Check out these early entries for Radio Today’s 30 Under 30 Awards 2021

Staff Writer

Time may have lost all meaning as a huge portion of the country faces a seemingly-never-ending lockdown, and yet, somehow, the days are still flying by – and we’re getting older!

Despite it feeling like we’ve been in lockdown for 500 years, there are still some emerging superstars out there who are under 30.

So if you’re one of them, if you’re fortunate enough to be a young achiever in audio, why not put your name forward for the Radio Today 30 Under 30 Awards?

Not sure what to say in your entry? Check out some early submissions below to get the brain juices flowing.

The Radio Today 30 Under 30 Awards will champion the next generation of young professionals working in the audio industry.

The awards will showcase those who can demonstrate a genuine contribution to the audio industry via their current employer or, if self-employed, their business.

Above all, Radio Today is searching for fresh voices with a clear vision for the future of the audio industry and the challenges it faces in the decade ahead.

Last year, 50 future leaders from across the sector were shortlisted ahead of the reveal of the Class of 2020 last November.

To enter, visit the Take 2 Media awards platform and start your submission. Early entries close this Sunday, August 15 at 11:59pm AEST, 2021.

The 2021 Radio Today 30 Under 30 Awards with SCA are supported by Australian Film Television and Radio School, ARN, Grant Broadcasters, Nine, NOVA Entertainment and Sony Music Australia.

Ben Davidson, producer and panel operator, Nine Radio (27)

What does Ben Davidson believe is the biggest challenges facing the audio industry?

“One of the biggest challenges facing the radio industry is the advancement of technology and the globalisation of the media. The radio industry is going through a lot of rapid changes. Similar to television, radio broadcasting is heading towards an online model, where you can listen to a radio show from anywhere in the world, at any time that works for you. For example, if I wanted to listen to 3AW Mornings with Neil Mitchell, while living in the United States, I can do so with ease. I can listen live through the 3AW website, or 3AW app, or I can listen to the program at a later time or day that suits me.

“Technology has become so advanced that the options for potential listeners are immense. The potential radio audience has grown from one city or town to most of the world. This dramatically changes how we need to look at radio broadcasting and how we approach and attract our audience. Local audiences are obviously still the most important focus of radio stations around the country. However, there is a growing international radio market that radio stations should be focusing on more over time.

“For example, a number of listeners we get at Nine Radio, in particular 3AW, are from overseas and are fans of Australian radio. These overseas listeners like Australian radio content and our unique presentation style. Some of these overseas listeners have never lived in Australia and have never had the opportunity to listen to Australian radio prior to online accessibility. These listeners are often fascinated with our radio content and in some cases are encouraged to visit Australia as a result.

“There are also a lot of Australian expats who live overseas, for work and personal reasons, and because of internet access, they are able to listen to their favourite Australian radio programs. This has become a necessity for many Australians living overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Australian radio has become a comfort and an important information source. Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown and the restrictions on travellers re-entering Australia, Australian radio has become a lifeline and connection to home. For example, at 3AW, we have received a number of overseas talkback callers who are worried about getting home to family and friends and are missing their Australian lives.

“This is one of many reasons why we need to grow our focus on an international audience. The growth of company spinoff- podcasts and social media content is great. We should also think of other creative ways in which we can encourage international audiences to listen to our specific and distinct form of Australian radio. Australians, and friends of Australia, live all across the world and as lockdowns ease over time, globalisation will potentially lead to a growing overseas audience as people continue to move around the world. The future opportunities for a global radio audience are endless.”


Gemma Maddox, announcer/ music director, Canberra FM (28)

What does Gemma Maddox believe is the biggest challenges facing the audio industry?

“Whilst audio consumption channels and platforms are becoming more and more fragmented I see this as an opportunity where people are actively pursuing avenues/methods/devices to engage with audio – be it music, podcasts, streaming of live events/sport and even niche topics and bespoke areas of interest.

“This increased interest and demand is not only backed by digital/online activity, but actually complements and is supported by such things as social media etc. From the perspective of the artists, their challenge remains to make great music and then to ensure access and distribution and ensuring appropriate financial reward.

“For media owners and operators and broader content producers, commercial viability is critical and has a direct link to audience reach and the ability to monetise against specific demographic groups.”


Lindsey Green, senior podcast producer, SCA (27)

What does Lindsey Green believe is the biggest challenges facing the audio industry?

Audience acquisition

“Arguably the biggest challenge facing the audio industry is audience acquisition and growth.

“According to the 2021 Infinite Dial report, around 5.6 million Australians (26% of the population) are weekly podcast listeners. This is a 53% increase on the 2020 study. But with new podcasts growing at the same time, there is more competition for ears than ever before.

“The challenge for creators is to not only produce high-quality, original content that people want to listen to, but also getting it in front of the people who will want to hear it.

“So how do we do this?

“Overwhelmingly the strongest method of audience acquisition is via word of mouth. And there’s no shortage of recommendation tools available. It could come from a friend, one of many podcast newsletters, lists curated by podcast platforms such as the end-of-year wraps from Spotify and Apple or algorithmic recommendations based on what your device already knows you like. But the problem here is the same: there’s as many recommendation tools as there are podcasts which can make it even more difficult for your podcast to get noticed.


“A second challenge facing the audio industry is authentic and effective advertising.

“Podcast advertising is growing. The 2021 IAB Audio State of The Nation report found regular or significant podcast advertising accounts for 36% of media agency spend in the past year, which is up from 33% in the year prior. This is a great result. It means brands can see the value in promoting themselves in podcasts, which will continue to grow the industry in Australia. However, with more brands entering the market, it may become increasingly difficult for brands to create authentic engagement with savvy listeners.

“Consumers are smart. They know when they’re being advertised to and they can pick a good campaign from a bad one a mile away, especially younger consumers who are used to being marketed to by influencers, often with products that are hyper-relevant to them in a way that feels authentic and trusted. The challenge is, how do advertisers connect with consumers in a way that feels meaningful and genuine to create a worthwhile return on investment? If advertising isn’t connecting with consumers and the return on investment isn’t there, I’m worried advertisers will leave the industry.”


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Peter J
12 Aug 2021 - 1:38 pm

So who’s been nominated for the Over 50s awards this year?



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