The Digital Economy, Audio Streaming and where Radio fits in

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia, they have been around since 2010.

One of their primary objectives “is to support and enable the media and marketing industry to ensure that they thrive in the digital economy”.

One that is worth close to $5 billion a year and growing.




The Commercial Radio industry naturally dovetails into that digital economy in a big way as we know. Many networks have transformed from being just “radio” companies to being entertainment platform providers beyond an AM or FM signal. Those same networks also deliver music and content services like ARN’s iHeartRadio or SCA’s adventures with OMNY and the like. Each offering an opportunity to leverage potential advertising spends in the audio marketplace.

That audio marketplace also includes tech brands like Spotify, Rdio and Pandora to name a few. Each gunning for a slice of that same advertising pie and a share of ears.

Yesterday IAB announced it will be launching a Digital Audio Council later this year “with the purpose of creating standards and best practices to help bring clarity to the audio marketplace. The Council will strive to educate marketers and agencies on the value of audio as a powerful and effective advertising medium, particularly since music and other forms of audio content increasingly are being delivered digitally via the Internet.”


 Positive stuff but what does that mean?

Speaking with Mumbrella, Alice Manners, CEO of IAB Australia said “Last year key players in the space sought out the IAB to discuss how we can tackle and address their needs to moving forward, particularly in the audience measurement space”.

Official audience measurement of audio streaming surfaced a year or two back, just before the launch of GfK as the new radio industry survey provider.

Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner was asked by Mumbrella about the lack of measurement in the streaming space  at the time and she said “I think we’ll leave the Pandoras and Rdios of the world to look after themselves for the time being,”

“We survey radio usage – we don’t survey use of music streaming services. I’m not saying it is completely ruled out in the future but I think measurement of online music and streaming services is very difficult.”

Outside the successful launch and move to GfK another positive Commercial Radio Australia initiative has been the introduction of the quarterly GfK AudienScope research. It pulls in 1250 people each round with an online survey to dig deeper into their radio listening behaviours and provides insights into their habits but it doesn’t measure audio streaming or music services in cold hard numbers.

In Mumbrella Alice Manners, CEO of IAB Australia highlighted that there was no rift between the two representative bodies and that IAB was consulting with CRA saying: 

 “This is absolutely not a challenge to CRA. The IAB works collaboratively with all trade association(s) and we have been in discussions with Joan on the next steps,”

One thing that is sure, the digital economy moves fast – how the Commercial Radio industry continues to adapt and stay ahead of the curve is more critical than ever for the share of ears.

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