This Week In Radio 4/8/2023 (a week of transparency)

Lots happens in the radio industry each week so here’s a summary of the week we just enjoyed.

Here’s What Happened

Radiocentre Ireland

We had some good news from RadioCentre Ireland this week, as it seems we got through another 3 months with healthy ad revenues for the industry. We now have data looking at ad spend for the first 6 months of 2023.

Let’s take a look at some numbers

  • In the first 6 months of the year, a total of €76.5m was spent on radio advertising. That’s up 3% from the same period last year. There was 6% growth for the first 3 months, with everything staying flat for quarter two.
  • €59.6m was spent on spot advertising, €13.6m on branded content and sponsorship stuff, and €3.3m in digital revenue.
  • In order, Retail, finance, government and motoring were the biggest spenders, while pharmasuticles and travel also grew their spend significantly.

These are great statistics to see. While there wasn’t major growth for quarter two, that’s to be expected due to things like the cost of living crisis. We only need to look at the tv industry to see how bad it could be, so we should count ourselves lucky.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but this transparency is great from RadioCentre Ireland. It’s fantastic that those who follow or work in the industry can keep an eye on how things are going.

Read the story here

RTE logo

We get to talk about RTÉ payments that actually make sense for a change. RTE, like most broadcasters, pay people for appearances. RTE doesn’t pay people who come on shows to promote stuff, and unlike some UK broadcasters they also don’t pay political representatives, but experts, and other guests are obviously going to get paid.

But how much do they get paid exactly? Well we got some insight into that this week. In 2022 RTÉ spent €257,681 on guests. This is down from a spend of over €305,000 in 2021, despite a decision by RTÉ to pay extra to contributors operating from Ukraine due to the dangers they faced reporting for the broadcaster.

The biggest spend was on Claire Byrnes radio show, where the bill came to €65,781. That paid for 1,122 guests at a cost of around €59 each.

€35,829 was spent on guests for Brendan O’Connor, this was for 536 guests. That’s a fair number of guests when you consider the show only airs at weekends, but I guess newspaper panels and the like would drive up the costs here.

€35,225 was spent on DriveTime, €22,555 for morning Ireland and just €2,363 on guests for Tubridy’s radio show.

It can seem like a lot of money, but the guardian reported last year that Talk TV had a £20,000 budget each week for guests. When you consider the market, RTÉ ain’t doing too bad.

It would be cool to see a breakdown on what types of guests are getting paid, split into journalists, experts, celebrities ETC, but at least we get a nice set of numbers to compare shows.

It’s also good for younger journalists to help know their earning potential if their asked to contribute to shows. Broadcasters sharing this info publicly has a lot of value.

Hopefully we see this transparency continue.

Read the story here

News 90 logo

Finally for now, I wanted to share something cool that I heard about. I don’t know how new it is, but it’s still interesting.

News 90 is an Alexa Skill for your smart speaker, that provides a 90 second news update three times a day. The service is powered by Newstalk, and owned by Bauer.

Generally the 90 second update is super snappy with two newsreaders. The readers alternate points in stories rather than the stories themselves, so it’s quite an interesting style.

You have a sound effect dividing stories, and there’s music underneath. it’s a polished production to be fair.

The skill uses the flash briefing feature, so when the user asks Alexa “what’s my news?” They’ll hear the update from News 90.

The service isn’t without its issues though. There are no updates at weekends, and updates just three times a day is on the lower side. Both RTÉ and Sky offer a flash briefing service on smart speakers with hourly updates, so News 90 is behind in that regard.

It’s still good to see a second Irish news provider enter the ring on the smart speaker side though. RTE has been the only provider for years. News 90 really does need a weekend team though, I can’t be waiting untill Tuesday to find out what’s happening in the world.

Read about News 90 here

Quick Bits

Micheál Martin has launched a podcast

Before RTEs transmitter was demolished, a lad casually jumped off it with a parachute

The uk equivalent of JNLRs came out this week, here’s a look at things in Northern Ireland

In cool nerdy news many of RTEs radio stations switched Saorview Multiplex

There’s a new tv ad for RTÉ JR Podcasts

And that’s the summary for this week. Come back to radio land next week for more radio news📻 and be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more fun from the world of radio.