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Time-Shifted Audio Expands Radio Listening

For radio stations looking to maximize content and grow audience, time-shifting audio for on-demand listening can boost revenue, listening and brand engagement. Time-shifting involves grabbing portions of your live programming -- from morning show benchmarks to local event calendars to interviews -- and posting the clips to your digital channels, including station websites, mobile apps and social networks. That way, users can discover your content on digital and listen on their own schedules.

Among digitally-savvy consumers, there is an appetite for time-shifted audio. According to a new study from Nielsen and Futuri Media, more than half of radio listeners said they’d listen to short audio clips on social media and, among that group, 80% said they’d listen to radio station content. Younger adults and male listeners -- who are notoriously hard to reach -- expressed particular interest in time-shifted radio content. In fact, men 18 to 34 years old said they were the most likely to sample time-shifted audio.

Not only does time-shifting audio expand audience, it can also boost traffic to your station’s owned digital assets. The study found that 70% of listeners said they’d visit a station’s website for audio clips, while 35% would download a station app to listen. If they like what they hear, about half of respondents said they’d share audio on their social media accounts, further extending your reach and the chance for your content to go viral.

Some of our Federated Media stations are already posting time-shifted clips as podcasts on their websites, including B100 South Bend and 97.3 WMEE Fort Wayne’s “Andy and Nichole” morning show. For listeners who missed a show or want to listen again to an entertaining segment, these podcasts create on-demand listening opportunities.

If audiences like what they hear on-demand, they’re more likely to share it with friends and family, and interact with your station off-air. The Futuri/Nielsen study noted that listeners who time-shift content are three times more likely to talk about radio with others, nearly three times more likely to enter a contest or attend an event, and two times more likely to visit your website.  

With more consumers listening to podcasts and digital streaming services, radio stations need to find fresh ways to retain their audience and lure new listeners. Time-shifting your audio is an easy way to leverage your audience and your programming, and to grow your brand.  

Written by Paul Altman