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3 things you should know about…radio

Post by Rhian Feather, Communications Planner, and Isabel Cockroft, Account Manager

Building on Ross’ recent RAJAR roundup, we wanted to update you with three things you should know about radio.

Firstly, the latest news is that Guardian Media Group (GMG) have sold both ‘Smooth’ and ‘Real’ radio brands for an estimated £50m to Global Radio. This estimated £50m is less than half of the carrying value of GMG radio in their 2011 report. However, it has certainly not been plain sailing for Global, as rivals have opposed such a purchase stating that this “spells bad news for commercial radio”, with Global having increased market dominance. Global are not letting this stop them as they are formally requesting a fast-track reference from the Office of Trading (OFT) to the Competition Commission. Once this has been officially submitted the OFT will have only 10 days, instead of the usual 40 days, to decide if this purchase will substantially reduce competition…

Secondly, with significant growth in digital radio listening this quarter, it seems apt to discuss a potential reason for this increase – Radio Player. Having been around for just over a year now, the Radio Player gives access to live, on demand and podcast radio from hundreds of UK stations. Currently the player is only optimised for desktop computers and laptops, although versions for mobiles, tablets and TV are being considered. The initial intentions to launch the Radio Player to boost online listening, it seems, have been successful!

Finally, the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) has launched two new tools which could prove instrumental to helping advertisers, media and creative agencies get more from the medium. Radio Gauge Predict, a free online service, (http://www.rab.co.uk/helpful-tools/predict-login) offers an easy way to access the data collected by Radio Gauge since its launch in 2008. The data covers over 500 campaigns and was created in response to demand from media and creative agencies who have needed to obtain sector insights and compare the effects of radio alongside other media in a given schedule. This new tool allows users to predict radio’s uplift by sector or objective and predict radio’s uplift alongside other media; brilliant for qualifying the use of radio on media plans! Also recently launched is the LoveRadioAds app. Free to download for smartphones, this app allows users to search and play radio ads. It will offer the top ten ads, as selected by the RAB, and allow users to browse the ads library when looking for inspiration when planning campaigns. This new app should help make the whole process of finding good examples of radio creative much easier.

All in all radio is doing all it can to continue to increase reach figures and help planners and advertisers navigate their way around the medium and it’s opportunities.

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