DAB+ ‘doesn’t fit into our plan’ as it’s easier to target audiences with streaming services admits media buyer

DAB+ is not getting its share of ad dollars because media buyers do not know enough about it and the niche audiences they attract are more easily targeted through streaming services, a panel of agency executives has said.

In the What media buyers want session at the National Radio Conference on Friday Starcom Sydney’s investment head Rebecca Ho admitted at the moment digital radio isn’t on her radar because she doesn’t know enough about it.

Rebecca Ho: 'Niche audiences are more easily targeted through Spotify and Pandora'

Rebecca Ho: ‘Niche audiences are more easily targeted through Spotify and Pandora’

“For us I don’t think DAB+ would fit on a plan as audiences are quite small and quite niche focussed,” she said.

“If I wanted to target audiences that listened to rock I could easily go to Spotify and Pandora to do that, and it would be more data led as well and I could buy better with them.”

But she said she wanted radio sales people to talk to them about it and explain how it can provide value and client solutions.

DAB+ hit the headlines last month after Southern Cross Austereo’s decision to close one of the most successful stations, Classic Rock, because it was eating into the audience of one of its main stations TripleM.

Asked about the impression that gave media agencies Carat Sydney’s head of strategy Peita Pacey said: “I think it’s a real shame that a station that strong and that beloved has been shut down because of cannibalisation with its bigger market brand name.

“But really we’re looking at the digitisation of everything, and how has this affected how I listen to content. Everything we do has to have a connection but has to be scalable, and digital radio at the moment isn’t really scalable and that’s an issue for us.”

Peita Pacey:

Peita Pacey: ‘Easier to buy regional TV than radio’

The panel also spoke about the similar challenges currently facing regional broadcasters as they struggle to break into media plans for big brands.

Pacey said while they know radio can drive deep connections, but admitted from a reach and efficiency point of view it was often easier for buyers to “buy TV”.

“From a strategic point of view I spit on that of course because we want that connection with consumers, so it’s a bit of a balance,” she added.

Maxus strategist Zoe May agreed saying in terms of efficiency it was easier for them to work with fewer, bigger, players, and also highlighted the fact many people working in media agencies in metro areas aren’t aware of how many regional stations there are out there.

“I would say the majority of media agency people would think there’s only one sole media agency per regional market – a lot of us actually don’t know that Newcastle might have more than one regional station,” she admitted.

“So it gets to the point where the implementation guys might be using the same regional station year after year because they only think there’s that one station.”

Zoe May: 'A lot of agencies don't know there's more than one station in regional markets'

Zoe May: ‘A lot of agencies don’t know there’s more than one station in regional markets’

Encouraging regional stations to get into agencies more to spread their messages she added: “We’d like to understand more from the digital point of view – from metro you see a lot of digital in proposals but from regional it’s more spots and dots – that’s not enough these days. It’s great for a tactical campaign, but if you want to talk about long-term partnerships it’s about us knowing more about you.”


Asked what ‘traditional’ radio salespeople could learn from the streaming services Starcom’s Ho said: “It definitely needs to be a lot more data led. Most of the proposals we get at the moment are talent led, and I understand talent is very important, we need to think about our client and the client experience and the total footprint.

“If you’re coming to me with a proposal for the summer period and saying here’s the talent who’s going to be on, sell it to me more. What’s the data, why should I partner with you for the summer period? I’m not going to buy just because of the talent.”

Strategist Pacey disagreed saying: “What we need to understand is how consumers are interacting with your brand that’s really unique to your brand, and how are they interacting with your talent which is unique to your talent, and how is that changing? For us that’s the unique and interesting thing.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.