Agency Experts Discuss Strategies for Swelling Radio Revenue


As radio fights for its share of the proverbial ad revenue pie, Hispanic Radio Conference attendees got a peek behind the agency curtain with a panel of network experts offering a deep dive into the evolving dynamics between agency advertisers and the radio industry.

The discussion featured insights from Clark Logan, President of HRN Media Network; Natalie Henderson, Senior Audio Investor at Horizon Media; and Mark Mandell, Partner of Integrated Investment at UM Worldwide, offering a deep dive into the strategies that drive advertising decisions in the Hispanic market and beyond.

Mandell emphasized the importance of aligning advertising strategies with clients’ Key Performance Indicators, acknowledging that while the Hispanic radio space has its strengths, it also presents unique challenges. He highlighted the value of unwired networks for their ability to fill local spots efficiently, although noting the increased costs associated with this flexibility.

Mandell explained that as radio competes for agency dollars, we need to be more nimble and targeted. He advocates for data-driven radio, which provides vital insights into key markets, helping advertisers to more accurately target their desired audiences.

Henderson discussed the current advertising trends, pointing out that a large percentage of audio budgets are still dedicated to over-the-air broadcasts, though there is a noticeable shift towards digital platforms each year. She noted the necessity sometimes to consolidate partners to meet KPIs and goals effectively.

On the topic of podcasting, Mandell described the sector as crowded but emphasized the importance of live host-read ads for protecting the listener experience. “There’s no clock in podcasting, giving you a much better read,” he stated.

Addressing the issue of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Henderson noted that agencies are leveraging niche marketing strategies to resonate more deeply with listeners, which in turn brings higher returns on investment.

When asked about the momentum of Spanish radio heading into 2025, Henderson was optimistic: “Brands are building specific budgets for Hispanic advertising.” They are also slowly increasing their audio spend as they recognize the medium’s power.

However, both panelists acknowledged challenges, particularly with attribution – the ability to connect audio ads with consumer actions. Mandell pointed out that radio often captures attention during commutes, but attribution can be lost later in the day as listeners engage with other media. Logan raised a critical point about educating stakeholders about the value of radio. “When you mention AM/FM radio to major brands, they often demand proof of its effectiveness,” he said, underscoring the need for ongoing education about radio’s reach and potential.

The panel agreed on the necessity for quality in both advertising and content to engage effectively with the Hispanic market. Mandell added that joining a network could provide an immediate influx of revenue, especially for stations that might otherwise rank lower in market standings.

In conclusion, while the landscape of radio advertising is shifting, the panelists at the Hispanic Radio Conference 2024 highlighted the enduring value and unique challenges of engaging audiences – Hispanic or otherwise – through radio.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here