A recent survey conducted by News Generation reveals that radio stations have embraced the reality that expanding their audience reach means going where that audience is. And today, that audience is online. The Internet has transformed radio into a visual medium where today’s listeners can more accurately be called users. And by implementing social networking media like personality websites, blogs, MySpace pages, and Facebook profiles, radio stations today are reaching their audience with an unprecedented level of interactivity.
Among 36 randomly sampled stations, more than eight out of ten reported that they use a webpage to not only provide extra publicity for the station, but also to stay connected with listeners. Websites appeal to the active listeners/users who visit a radio station’s site in addition to tuning in to its frequency. More than 40 percent of stations surveyed utilize DJ blogs, and several of them offer links to DJ MySpace pages or Facebook profiles to connect with their listeners. Of those sampled, 47% of the stations also said they us the website to share programming information.
50% of those surveyed said they updated their websites on a daily basis, while another 22% of respondents said they updated their pages weekly. This indicates that a considerable amount of time and effort is going into keeping their web content current, further evidence of the importance they place on the technology.
In light of their move to web-based content, stations were asked what they saw as the next big trend in radio. There were several different responses, including HD radio by 36% of respondents, continued growth of web-based content by 27% of respondents, and the move of talk radio from AM to FM by 13% of respondents. This leads to the conclusion that radio remains a growing medium, in which technology is adopted to benefit both stations and listeners.