Media Trends To Watch In 2019: Where’s Radio?


With CES 2019 seeing announcements from both iHeartMedia and Entercom within its first hours of welcoming thousands of guests to the Las Vegas Convention Center, Globalwebindex writer Duncan Kavanaugh offered in a “four-minute read” some of what his organization believes are the biggest media and entertainment trends to watch in 2019.

Where’s radio … or audio?

The good news is Kavanaugh mentions radio, but below some other hot topics for marketers and consumers.

“Entertainment trends in particular are in constant flux, with new platforms, mediums and features changing the way we consume content,” he says. In 2018, the rise of sports viewing on new devices and platforms made headlines. Social media continued to evolve into an entertainment hub.

In 2019, Kavanugh believes trends such as the continued reign of Netflix in the video streaming space, the increased popularity of esports, and wider VPN usage are among some of the key things to watch.

But, he also notes that music streaming remains limited.

How so? Some 38% of the online population claim to never use music streaming services, making this the least popular form of entertainment Globalwebindex tracks. “In the age of Spotify, this may seem shocking, but generational splits tell the full story,” Kavanaugh writes. “In 21 of our 42 tracked markets, more time is spent listening to radio than streaming music.”

Of course, the data is global in nature, and radio consumption may be higher in a nation such as Spain than the U.S.

Indeed, Kavanaugh notes, “This is most evident in Europe , where the online population is older.”

However, new hardware may be about to change this trend, with Madrid and Barcelona set to keep pace with Miami and Boston.

“A quarter of those who don’t use music streaming services plan to purchase a voice-controlled smart speaker, and a fifth plan to purchase a smart home entertainment product such as a wireless speaker,” Kavanaugh writes. “Easy access to these highly streaming-friendly devices may be the key to convert more casual music listeners into streamers.”

Kavanaugh also writes about linear television.

It’s bad news for the traditional players.

“Across all generations, internet users watch more broadcast TV than online TV,” he finds.

Of course, life stage “has a clear impact here.” Kavanaugh continues, “Consumers who are in a relationship and/or living with their partners are engaging more with broadcast TV than those who are single. Despite this, all groups watch roughly the same amount of online TV per day. It shows that rather than cannibalizing the opportunities for linear TV, its online counterpart is complementing it.”

Even so, Kavanaugh cautions, “it’s important not to underestimate the continued importance of traditional channels like broadcast TV, which still play a crucial role in an effective end-to-end marketing strategy. Among the brand discovery channels we track, TV ads remain one of the most impactful, with 36% reporting that they discover new brand or products through them, and 27% who say they discover brands via product placements in TV shows or movies.”

RBR+TVBR OBSERVATION: This is certainly an interesting read, with respect to traditional TV consumption and music streaming. As we have said for months, if radio can get on smart devices and more, there is hope. But … the hour glass is moving.