Radiocentre News

A recap of Tuning In North 2024

On Tuesday 4th June, brands, agencies, radio stations and audio specialists from across Northern England gathered for Radiocentre’s Tuning In North conference, held at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

Over 200 attendees filled the room, eager to hear from industry experts discussing the latest developments in radio and audio. The packed agenda was centred around the themes of impact, innovation and effectiveness. Special guests included the Right Honourable Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Hits Radio drive-time presenter Gemma Atkinson, and podcasters John Gibbons and Chris Scull.

The morning began with a welcome from Radiocentre’s CEO, Matt Payton, who also gave an update on the market. He emphasised how radio continues to deliver record audiences and strong revenues while maintaining its position as Europe’s most trusted medium.

Matt shared an update on the new and long-awaited Media Act as well as some perspective on the BBC’s latest plans to introduce advertising on podcasts.

Andy Burnham

As he enters his third term in office, the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham passionately discussed his plans to support the world-famous creative and media sectors in the region, with a major focus on education and training for the next generation.

With the election just around the corner, Radiocentre’s Director of External Affairs, Michael Ireland launched new research looking at how commercial radio news cuts through with listeners in a general election.

The timely study called ‘Breaking News’ demonstrates how in an age when news avoidance is on the rise and concerns about false and misleading news are high, radio is a trusted and essential part of listeners’ daily news consumption.

Moving on to radio’s effectiveness when it comes to advertising, Radiocentre’s Planning Director Mark Barber, and Head of Insight, Donna Burns took the audience on a whistle-stop tour of new research project, ‘The Performance Multiplier’. The study uncovers compelling evidence of radio’s multiplier effect for performance marketing campaigns.

Ailsa MacKenzie

Also sharing some exciting new research was Global’s Group Strategy Director, Ailsa MacKenzie. Focusing on the hotly debated topic of attention, Aisla revealed how audio can be a secret weapon for advertisers in an era of distraction, with the neuroscience study demonstrating how audio is effective across the attention spectrum.

First up after a short coffee break was Head of Audio at Goodstuff, Sam Austin and Charlie Cadbury, CEO of Say It Now talking about the power of voice and verbal interaction. Sam and Charlie presented details of their partnership on a groundbreaking campaign with Ovo Energy that used actionable smart speaker ads to encourage listeners to use their appliances more sustainably, all the while raising awareness and consideration of the brand.

Focusing on attracting younger consumers and in particular Gen Z, co-founders of Loud Parade, Rahmon Agbaje and Maatin Adewunmi spoke about the power of audio for brands, principally bespoke audio and music. As they discussed using music and audio to leverage emotion, the audience happily tapped along to an example of their work for Ben & Jerry’s.

Hits Radio presenter, actress and author Gemma Atkinson and Bauer Media Group’s Commercial Chief Operating Officer, Claire Foster, then took to the stage for the penultimate session of the morning. Claire and Gemma spoke of the importance of human connections in helping us navigate our increasingly busy lives and the role radio plays in providing joy to the nation. Gemma emphasised that being authentic is key for presenters to make personal connections with listeners.

Sport Social Podcast Network

And, finally, in a session about how podcasts are enabling brands to get closer to the sporting action than ever before, the audience heard from Sophie Hind, Managing Director of the Sport Social Podcast Network, Chris Scull, Host of Quickly Kevin, Will He Score? and the newly launched Let’s Be Having You, and John Gibbons, Host of the Anfield Wrap. They discussed how long form content not only allows them to get better stories from players, it enables deeper and more meaningful conversations with fans.

To sign up for the next Tuning In event in London on 17 September click here.