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Radio: Trends to watch out for in 2021
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The biggest trends that 2021 will bring to the radio industry
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Radio: Trends to watch out for in 2021

The biggest trends that 2021 will bring to the radio industry
  • As we enter a brand new year, we want to crystal gaze into what the year holds for us.
  • In today's feature, experts from the radio industry tell us a few big trends we need to watch out for in 2021.
We have finally left 2020, one of the most difficult years we have faced collectively in recent times, behind. It was a year that affected businesses, lives, markets, and the world in general. And it obviously had an impact on the media and entertainment industry too. While it affected almost all media platforms, it affected some mediums more than others.

Traditional mediums like Print, OOH, Experiential and Radio bore the brunt. With advertisers stopping most of their marketing activities, especially in the first few months, AdEx witnessed a major dip.

Specifically Radio as a medium is largely dependent on retail advertising and when retail saw a complete shutdown, the medium suffered too as advertisers pulled back on ads. Many radio players had to cut salaries and rationalize manpower. However, according to most experts from the industry, it was also a great teacher. It taught the industry to innovate and efficiently reduce cost, that they feel will come handy for organizations in the future too.

Now, with things slowly getting back on track, most leaders are excited about 2021. We spoke to a few of them to understand what to expect from the upcoming year, and the trends that we should look out for in the Radio industry. Here’s what they had to say:

Abraham Thomas, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network Limited

Radio: Trends to watch out for in 2021

The year 2020 has surely been a great teacher as it enabled us to broaden our horizon and explore possibilities like never before. Radio has been re-imagined in the minds of the listeners and its transformation into a complete audio entertainment platform has been a stellar one. For 2021, we see the medium seamlessly integrating digitization further and taking massive strides as the emergence of audio will take precedence across all innovations. This year, the advancements of digitization enabled radio networks to build a holistic audio entertainment experience for listeners as well as for brands to leverage.
For the coming year, we are certain that there will be an expansion in the audio space with radio further venturing into avenues that harnesses the power of the medium. The changing landscape of consumer behaviour presented us, at BIG FM, with opportunities and we established ourselves as an audio entertainment player. After the launch of our web radio platform Big Radio Online this year, we are strategically advancing into a myriad of avenues such as gamification, chat bots, social commerce and many others. This will enable us to present an immersive experience and also a deeper level of engagement with various stakeholders. We see this dominating the innovations and leading the trend for next year. These avenues will further integrate radio into becoming a one-stop audio entertainment destination.

Radio as a medium has constantly reinvented itself, is in line with the evolving times and will continue to expand its wings and dominate the audio content space in the year to come.

Prashant Panday, MD & CEO, MIRCHI

Radio: Trends to watch out for in 2021

“The pandemic has hit the business of every advertiser. It has increased the risks for them. In 2021, and in years further ahead, advertisers will want to reduce risks associated with media buying. To this end, they will demand more “solutions” to their marketing challenges from their media partners. They will scale back on pure media buying, and put more monies on solutions. Media companies will have to add marketing and creative people to their teams, who can understand the challenges of advertisers, and develop solutions accordingly. Media companies will move towards becoming marketing consultancies, though they will not directly compete with advertising agencies. Media companies will extend the brand messaging that ad agencies create through innovative last-mile adaptations. In order to do this, media companies will have to develop a suite of products, very different from their core product. Mirchi for instance, has developed digital products that include original video content, other videos, online radio, and audio solutions using the plain old telephone system. We have also developed a suite for on-ground and on-TV IPs like the Mirchi Music Awards, the Mirchi Cover Stars and the Mirchi Neon Run. Such products will give advertisers an opportunity to reach their target audiences more predictably and efficiently.”

Ashit Kukian, CEO, Radio City

Radio: Trends to watch out for in 2021

Radio has always been one of the most trusted and reliable media, more so in this year. We saw an increase in listenership during the lockdown, contrary to the belief that the consumption would dip as people stopped traveling. A trend we noticed this year and forecast for 2021 would be growth in radio, in terms of listenership and business from the Tier2 and Tier 3 markets. With increase in 5G penetrationand consumption shiftby brands to advertise more in Tier 2 & Tier 3 markets. Categories like e-commerce, OTT platforms , FMCG & Retail would like to leverage these markets. Due to radio's reach and accessibility, these brands will look at advertising their messaging on radio to leverage a wider audience. Also, radio is one of the most effective medium that disseminates credible content and any brand in the current situation wants to be associated with a medium that communicates their message in a positive manner. This will in turn help the radio industry increase its revenue and eventually come out of the woods stronger.