Düsseldorf, GERMANY — Coronavirus has made me (and I’m sure most people in the world) doubt many things. It seems that nothing is certain anymore — my family situation, mobility, the freedom to travel and how we do our jobs. Everything has changed.
The pandemic has not only altered our daily life, it’s also clearly showed us what is essential. We don’t have time to deal with compromises. The pandemic’s burning glass continues to show us where our weaknesses are, and has thus also pushed us to open unknown doors, break our habits and do something new — simply out of necessity.
One example of this is the use of video conferencing and remote digital communication. The home office is suddenly possible, where for the most part, it was unthinkable before. The pandemic is accelerating the change.
This transformation is also moving forward in the media landscape. After some resistance, which stems from a human’s natural reaction to change, people are now embracing and structuring their everyday life to better fit their style. As part of this puzzle, they also want to customize their media use. Time-sovereign usage and unique content is replacing linear formats at a rapid pace. Pre-produced content is replacing live broadcasts. As a result, traditional radio, the last bastion of linear entertainment, is suffering.
Radio has long been degraded to background noise. So it’s easy for the Spotify playlist to compete with radio. With podcasting, the world of broadcasters and audio platforms are now colliding head on. Is this the final battle of radio, or just the start of a completely new diverse audio market?
Personalized Listening Experience
And what does this mean for radio producers at a time when smart speakers and podcasts are shaking up the market? Maybe it’s just what traditional radio stations needed and it’s encouraging the long-overdue need for disruption in linear to create a truly personalized listening experience.
There are various ways to do this today. Whether through time shift or track swapping, it’s possible, for instance, to adapt the format in real-time to the specific needs of the listener. To convince users with this new medium, technology and program directors’ creativity must work closely in this transition. This will allow station staff to deliver media diversity at a regional level and help attract and maintain audience.
It’s important to stand out from the big audio platforms with these concepts, which aren’t as agile and less specific and local. For example, with the right technology, stations can discover the listener’s location and thus offer them local news rather than general news. With Nacamar’s Ybrid Technology in combination with Ferncast encoders the process can be fully automated. This approach can also generate new revenue streams. In addition, it’s possible to record the current program and use it on another channel or on-demand while it is still being recorded, allowing for easy content repurposing, which saves on production costs.
This what it’s all about. The global crisis is ultimately also affording us the occasion to reposition ourselves both personally and professionally. It’s time for media companies to embrace the audio evolution and consider it an opportunity.