Asian-Pacific Radio Summit

Ezra Zaid the host of Radiodays Asia hosted this Asian Pacific Radio Summit with some high level speakers from different parts of Asian radio. Jana Rangooni, CEO, Radio Broadcasters Association, New Zealand gave her insights on how radio in New Zealand has dealt with the pandemic. She spoke about the dip in revenues, she noted revenues dipped on average by 15% after a year during the pandemic. Staffing however has been reduced however audiences have increased though disruption in audiences when areas do go back into lock downs. Media and retail consumption has also been affected with clients having to digitize and change their messaging. Aaron Giles Pinto, Head of Content, Group Programming, Astro in Malaysia he also said that listeners have been steady. He said consumption has moved to later in the day, which is good for Astro. He said revenues went down and though they were rising the second lockdown was harder than the first. Kim Bum-soo, Senior Producer, KBS gave an update from Korea his recollections of the start of the pandemic and the work the news teams have been doing in Korea. He discussed how the news coverage has changed with daily briefings about the pandemic and how the public have been updated on the situation. “The media has had to learn how to be incredibly flexible” Jana Rangooni, CEO, Radio Broadcasters Association, New Zealand  This has been a positive for radio in terms of what radio can communicate although it’s putting pressure on the whole supply chain even consumers. She discussed mental health issues and what has to be considered in terms of communities and their well-being. Aaron also spoke about community projects in Malaysia – some air time was offered to micro businesses on-air and on social to push fans to support these communities. Bum-soo said KBS’ listeners said the number of radio listeners peaks in the morning, they listen on the way to work 80.2% listen when driving. The current pandemic means people work from home, KBS have said this is not good for overall listening, in the second quarter of 2020 KBS share of the market grew KBS World Service opened a special webpage the number of people who visit this online platform rose by 80.6% at home and from abroad, this was a large increase. More people relied on radio for news on the Covid pandemic as a trusted source of information. Rise in listeners didn’t lead to a rise in revenue (on the revenue driven stations). The panel finished by looking to the future what audiences need and want on a daily and weekly basis.  Jana said that there is some light in terms of revenues when people come out of lockdowns and that radio, in time of crisis has come out on top again, radio is still the number one medium during times of emergency. Aaron said they are also seeing an uptake in revenue, he said that the pandemic has taught radio that the digital wave is here and that radio stations need a suite of audio products where people are in so we are prepared in the future. Bum-soo said KBS phone interviews have become more emotionally disconnected, they are now using more video conferences to bring back the human contact. This video interview system is good for radio, anchor can see the interviewee, this can also then go cross-platform the biggest barrier is connection problems. This allows quality interviews and is a big learning during the pandemic.

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