Dubai is 'perfect storm' for radio: ARN chief

Steve Smith predicts increased ad share for industry.
Steve Smith, COO, ARN.
Steve Smith, COO, ARN.


The radio industry will inevitably expand its share of the regional advertising spend in the near future, according to Steve Smith, COO, Arabian Radio Network (ARN).

Smith describes the Dubai market in particular as the ‘perfect storm’ for the radio industry.

“Dubai is an ideal radio market,” said Smith. “The fact that it represents just three percent of the advertising spend means there is a lot of growth to be had in the radio industry. The Middle East – particularly Dubai – is perfect. It’s multicultural, it has many different target markets, traffic here means on average people are travelling two hours a day, that’s a great chunk of time when radio has an audience to itself. Online listening is also going through the roof here; people will keep listening when they get to work and increasingly using the internet to listen at home.”

Smith also revealed that the network is currently in a period of growth following a strong performance in 2009 and an even better 2010 thus far.

“ARN is working very hard. There is a responsibility too as the largest radio network in a market without an industry body, to set the standards, and that helps the entire radio industry. The hope is that if ARN is doing better, the whole radio industry receives a lift. Radio is currently getting far less of the advertising budget than it should in this market.”

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