Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has announced it will establish a Podcast Working Group comprised of all major radio players, including the ABC and SBS.
Announcing the initiative at the Radio Alive 2018 national conference in Melbourne today, CRA chief executive Joan Warner said the working group would be charged with developing an all-of-industry podcast strategy, including recommendations on measurement, promotion and research.
“Radio broadcasters are key to driving the growth and development of podcasting in Australia because of our expertise in the audio sector, and our existing content production and marketing infrastructure,” she said.
“The Podcast Working Group will provide leadership and a clear strategic direction to help podcasting to flourish by recommending uniform standards, as well as guiding marketing, measurement and education initiatives that will benefit both audiences and advertisers.”
Broadcast radio is highly regulated and audience measurement is tracked through the independently audited GfK Australian radio surveys. In contrast, the podcast industry is currently fractured, with no standard measurement system in place.
The Podcast Working Group will be responsible for providing advice to the radio industry on four key areas: consumer promotion, audience measurement and reporting, market research, and education to assist the marketplace in understanding the commercial opportunities.
NOVA Entertainment chief executive Cathy O’Connor will chair the Podcast Working Group.
“Australian radio is already very active in the podcasting space, and has invested heavily in both original and branded podcasting,” Warner said.
“The Podcast Working Group will bring together specialists across audio content creation, research, measurement, marketing and sales, and will allow us to work together on the challenges and opportunities that impact the whole industry.”
The ABC’s outgoing radio chief and head of regional and local, Michael Mason, welcomed the initiative.
“As podcasting becomes increasingly more important in the radio and audio sector, it is equally important that we have the means to accurately reflect its share and growing influence,” he said.
“This working group is an important step in establishing an all-of-industry approach to what is still an emerging platform.”
Mandi Wicks, head of radio at SBS, also applauded the new group.
“Australia’s multicultural communities continue to embrace SBS’s language podcast services, delivering rapid growth in consumption,” she said.
“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the broader radio industry to provide the best experience for audiences and clients.”
The Infinite Dial Australia report by Edison Research released in May found that 13 per cent of Australians had listened to a podcast in the last week, while 88 per cent had listened to Australian radio.
PwC’s Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook report forecasted the number of monthly podcast listeners would grow to 8.9 million by 2022.