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The Business of Radio Transmission: Must-Read Reports & Analysis

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Global Radio Broadcasting Industry

The global radio broadcasting industry encompasses broadcasting networks, syndicates and stations involved in the transmission of audio programming via internet radio, digital, Satellite, FM and AM radio channels. Industry players generate revenue through selling advertising time during the various programs transmitted. Advertising depends on the specific medium, with advertisers choosing the right channel for the audience they wish to read.

Traditional non-internet radio, for example, is generally geared toward a local audience, keeping a specific demographic informed of local news and weather, and providing talk shows that address local issues. Advertising using this type of radio is generally locally focused as opposed to television broadcasting advertising, which works on a nationwide level.

The global radio broadcasting industry is partly governed by state regulation. Technology also plays an important role in the industry’s development. The industry is characterized by intense competition with players up against rival radio operators and other media. Radio operators capture audience attention with specialty stations that focus on sports, news and various music styles such as classical, rock, easy listening, jazz, etc.

Radio Channels/Types

According to research from TechNavio, the global RNCi-next generation radio network controller market will generate revenue of almost $97 billion in 2014. Industry performance will be driven by growing demand for 3G wireless networks. The cost effectiveness of delivering 3G services to capture the 2G market may present an obstacle to market growth moving forward. Leading vendors currently operating in the RNCi-next generation radio network controller market include Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Networks, ZTE and Ericsson.

While FM radio uses frequency modulation to transmit high-fidelity sound via broadcast radio, AM radio uses amplitude modulation. Public and commercial AM broadcasting is carried out through medium wave band, and on long wave and short wave bands. AM broadcasting was the original method used to impress sound on a radio signal, and continues to be used by the global radio broadcasting industry today.

Accustream estimates internet track play and music radio listening hours climbed almost 51% in 2011 to a monthly rate of close to 1.5 billion. Advertising and subscription grew more than 64% in the same year. The market witnessed strong usage and monetization results in 2011, and this trend continues in 2012, with sector revenue growth outpacing radio and track play listening hour growth for the first time.

The internet and mobile radio market generated almost $294 million in gross media spend, and close to $172 million in subscription revenue in 2011, with overall market growth expected to reach close to 80% in 2012. Audio inventory expansion is expected to break the 6 billion avails per month mark in 2012.

Pandora’s growing concentration on the in-stream audio format will drive this growth in part. Mobile listening continues to grow in importance due to the rise in cross device audio placements. In 2011, mobile music and track play witnessed more than 220% growth, equivalent to more than 40% of overall play hours. Mobile listening on Pandora’s service has reached 70% of overall listening, compared with 50% of Slacker’s service.

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