At RAB2008 in Atlanta this week before a capacity crowd of Radio industry professionals, Jeff Haley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Radio Advertising Bureau, delivered a state of the industry address that was as much a live demonstration as a speech.  Calling on the Radio industry to prepare and adapt for the future, Haley charted a course that included the announcement of a marketing alliance with Katz and Interep, a proposal for posting, and a unified strategy for the transition to behavioral-based measurement.  (Click here for full text of speech)


Updating the Radio industry on the RAB’s Key Advertiser Focus, the initiative to drive more revenue to Radio, Haley heralded some early accomplishments with advertisers.  “You have ROI with the RAB,” he said.  He explained the joint undertaking with Interep, Katz, and the RAB was designed to raise the bar on the Key Advertiser Focus by providing a specific list of clients with a single point of contact.


“We must speak with one voice on our most important issue,” he said, referring to the imminent transition to behavioral-based audience measurement.  “It is time for the industry to take ownership for communicating a specific plan and take responsibility for a consistent point of view.  I am calling for a unanimous and unequivocally clear position that all Radio broadcasters agree to adhere to.”


Haley guided the RAB2008 conference attendees through a hands-on display of Radio-enabled devices, exhibiting Radio’s capacity to move across a variety of platforms while maintaining the integrity of the audio experience.  He encouraged the Radio industry to embrace these new and emerging distribution platforms, asserting his belief in Radio’s ability to transcend the current upheaval in media and emerge with its leadership position in audio information and entertainment intact.  


Noting that there are 200 million mobile phones and 100 million MP3 players in use, Haley illustrated the potential $3 billion in incremental revenue that could result if a Radio tuner were available on every existing unit.     


“Let’s agree here and now that our goal will be to have Radio on every mobile phone, PDA, and MP3 player in the next five years,” he said.  “On-air, online, on-site, and on-demand, Radio must be anywhere and everywhere there is a speaker or headphones.” 


Haley cited the accelerating rollout of HD Radio and showcased the new tagging feature that has made the buy-button a reality.  He highlighted Radio’s success in the online space with streaming and websites, pointing to the consistent increase of Radio’s off-air revenue which he said could grow to $2 billion by the end of 2009 if it continues to escalate at its current double-digit rate. 


Haley shared some insights about the Radio 2020 initiative, an alignment of the marketing of Radio by the RAB, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), and the HD Radio Alliance.  “Radio 2020 will bring awareness to the public and to advertisers about the importance that Radio has in our daily lives,” he promised.  He identified addressing perceived challenges head-on; engaging the Radio industry; and engaging consumers as the triangulated core mission of the initiative.  Haley explained that the Radio 2020 strategy would be built on a branding statement to position Radio as, “the one medium where everyone can freely and easily connect to a diverse world of entertainment and information, anywhere and everywhere.”


Click here for full text of speech

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