Taken from the recent article I wrote for Memeburn.com:
A recent survey in the US by TargetSpot, a digtal audio network, found an increase in tablet ownership of nearly 87%, combined with a smartphone take-up increase of 22%.
As the world fast grabs hold of new devices to make their lives more connected, so our ways of delivering and receiving everyday content is being reshaped. Radio is but one of these everyday concepts that are being delivered in a new and fresh way. It’s a concept that is rapidly changing though, particularly in emerging markets like South Africa.
Let me ask you a question. When did you last hear someone raving about the new FM Radio they brought for home? Not recently I am sure. Speakers that act as a docking station for some new tech like a tablet or smart phone. But an FM receiver? Probably not.
The definition of “internet radio” should be obvious but at the same time it’s more layered than a Tim Burton movie. Essentially we use it as an umbrella term for streaming music, voice and podcasting across the internet.
Popular subdivisions of internet radio are broken down into pure on-demand streaming via specialized services (Spotify, Pandora and Last.fm for example), pre-recorecorded podcasts (which are not technically internet radio but popular perception requires it be listed), traditional radio streamed online, parallel to the stations AM or FM broadcast and lastly, live presenter driven internet radio. This is defined as stations that are completely web based with no view to acquiring an FM or AM license (e-casting, iRadio and web radio come under the same definition).
The growth of this last format has been particularly strong over the last two years. While there is no reason for established terrestrial stations to start re-looking their business model just yet, there is certainly a growth in audience and concept that cannot be ignored, both from an listener engagement point of view and as a viable new track for traditional radio advertisers.
Whilst buisnesses like Pandora and Spotify, two of the most successful versions of on-demand music streaming, continue to claim bigger audiences world wide, presenter driven streaming radio in Africa is rapidly finding a ready audience.