The value of broadcast in the mobile era, today and tomorrow

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Martin-Kristiseter-163x180Nearly 70% of Americans tune in to radio every day from their homes, their cars and increasingly, their mobile phones for a host of compelling reasons. No medium can compete with broadcast radio’s widespread accessibility (regardless of economics or education levels) and its commitment to important local information on traffic, weather and all manner of conversations. It’s no wonder that broadcast radio reaches more Americans on a daily basis than the Internet, newspapers or magazines. Simply put, unlike any other medium, broadcast radio connects people to their communities.


These intrinsic advantages are strengthened by the mobile wave. According to Pew Internet fully 91% of Americans own a cell phone today. This means broadcast stations and advertisers now have a powerful opportunity to reach listening audiences on multiple channels. But it’s not just about staking claim to a growing platform. Arbitron recently commissioned a study called “Goin’ Mobile” that found that while radio has multiple opportunities to take part in the smartphone revolution, much more is required than simply turning a smartphone into a music player. The needs and habits of listening audiences today are much different from those of the past. In order to remain competitive, stations must rapidly evolve their value propositions and build upon the unique advantages of broadcast to reach audiences.

As Vice President of Mobile Solutions at Marketron, I spend a lot of time thinking about what it means to serve broadcast listeners who are also on mobile and what sort of mobile advertising tools will help broadcast stations win new business and reach customers. Audiences can now interact with stations on the go from anywhere and at any time, giving stations and advertisers the ability to connect with customers wherever and whenever it makes the most sense.   It also means that as more people adopt mobile technologies, it’s vital for stations to provide audiences with unobstructed access. Today, there are several tools available on the market that helps ensure that organizations and advertisers have optimized sites for today’s mobile users.  Drag and drop website builders make it simple for stations to get up and going quickly, while analytics monitoring means mobile strategy can be continuously refined. These types of strategic offerings equip stations with the right tools to engage their audience and stay ahead of the mobile curve.

Because of its value to local communities, broadcast radio will always be an important part of the media mix. But in order to compete in today’s mobile market, it’s more important than ever that stations place emphasis on listeners’ new needs and habits, thinking creatively and strategically to fulfill them by designing and building multi-platform distribution channels that matter.

Today, widespread mobile adoption means there are more ways to reach and engage with listening audiences than ever before. And as mobile usage rises, the need to embrace multichannel distribution and deliver multi-platform content will become not just a good idea, but also an imperative one.

–Martin Kristiseter, Marketron Vice President of Mobile Solutions