‘We are more important than ever before’: CRA’s Joan Warner

The CEO of Commercial Radio Australia (CRA, Joan Warner, has said that despite uncertainty and disruption being everywhere at the moment “radio’s role is more relevant than ever”.

“We are more important than ever before. We have to see the value in embracing innovations in audio, and not forget DAB+ digital radio’s place in the wider multi-platform audio landscape. Not to mention it is a much lower cost to operate than AM and FM,” she said at a DAB+ webinar event this week.

“We must remain champions of radio and audio, and in particular celebrate the variety of DAB+ attributes that we know make it a valuable investment for business, broadcasters and advertisers.”

She also pushed DAB+’s role as more significant than that of streaming.

“Now our latest ratings survey here in this country showed that over 30% of all people listen to DAB+. Now that is probably three times as high as the number of people listening to radio via streaming. So DAB has got a very firm foothold in this country, and our next task, of course, is to roll it out into regional areas,” she said.

Ultimately, DAB+ will help radio survive the challenging times ahead, she contended.

“Yes, the industry is going through an unprecedented time, and you can’t argue that, but there will always be a place for radio and its audio ecosystem in our communities. Through remaining committed to the implementation and rollout of DAB digital radio in our region, as well as the development of DAB technology, we are taking vital steps towards growth and cost-effective longevity,” she said.

For this to succeed, there will need to be ongoing education of listeners, the market, broadcasters and advertisers about its value, she said, as well as ongoing conversations with governments.

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