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NAB launches effort to "Reignite Radio"

NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr recently unveiled a comprehensive marketing campaign to reposition radio for a vibrant and successful future.

The campaign, dubbed the "Radio 2020" initiative and unveiled during Rehr's keynote address at The NAB Radio Show in Charlotte, is the result of a cooperative effort between NAB, the Radio Advertising Bureau and the HD Digital Radio Alliance.

"Radio 2020 will not only address radio's greatest challenges, but will also guide us on how to explore our greatest opportunities," said Rehr, noting that radio is heard by over 233 million listeners per week.

In preparing for the Radio 2020 initiative's launch, the groups oversaw an in-depth research project -- analyzing hundreds of reports, interviewing scores of radio stakeholders, fielding a dozen focus group sessions and conducting telephone research with over 5,000 consumers.

Results from the research showed that nearly all participants said they rely heavily on radio, Rehr noted, explaining that listeners value radio's accessibility, portability, and diversity.

David Rehr"Radio's value lies in the fact that it's accessible -- it's everywhere and portable," said Rehr. "It's the one medium where everyone can freely and easily connect to a diverse world of entertainment and information, anywhere and everywhere."

The next phase of the campaign will include comprehensive marketing outreach, through radio and print advertisements, incorporating messaging from both a national and local level. The groups are also assessing initiatives to foster new talent in the creative fields of radio advertising.

"As this plan has come together under David Rehr's leadership, the findings and recommendations are amongst the best work I've seen in all media positioning," said Jeff Haley, RAB's president and chief executive officer.

"Radio is a universal medium in its accessibility and content choices, even more so now that we are expanding onto additional distribution platforms. Advertisers are taking notice and we can build on that momentum by delivering a unified message about radio's importance in Americans' lives."

"Radio 2020 is not just a date in the future, but a call to action about our future," said Peter Ferrara, president and CEO of the HD Digital Radio Alliance.

"Our industry is robust with fresh ideas, new technology and amazing opportunity. Through this initiative we can work together to demonstrate radio's incredible value and relevance to the American consumer."

In a marketing brochure distributed electronically to attendees of The NAB Radio Show, key initiatives to the 'Radio 2020' campaign were outlined including:

Accessible technology: Technology adoption is the lifeblood of any medium, but is even more vital for radio, given its image as universally accessible.

Playlist variety and format diversity: A primary strength of radio is the wide variety of entertainment, news and programming that is readily available and free for listeners. Through their HD multicast channels, radio stations can strengthen their programming diversity further.

Building for the future: There are numerous initiatives that the radio business can spearhead to ensure consumers continue to demand radio -- including encouraging more variety and diversity on radio, spurring more innovation in the electronics industry and helping marketers enhance the quality of their advertising.

Reigniting consumers: While 92 percent of listeners acknowledge radio plays an important role in American life, it is too often taken for granted. Radio 2020 will include a thorough branding and marketing campaign to remind the public of the many benefits served by radio.

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