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The Future of Radio On The Internet

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While we talk about the death of newspapers with great regularity it gets to be old news real quickly and even starts to feel a little mean. So to relieve that pressure eMarketer has come out with a report that is evidence of the decline and fall of another old friend, radio. Terresttrial radio is what we are talking about here. Good old fashioned over the airwaves kind of radio is heading in the same direction as newspapers which is sad but just another harsh reality of the shift in the media of the future. eMarketer tells us

The message coming from the radio industry is clear: Terrestrial radio is in trouble financially and things will get worse before they get any better. Many of the country’s largest national broadcasters are on the verge of bankruptcy, and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) announced that Q1 2009 was the industry’s worst quarter ever in terms of ad spending.

“Internet Radio Makes Waves,” a new eMarketer report, predicts the radio industry will see double-digit losses in ad spending this year alone, with terrestrial radio bringing in $14.5 billion in ad revenues in 2009, a drop of 18% from 2008 levels.

At least radio isn’t stumbling into the online space as badly as the newspaper industry has. The outlook for online radio ad spending is much brighter although it’s not going to be taking the world by storm by any means. The nice thing that online radio presents advertisers is more segmentation and more niche-oriented opportunities to target ad spend in ways that were not possible in recent years.

The chart below shows that the prediction is that online radio ad spend is poised to at least continue to grow while the jury is out on traditional radio. Early returns though seem to point to the steady decline of radio for the purist. No news on ham radio operators though so maybe there is still hope ;-)

Radio J eMarketer

What are your habits when it comes to radio? I know mine have changed significantly but it’s still on when I am in the car. The difference is that I listen now for different reasons and will quickly play a CD or whatever once there is nothing to being offered on the air. As for Internet radio? I’m not quite there yet but that may just be me.

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