Podcasting and radio can co-exist in technology era, AMF

ARN says 93% of residents listen to radio channels for news and entertainment

Podcasting and radio can co-exist in technology era, AMF

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Even as podcasts are becoming popular with substantial demand from the general public, they are not posing a major challenge to radio as a popular medium as claimed by many in the electronic media, said a senior official of Arabian Radio Network (ARN).

Participating in a session titled ‘The Podcast Revolution’ on the second day of the Arab Media Forum (AMF) in Dubai, Mahmoud Al Rasheed, General Manager, Arabian Radio Network (ARN), said as many as 93 per cent of residents in the UAE listen to radio channels for news and entertainment, according to a Nielsen study commissioned by Deloitte. ARN itself has 4.3 million listeners, out of this 93 per cent, which is a huge size, he added.

Radio, as a popular medium, will never die as it will be the only means of communication during crises and there are issues of security, he said.

Al Rasheed was countering a comment by Abdulrahman Abumalih, Founder of Thmanyah, who said radio will cease to exist as podcast is gaining popularity at the cost of radio. Radio is old technology and they have to adopt new technology, or they will die. People want to listen to audio content whenever they want. See how Netflix is replacing TV; YouTube is also doing the same thing.”

Al Rasheed said podcast is not going to replace radio, whereas they are complementary to each other. The reality is that podcasting is only a small version of broadcast as a digital platform. In fact, since starting the service ten years ago, we at ARN (Dubai Eye) have completed a total of 50,000 podcasts today (March 28).

Traditional media, whether it is audio or video, have minimum benchmarks and have intellectual property and copyright protection, whereas podcasting is not necessarily authentic.  Studies have found that demand for investing in the podcast business is not “that high.”

Radio as a medium has immense influence over society. Our experience is that our radio channels have brought people of different nationalities together by highlighting our culture.

Abumalih agreed with Al Rasheed that podcasting and radio can complement each other as podcast players can produce content to publish on radio.  There is a gradual transformation on the podcast front as new technologies facilitate the production of content for podcasting.

The session was moderated by Hiba Haidari, Anchor, MBC.


About Arab Media Forum (AMF)

The Middle East’s most prominent media event, the Arab Media Forum (AMF) is a platform designed to enrich dialogue, exchange ideas and attract attention to the reality and future of media industry in the region. AMF strives to trigger a change in the Arab media and call for a requisite redefinition of content and substance.

Since its inception in 2001 under the patronage of Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Press Club has been responsible for organizing the Arab Media Forum. The Forum has consistently strived to facilitate in-depth debates and exchange of ideas on the regional media. Since its first edition, the annual event has successfully attracted exceptional media experts from across the region and the world, in addition to politicians and academia.  AMF platforms have also played vital roles in opening up channels of communication between Arab media professionals and their global peers. The Arab Media Forum is regarded as a much-awaited calendar event by high-caliber professionals including editors-in-chiefs, directors of TV and broadcasting channels, columnists, analysts and commentators, as well as academic professors and media students. For more information, pls. visit www.arabmediaform.ae/en 

About Dubai Press Club (DPC)

Established in 1999 under the patronage of Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Press Club (DPC) is a proactive platform for journalists and media professionals to debate and deliberate on various topics of different interests ranging from political, economic and society. Dubai Press Club plays a significant role in supporting and developing regional media industry by launching unique initiatives including the renowned Arab Media Forum (AMF), Arab Journalism Award (AJA) the promising Emirates Media Forum (EMF)  and Arab Social Media Influencers Summit (ASMIS).

Additionally, DPC’s busy agenda offers a variety of activities targeting different segments of the media community. DPC hosts and organizes workshops and seminars on issues affecting regional and international socio-political scenarios, as well as strategic communication, business, economy, education and technology. The club periodically invites high-profile speakers and senior delegates to interact with local media and newsmakers. DPC is an active producer and sponsor of specialised media research and studies that keep pace with the rapid changes in the media industry. For more information, pls. visit http://www.dpc.org.ae 

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