Saturday, July 15, 2006

Radio must deliver program content in shorter bursts says Pacific Radio Chief

Broadcast Asia 2006 review

At the Asia Radio 2006 Conference held in conjunction with Broadcast Asia 2006, June 20-23, Singapore, Francis Herman, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation CEO told conference attendees in a speech that radio program content must be made more relevant to its audience to preserve its media market share.

This relevance becomes more critical with the advancing popularity of television, podcasting, Internet and mobile phones which are stealing audience away from the traditional radio broadcasts.

Mr Herman's speech was reviewing the past 100 years of radio.

[Is Radio really 100 year's old yet? - Ed]

While refusing to accept that radio is a dying breed, Herman argued that the traditional “block programming” format of radio stations is no longer attractive to listeners and must be replaced by shorter bursts of “relevant” information.

“None listens to radio out of a sense of loyalty and with the rapid advances in technology, other mediums threaten the popularity of radio which in turn affects its viability”, he said

Mr Herman added that traditional radio is forced to embrace new technology to enhance content offerings.

He noted that among the changes include live audio streaming, radio on demand, television simulcasts, and interactive radio with greater audience participation.

Radio stations, Mr Herman argues, can no longer work in isolation and must secure new alliances with telecommunication companies, including mobile phone operators and internet providers.

[This message emulates the posture of regional advocates who are telling terrestrial broadcasters adapt to the changing times, adopt new technologies or die away for being irrelevent.]

The Radio Asia 2006 conference sponsors included UNESCO and the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).

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