As welcome as the growth in paid music subscriptions has been, our industry is also thinking hard about how to make more of free, ad-supported streaming. According to consultancy firm Midia Research, blending it with radio may be the best strategy.
“The next big opportunity for streaming is to become the future of radio, which incidentally is around double the size of the recorded music market,” suggested the company in a blog post.
“The opportunity for streaming is to build ad revenue around the younger audiences that are simply not engaging with traditional radio in the way that previous generations of young music fans once did.”
Midia suggests that while radio’s audience is both ageing and declining in markets like the UK, US, Canada and Australia – but gently, at a rate of around one percentage point per quarter – streaming is not yet hoovering up those listeners as you might expect.
“Radio is facing an existential threat like no other but it has some time to get its house in order, to identify how it can meld the best of the radio model with streaming experiences to start its fight back,” is the company’s advice.
“And make no mistake, radio has so many unique assets that streaming does not (local content, talk, news, sports, weather, travel, brand personality etc.) and Apple’s underwhelming success with Beats 1 shows that hiring a bunch of radio people and launching a station does not guarantee success.”