To stay competitive, radio operators are turning to digital streaming as part of their long-term digitization strategies: PWC

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21st edition of PWC Australian Entertainment and Media Annual Outlook has been published and provides a range of potential results.

These are based on Australia’s progress against factors largely beyond the industry’s control, including the current challenges of COVID-19, regional and overseas geopolitical instability, and their effects on supply chains, as well as the impact of macro-economic turbulence in Australia which has the potential to affect business and consumer confidence.

For radio, there is cause for optimism as the report found that, despite some perceived uncertainty, consumers continue to routinely use online streaming platforms for radio, podcasts, music and audiobooks. at high rates, supporting a year-over-year increase. of total viewing revenue by 11.4%, and that total viewing revenue is expected to reach A$3.7 billion by 2026.

Broadcast radio has successfully transitioned to “audio” as digital streaming and podcasts have spurred both listener and viewership growth.

The podcast industry has also grown tremendously thanks to an expanding listener base and diverse content library, with podcast advertising now one of the fastest growing channels in audio media.

According to PWC, the radio is slowly recovering from the effects of the pandemic, reaching total revenue of A$1.07 billion in 2021, and is expected to return to pre-pandemic revenue levels in 2024.

Digital audio listening, which includes live AM, FM and DAB+ radio and catch-up radio programs listened to via online streaming platforms, hit record highs in 2021 and, according to the sixth annual report Infinity Dial Australia study published by Edison Researchthe number of Australians listening to audio online each week increased by 8%, reaching a total of 71% of the population.

The average time spent listening to online radio also rose to 13 hours and 31 minutes per week, from 12 hours and 11 minutes last year.

PWC says that in response, radio operators are increasingly turning to live and on-demand streaming services as part of their long-term digitization strategies, which already appear to be bearing fruit.

SCAit is LiSTNR hit an all-time high of 10.9 million active streams in May 2021, up 20% from the same month in 2020, and Nine is also believed to have hit an all-time high of 11.2 million streams in July 2021.

With 2021 recording the highest level of growth and migration of people from metropolitan centers to regional centers HEYthe acquisition of Grant presenters should contribute to the expected growth in industry revenue and viewership.

The report also says the line between radio and podcasting is becoming increasingly blurred as radio continues to expand its digital offerings and podcasts make their way into linear radio.

For radio operators, one of the main methods adopted is the conversion of live radio talk shows into catch-up podcasts, while some of the major players in the industry have acquired podcast assets for broadcasting and streaming.

For example, in December 2021, SCA acquired a children’s radio and podcast company Kinderling to add to its LiSTNR inventory.

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