Survey shows radio still a force to be reckoned with
The survey, which is the first to be conducted in 12 years, has confirmed that ABC Local Radio dominates radio listenership in the south of the state, reflecting what I suspect is a strong position throughout the rest of Tasmania.
I’ve argued for some time that we are spoilt for choice in Tasmania when it comes to media outlets, including for radio which offers a proliferation of news outlets and talkback opportunities.
It appears that social media sites such as Twitter have stolen some of the thunder of radio; as the Font 2013 Social Media Index shows, keeping up-to-date with current affairs or topics of interest via social media has seen a 50 per cent increase since 2011. However, as an old school media tragic I believe the immediacy of radio cannot be beaten.
The ABC’s success might be attributed to its sheer force of numbers and outlets, or perhaps its backing stands from being one of the most comprehensive news gathering organisations in the nation. Nevertheless, it is clear that nobody in Tasmania does it better than the ABC.
Regardless of the reasons why, some 50 per cent of those aged over 10 years in Tasmania listen to some form of ABC radio – be that Local Radio (936), Radio National, News Radio, Triple J or Classic FM.
For those aged 55 years or over the listenership increases to a whopping 67.6 per cent, so I think it is fair to say there is life in the old dog yet.
The beauty of radio is not only its immediacy, but the opportunity it gives people to articulate their story through talk back.
While a radio news story will only run for 15 seconds, an interview with Leon Compton or Ryk Goddard can afford up to five minutes of air-time and often at peak listening periods. This allows for the time and freedom to voice your message in a format which is simply not possible when using other media channels.
Another attractive feature of radio is the community interaction. Once you have articulated your point, there is often spontaneous feedback, which provides an instant guide on how the community is responding to your messages.
Obviously social media platforms such as Facebook can do this as well, which is encroaching on the strength of radio to a certain degree, but that does not mean radio should be forgotten.
When it comes to commercial radio outlets numbers also remain strong, however, the results are dependent on how you cut them and evidently each station will have its own interpretation.
HOFM argues it is the number one commercial station for all people aged 25 to 54 and for all those 18 and over, while Sea FM wins the number one spot on commercial radio for people under 40 and Heart 107.3 is Hobart’s favorite FM station for ages 25-54 at breakfast.
You can make your own judgments on the results by viewing the announcement here.
These message channels often serve as the first point of contact with listeners, particularly those who are not as connected with news and current affairs, which provides incredible opportunities to get your message across.
Social media is challenging the status quo, but as yet has not attained the same level of social standing and community outreach of radio. Irrespective of the commercial station, we must not lose sight of the potential impact that radio stories and interviews have in achieving message effectiveness and community engagement.