30 Under 30: Meet your Production winners

Staff Writer

What’s the biggest challenge facing the radio and audio industry as 2020 draws to a close?

We asked three more winners of Radio Today’s 30 Under 30 Awards to find out what they think.

Alex Martin, Jaxson McLennan and Anthony Badolato all have high hopes for the industry’s future, but explore the pain points they believe need attention.

The trio took out the Production category in the 30 Under 30 competition.

Radio Today’s 30 Under 30 Awards were made possible by support from ARN, Nine, SCA, NOVA, ACE Radio and Sony Music.

You can also read about winners in the On Air, Marketing, CampaignsMusic and Podcasting categories. The remaining categories will be released throughout the week.

Alex Martin, NOVA Entertainment

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

“There’s the obvious issues around audience attention and fragmentation of markets, as well as the enormous amount of entertainment products available to people to the point it’s overwhelming, but I think one of the biggest challenges is going to be around retention and training of the new generation.

“We’re going to keep seeing these monumental shifts in audiences – from where they get their entertainment, to what the format is, and whether or not it’s locally produced content or a more global consumption – and we’re going to need to adapt to these new formats and spaces.

“Unfortunately, these new spaces are not going to be well served if we lack a new generation of content makers who innately understand these new audiences.

“The huge loss of talented people across the networks this year, thanks to COVID and commercial pressures unlike we’ve seen before, is devastating and means it’s only going to be even tougher to fill roles as people grow and shift.

“We may not be pure radio anymore, so we need to retain staff who can evolve their skillsets, but also we’ll need to bring in a new generation with new ideas who can not only weather the storm that’s radically changing our industry, but also develop it further in the new world of entertainment we find ourselves in.”

Anthony Badolato, Australian Radio Network

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

“The growing population of younger Australians growing up looking at their car stereos, knowing exactly what AUX and Bluetooth is, but unaware of how entertaining and exciting the world of radio and DAB+ can really be.

“I feel like the radio industry is definitely on the right track, as every major radio network is shifting their focus back to our core: audio.

“By partnering with podcast distributors and creators, we are focused on keeping content fresh, exciting and implementing amazing commercial systems like dynamic audio.

“The big question is ‘What’s next’? I’m not quite sure, but I love that I’m part of the team of passionate individuals willing to power through any of the challenges to keep this industry alive!

“Music streaming will always be big and will likely grow, but I know there is always a place in the world for this wild industry and the great people in it!”

Jaxson McLennan, Australian Radio Network

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

“The elimination of terrestrial radio as the default option in the car.

“We’re making good progress on things like smart speakers and streaming apps – but the success of our industry is currently generally predicated on the fact that listening to the radio is the easiest, and ‘default’ option when you get in the car. It’s why our content is centred around Breakfast and Drive (peak-hour) shifts.

“On-Demand is no longer just a threat. It’s here and it’s eating into – though also contributing to – our market share.

“We are able to be a part of the on-demand revolution; any time someone is actively choosing what they want to listen to, whether it’s a podcast, a Spotify playlist, or a live radio station – they are making an on-demand decision. Radio stations are a part of that, and can and will continue to be a part of that. But I think we need to look at radio as a whole, look at new ways to innovate and go back to the drawing board – on clocks, on formats, on everything. A lot of what we do is the way it is because it’s always been done that way.

“We need to start genuinely innovating – becoming our own disruptors; creating new podcasts, trying new content on the air and just as importantly – finding new ways to sell that don’t rely on quarter hour radio diary listening. The more we hang on to these outdated relics, the further we will fall behind.”

Stay tuned for the next week as Radio Today uncovers more of the award-winning answers from our 30 Under 30 class of 2020

You can listen to the special edition Radio Today Tonight podcast about the 30 Under 30 winners below.


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