How Mobile Can Save Your Talk Radio Brand

| October 20, 2014

By Gabe Barnes
Director, Business Development
Mersoft Media 

 

barnesgabewriterKANSAS CITY — Now I know that many of you may be thinking, “What the hell is this guy talking about?”

But hear me out first.

I am not saying that if you do not embrace mobile, your station might cease to exist.  I am saying that if you don’t embrace mobile, your station WILL CEASE TO EXIST as you know it.

The general population is quickly consuming the majority of its audio content through various digital platforms, and with mobile providing 24/7 access, users are looking at a traditional broadcast’s digital offering and measuring how it stack ups against the competition.

Localytics – a mobile analytics provider – put out a study in 2013 that showed nearly half of all radio app usage took place in areas outside of the broadcast range.

But for some reason, many broadcasters feel that this is a negative, and not a positive.

Last week I was at a radio idea bank convention in Indiana, and mentioned the Localytics study.  Much to my surprise, many radio group owners voiced their opinions about how this was bad for their stations due to streaming fees when the user is listening outside of the local station’s broadcast range, and that local advertisers aren’t interested in someone that isn’t local at that time.

My counter objection was that many of those listening out of the broadcast range were actually local residents or had some ties to that local community; and that a local advertisement would be just as effective, provided the advertisement is compelling and targeted.

This brings us to advertising.

Spoken-word formats are all about bringing to life pictures or images that the show hosts are discussing over the air, and having it resonate with the listeners.

Mobile can now breathe life into the audio advertisements that go over the air by bringing a visual, interactive, and direct response component to the table.

As the saying goes – “a picture is worth a thousand words”

Mobile technology allows users to connect with your station 24/7/365, and interact in real time, everywhere.

Picture this scenario:

Your show has a celebrity guest being interviewed on the air.  Your station has integrated video capabilities that allow users of the station app to utilize their camera and call in to the station while having their face displayed across every one of your listeners mobile app, and they can engage in dialogue with the show and celebrity speaker.  And this can all be done from anywhere in the country.

Sounds impossible? Not at all.

There is one thing for certain, your current demo will be replaced by a new demo that is used to consuming content through mobile and apps, and if you are not on the mobile train, you will be left behind.

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Gabriel Barnes is a co-founder and directs business development at Mersoft Media – a leading developer of smartphone applications for talk and music radio stations across the country.  He can be reached via phone at 913-871-6200 or email at gbarnes@mersoft.com. Follow him on Twitter @gabrielbarnes.

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Category: Advice, Digital