Digital Dollars – Your New Sugar Daddy

The future of radio’s revenue share from digital advertising was another hot topic at the Radio Advertising Bureau conference in Atlanta today.  And, with $8-BILLION at stake, I understand why!

Unfortunately, just putting up a website doesn’t mean anyone will care; or, that advertisers will cut you a big check.  Entercom‘s VP/Digital, Sandy Smallens, called the Internet “the latest place where we can take our brands to bring them alive.”   To interpret, that means we have to be interactive. Can you tell me three reasons why I should visit your website?  Oh, don’t count streaming or contesting.  If you can’t answer, then you have a serious flaw in your digital strategy.   Radio websites should not be a place to just hide a sales contest for cat food and post 10 Questions with your weekend deejays.  Video, games, blogs, and other dynamic content will attract users from both your listening audience and beyond.  You can’t think on a small scale.  It’s called the WORLD-WIDE-web for a reason!

A few years ago, radio websites had no real value.  The smart broadcasters today are placing just as much emphasis on their online brands as they do on-air.  They are the destinations that will generate new media advertising dollars and not just become a clearinghouse for all the crap a PD won’t giveaway to caller nine.  Plus, there’s a definite correlation between increased web interaction and increased ratings.

But, somebody has to go sell the sites to keep them monetized.  Radio has to make new contacts with digital media buyers, and make the process just as easy as buying spots.  Until then, we’re just living in the past and not maintaining relevance.

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