Beginning at last year’s Radio Show in Washington, several broadcasters began overhauling their company’s entire digital approach. Emmis Interactive co-president Deb Esayian predicts that process will continue this year. “You’re going to see a lot of broadcasters knuckle down and get their core digital strategy going and then worry about all these other newfangled ideas later,” she says. “I expect to see more digital transformation as opposed to gimmick strategies, or simply buying a shiny new technology. I’ve seen a lot of reset buttons being pressed.”
As new entrants like Groupon, LivingSocial and AOL’s Patch network compete with radio for the $51.9 billion Borrell & Associates forecast local advertisers will spend online next year, Esayian sees a ripe opportunity for radio to mine tight relationships with listeners — relationships no other media has. By drilling down into loyal listener databases, stations can learn what individual listeners like, based on the online station activities they took part in. Factor in demographic and geographic information collected during the listener club registration process and databases represent a rich marketing opportunity.