Radio has to look attractive to creatives

International radio Consultant Francis Currie talks to some of the best programmers in the world, Gemma Fordham, Head of Content, Hit Network, Australia, Alex Agishev, Head of Content, Virgin Radio Dubai, Lawan (Lina) Chumsay Na Ayudhya, General Manager, Tero Radio, Thailand, about how turn around the global decline in 15-29 radio listening, and how to engage younger audiences with radio they actually want to listen to. Starting with some data Francis Currie showed the drop in radio listening among young people today – something which people can already see. So is linear radio on the way out with young leaders leading the way? Francis listed the reasons why he thought this isn’t the case and even the new services and platforms ‘borrow’ terminology and the feel of radio in their branding and advertising. Are these new platforms getting into radio when radio is getting out of radio… Alex Alegishev, Virgin Radio Dubai gave an overview of radio in Dubai and what has happened in the market there. He was followed by Gemma Fordham spoke about hyper local radio and radio ‘keeping those working from home company’, she also noted the positivity in the radio industry. Lina Chumsay, Tero Radio Thailand discussed how and why radio listening has grown and where Thai people listen to radio. In Dubai the audience is young and ‘digitally obsessed’ in this high commute market so podcasts and product extensions are seen as important. Alex spoke about festival sub-brands to connect with young audiences “RedFest”. SCA has a clear over and under 30 strategy, with an app eco system. Thought has gone into the offering for the young listener, they also try to find ways to bring young people into the eco-system with a willingness to try and fail. Gemma gave specific examples of a diversified approach. Tero radio has to serve diverse audiences, she gave a round up of the history of radio in Thailand. She discussed how Tero built it’s relationship with listeners in niche markets – Tofu pop (Asian Pop Genres) being one station that served under-served communities in a digital space. “If you want to talk to the under 30 audience have lots of people in your team who are under 30…that’s not just in digital, that’s in content, that’s on-air teams, that’s off air teams”. Gemma Fordham, Head of Content, Hit Network. Alex said that radio has to look attractive to creatives, how does radio keep being attractive to these people? Lina also said that you have to look at what talent want and need. The session looked at the threats and opportunities offered by different platforms and devices and ways of listening. This is where the differences were shown per market and how for Alex in Dubai smart speakers aren’t there yet but for Gemma smart speakers have been a gift to radio. All of the speakers gave their views on where radio is going; localization, the migration to digital and how to keep young people engaged. Francis summed it up as Be Everywhere, Connect with the Target, Invest in Research, Be Entertaining, Be a Companion, Be part of the Community!

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