed into a do-it-yourself media tool that is accessible to everyone and, as it turns out, listened to by millions.

Yesterday the Guardian ran a piece about how smart phones have revitalized radio in the UK. A recent survey found that 20 percent of all smart phone users surveyed have a radio app installed on their phones. The same report says that 31 percent of all radio listeners listen to it online while 16 percent have downloaded a podcast. This is big news globally as well, since podcasts are now receiving bigger numbers and downloads and keeping up with streaming radio.

The comeback could be attributed to a lot of things. Primarily, I see it as the same anti-media media that YouTube belongs to. Online folks want to pick out their stations and not have a lot of corporate mumbo jumbo. The popularity of the iPhone NPR app is a testament to that. While many online stations and podcast have sponsored blocks, they are far less frequent and annoying than traditional radio.

For marketers, radio is good news. Online radio advertising rates are ridiculously low. Plus many offer options like sponsoring full hours or even entire days with multiple brand references. The other great marketing possibility of radio is that now small businesses can even start their own stations and podcasts that social media followers and newsletter readers can tap into.

Consider this all an after-effect of the Clear Channel domination of radio more than a decade ago. Now advertisers and marketers aren’t being told there is only one way to have a presence on radio. We’re being told that radio has infinite marketing possibilities just waiting for us to grab them.

But don’t touch that dial! Let’s hear from you now. What are some of the Internet radio stations you listen to during your workday (I’m a big fan of What’s your dream radio station sound like? And lastly, any advice you want to disperse to the rest of us about radio marketing? What’s your frequency, Kenneth? Sound off in the comments section below!

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