The New Media – Radio: Beyond audio, by FAN’s Sunny Ahuja

Radio has moved beyond simple listening and hard-sell adverts, says Fun Asia Network’s head of business, Sunny Ahuja.

What are consumers wanting that’s changed over the past couple of years, and how are radio broadcasters giving them that? 

It’s beyond what you hear and see through the audiovisual mediums. Touch and feel have become equally important, so marketing is now taking place through the line and not just via above-the-line and below-the-line.

What are advertisers asking of broadcasters that’s new, and how is the industry responding? 

It is no longer just about the hard sell. Advertisers are looking to a process of intriguing and inspiring the audience. While radio or TV cannot just function by themselves, activations and digital forums are equally integral to drive the thoughts of brands to their audiences. 

Where are you seeing revenue opportunities grow and decline? 

As the market evolves with the consumer mindset, revenue opportunities have increased in e-commerce platforms. Retail has been consistent and FMCG, hospitality and events are slowly bouncing back. The healthcare sector has evidently seen a huge spike as well.

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What are the biggest opportunities for growth in the coming months? 

In industries from healthcare to education to finance to manufacturing, the pandemic has forced companies to use technology to reimagine nearly every facet of their operations. Crisis can be a catalyst and can speed up changes that are on the way. It can almost serve as an accelerant.

What threats do you see ahead, and how is the radio industry reacting to them? 

Reduced spends in marketing are pushing brands to explore digital marketing as a forum. However, radio has taken an active step by including social and digital platforms that complement various campaigns being broadcasted. 

How is your content changing? 

It is getting more personal; it is beyond the “good to know” content that focused on entertainment and celebrity culture. “Need to know” content and campaigns are the driving force of creative mediums like radio now. Activations around entrepreneurship and based on sports and utility-enhancing topics help intrigue and inspire the audience and help the platform be relevant within changing markets. 

What are you and other radio broadcasters hiring for? What talent and skillsets are in demand within the industry?

To stay relevant in the creative domain, multitasking has become an essential skill. Presenters are getting involved in contributing to managerial tasks in order to enhance the overall output of the medium.