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How A&E Networks Uses Radio And What It Would Like To See More Of.

Radio has a long history of driving tune-in for television shows. Broadcast networks and streaming services alike use the medium, especially in the form of chatter from air talent, to drive consumers to their shows. “We look at it a lot of times as a personal recommendation system,” says Elizabeth Luciano, Senior VP of Consumer Marketing & Media for A&E Networks. “Live reads are great but we love DJ chatter.”

In an interview with RAB Senior VP of Business Development Tammy Greenberg at the recent ANA Masters of Marketing Conference, Luciano talked about how they use the medium, why it works, and what A&E would like to see more of from radio in the future.

What she likes about radio

We use audio. Audio is wonderful – we look at it a lot of times as a personal recommendation system. Live reads are great but we love DJ chatter. A lot of times we work with different radio groups to [have them] talk about our shows, to discuss them. Sometimes it happens organically, but we love it for that reason. We also love that it gets in front of people, a lot of times, right before they're making decisions on what to watch… We also use it as a brand extender, probably most effectively with our History brand. We have a lot of free podcasts that we've created for that and also with shows like “Married at First Sight,” talking about all the crazy drama ups and downs.

Why radio matters

Radio matters because it provides personal connection, personal recommendations, and an interesting take on life to customers across the world.

Why radio works

Radio works because it has that immense reach, but also that ability to really engage in a personal way and act as a recommendation engine for audiences and consumers.

What she’d like to see more of from radio

Right now, we're happy. What's sometimes hard for us is that there's fragmentation in your space. So while it's relatively easy to engage with major programs and terrestrial radio and major holding companies like iHeart, getting into the podcasting business and streaming audio has been a lot tougher. And the measurement there is not as strong. I would say we’re 85% happy but if there is one thing I could ask for, it's a little bit more consistent measurement in the streaming audio space and more of a unified approach from the industry.

Generating awareness in an era of short attention spans

We live in an on-demand culture so generating awareness somewhat early is good, but really no more than like four weeks out. That’s because people have really short attention span these days. And the expectation is, if you see something, you can watch it almost immediately. And so we have much shorter campaign timelines, but very extended off the back end so you can go and watch that stuff immediately.

A&E’s top priority in 2023:

Our single largest priority in the next year is to do a better job of meeting our fans and audiences where they want to watch their shows and different types of content. And so we've had the benefit of great distribution in the cable space for many years. The market has fragmented now and so we need to look at how we better meet audiences in those streaming markets with our various brands and content.

Her biggest takeaway from the ANA Masters of Marketing Conference

What's been most interesting to me is that this conference has been so focused on human connection and the power of creativity. And it feels almost like a reaction to the digital world we're living in. I mean, you can even see it in what the speakers are saying. That we can't let data and analytics and AI and the metaverse run our marketing campaigns, our lives, etc. We really need to think about how to elicit emotion as marketers in order to connect people to our brands.

Listen to Tammy Greenberg’s interview with Elizabeth Luciano on the RAB Radio On Main Street podcast HERE.

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