RadioAsia2014: Radio is “maintaining reach” in Asia


Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner

Radio is “maintaining its reach across the Asia Pacific region” despite competition from the use of multiple devices, attendees of RadioAsia2014 in Colombo, Sri Lanka were told on Thursday.

Joan Warner, Chief Executive of industry body Commercial Radio Australia said radio remains a much loved and used media – according to research – even by the younger age groups, where the threat from mobile and internet is strongest.

In a presentation predicting a vibrant present and secure future for radio, Warner said that throughout its history, all new technologies had been touted as ‘radio killers’.  Instead, radio had adapted and used the new tools to secure its future.

Tools like Social Media can help deepen relationships between fans and their favourite radio personalities, she added.

Despite much hype around streaming radio, Warner warned that a move to push more radio listening by apps and streaming platforms will cost broadcasters more in delivery fees.  Listeners often face larger data charges too and streaming shortens battery life.

Warner said despite the newer technologies, internet delivery cannot replicate the ubiquitous nature of traditional broadcast radio.

She called for a hybrid future, calling for digital radio chips to be put into all new radios, devices and phones and for streaming to be used when FM/AM or digital terrestrial services were unavailable.

RadioAsia 2014 is a three day conference attended by hundreds of delegates from large and small broadcasters across Asia Pacific.

The ABU-organised event also includes a regional Radio Song Contest, to be held on Friday night.