Why Are We Successful When Radio Industry Stats are Down?

posted by Bob Leighton

Broadcast radio has seen a significant spike in competition in the last 5-10 years, causing numbers to slowly decline. With Spotify, Pandora, podcasts, satellite radio, and other online audio and radio options available to listeners, local radio stations have to fight for the attention of their audiences.

But even with the presence of competitive alternatives, radio remains one of the most popular mediums for news and entertainment. So, we know that when radio is done right, listeners will remain loyal. Here’s our tried and true approach to radio that keeps listeners tuning in, rather than switching to another audio entertainment option:

We Believe In Local Programming

Local programming – the shows that feature local personalities and cover community-specific news and events – is a large portion of our broadcasts and largely contributes to our continued success. With more than 15 hours spent in the car per week, radio is a great way to catch up on local news and events – not to mention pass the time with engaging conversation and musical entertainment.

Local, on-air personalities become a staple in our communities, friendly voices that are a part of our daily routines. They are active participants in the neighborhoods we call home and share our hopes, cares, and dreams. This element of personal connection and relationship development make radio shows worth listening to.

Online radio and audio shows don’t offer this element. Spotify and Pandora, for example, are all music all the time (unless you have the unpaid subscriptions, then you’ll have ads mixed in, too).

We Invest In Training

Our people are what make our company successful, so we invest in training and development to increase their knowledge and skill set.

On the sales and marketing side of our radio business, we host bi-annual training retreats for our employees to learn about new tools and tricks of the trade.

We also send various individuals to conferences – both specific to radio and not – throughout the year to expand our exposure to new trends and radio broadcast techniques.

We Believe In The Communities We Serve

The communities we broadcast in are our homes – and we believe in supporting, growing, and developing them as we would our families. We bring this belief to life by sponsoring events, hosting events, providing jobs, marketing and branding local businesses, entertaining local listeners, participating in Chamber events, and donating our time and resources to local charities.

Radio is Not Dead

While some people may argue that radio is dying, we’ve only seen growth and success. This year, for example, we purchased radio stations in three new Minnesota markets: Winona, Perham, and Fergus Falls.

Just because new media alternatives are entering the market, doesn’t mean the traditional, established mediums lose any credibility or quality. What it does mean is that we have to be adaptable. In the past 10 years we’ve had to create an online presence for our stations, develop digital marketing avenues for our local businesses, stream our shows online so people can take us with them on the go and outside of our reach, and so on.

In order to remain successful, we’ve had to stick to our beliefs and adapt to the changing technology – and we plan to continue doing so into the future.

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