Irish radio offers ‘less variety than ever’, says advertising group

Core Media, the largest media-buyer in Ireland, says industry ‘needs to be rebooted’

Alan Cox of Core Media: “Eventually, somebody, somewhere will disrupt this model and reinvent it, but the radio industry is poor at innovation – real innovation – that challenges the norms.”

Alan Cox of Core Media: “Eventually, somebody, somewhere will disrupt this model and reinvent it, but the radio industry is poor at innovation – real innovation – that challenges the norms.”

 

Irish radio “has become safe and generic” and “needs to be rebooted”, according to Core Media, the largest buyer of advertising in Ireland.

“Music radio’s preoccupation with losing listeners has led stations to play the same popular songs repeatedly and offer less variety than ever,” the agency, headed by Alan Cox, states in a report on the media sector in 2015.

“Whilst programmers will show you ‘sound data’ to support this practice, it is symptomatic of the repetition that has come to epitomise the radio product in this country,” it said.

“Eventually, somebody, somewhere will disrupt this model and reinvent it, but the radio industry is poor at innovation – real innovation – that challenges the norms.”

The industry must change its ways at a time when it was losing “share of ear” to music streaming service Spotify, Core Media said.

The release of the Outlook 15 report came ahead of World Radio Day, an initiative led by the United Nations cultural agency Unesco.

Meanwhile, Communicorp One, the newly merged sales team for Today FM and Newstalk, used its first briefing event for advertising agencies to highlight the different means by which people now consume audio content.

“Live radio still dominates,” said Today FM chief executive Peter McPartlin. Some 89 per cent of Today FM listeners say they did most of their listening through traditional FM radio, while 85 per cent of Newstalk listeners and 74 per cent of listeners to music station TXFM did so.

However playback listening continued to grow each month, Mr McPartlin added, while the success of US crime podcast Serial has reinvigorated industry interest in the phenomenon of “binge-listening”.