“The Future of Audience and Revenue,”Futuri's white paper on media trends in conjunction with researcher SmithGeiger, shows 63% of those in local AM/FM radio broadcasting are optimistic about the business, with 22% “extremely optimistic,” with 41% “mostly optimistic with some concerns.” Two-thirds of those in radio or TV station leadership are also optimistic, 21% extremely and 45% mostly, with concerns.
As reported earlier in Inside Radio, the results of the nationwide study commissioned by Futuri, which provides radio stations with AI-driven audience engagement and sales technology, were based on SmithGeiger's interviews with 200 media executives along with 2,000 media users – and focus groups conducted with 100 media consumers – during spring and summer 2021.
Asked about in-car entertainment dashboard systems and self-driving autonomous vehicles, nearly half of media professionals (44%) agree these are a major audience growth opportunity, while 41% are in agreement that they're an opportunity for major revenue. At the same time, more than half (56%) agree these advancements will only further fragment media, and close to half (47%) feel traditional platforms will likely suffer as a result. In terms of preparedness, under a third (28%) agree that their companies are well prepared for connected cars and self-drivers, while just 19% feel their companies are already, or becoming, a leader in this space.
When it comes to sales research investments, while three-fourths of media professionals (73%) agree that “it would be great if we were all proficient in these resources,” more than half (57%) also agree that “we don’t have the time to all be expert users” of them. Additionally, the same percentage also feel that “only a select few know how to use these resources, and a third agree that “we are definitely using these resources effectively.” As to return on investment generated from sales research tools, 29% are in agreement that they're seeing a positive ROI on these resources, while for a third, the jury's still out.
Also notable is Futuri's finding that among the 45% of media execs interviewed who plan to retire within the next 10 years, three-fourths (73%) place more emphasis on increasing customer retention, vs. 70% more focused on developing new business with advertisers and/or agencies. For the 41% planning to retire in 11 years or more, it's the reverse, with 80% choosing new business as a top priority and 73% choosing customer retention.