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RadioAsia2014: Generate revenue from new media

The second workshop of the day at ABU’s RadioAsia conference heard that as advertisers increasingly spend more on digital advertising, radio networks in Asia must generate ideas that work on multiple platforms.

Australian radio consultant Steve Ahern told attendees in Colombo, Sri Lanka, that media consumption had multiplied thanks to the use of multiple devices (radios, smartphones and tablets). Research also showed that people are often consuming three types of media at once, he said.

“Stations that succeed have generated ideas for multiple platforms including radio stations’ websites, social media streams and apps,” he added.

“Sri Lanka has fifty-eight radio stations serving a population of 21 million; the industry matured quickly after radio was liberalised in the 1990s,” Nedra Weerasinghe, Group Director, Electronic Media Business, Capital Maharaja Org, Sri Lanka, told delegates.

“The industry here is using web/mobile and Social Media very effectively,” she added. 

Capital Maharaja, which owns five FM stations, utilised listeners’ demand for local music on Sirasa FM – the country’s number one radio channel (Sinhala) and the youth English station Y FM. The two stations helped musicians produce their own music and guaranteed airplay to successful acts, generating around 10 new hits per month.

The stations generated revenue through fans’ voting for their favorite songs/artists through premium SMS and IVR short codes. Most of the income comes from ringtone downloads from the most popular songs.

In Australia, public broadcaster ABC achieved 6.2 million audio downloads in April, Ahern said, and another network, Southern Cross Austereo, saw its digital audience rise 130 percent over the past year.

He added that podcasting or catch-up radio now offers an opportunity to sell more or different advertising specifically targeted at fans of a particular show.

Asia Radio Today reporting from the RadioAsia 2014.