LONDON: Radio may be an audio medium but Global is successfully using video to increase both reach and revenue opportunities.

The owner of commerical radio stations like Capital, Heart and Classic FM is understandably focused on things like audio branding and why advertisers should be developing a distinctive brand sound or voice – what Jo McCrostie, Global’s creative director, has described as “unmuting”.

That emphasis has not precluded the increased use of video, however, with a 25-strong team tasked with creating up to 600 videos a month, Digiday reported, ranging from short clips for distribution via social to longer concerts and interviews hosted on individual station sites.

One particular area that has seen growth over the past year has been two-minute videos of radio hosts’ interactions with the public or guests at current-affairs talk station LBC.

Less than 1% of 160 hours of talk radio every week makes it into these clips which hit a peak of 18.3m video views on Facebook in May, compared to an average weekly audience of 1.4m.

These are more about reach than revenue, according to Ollie Deane, Global’s commercial digital director, who pointed out he wasn’t about to build a commercial strategy that depended on revenue delivered by other platforms.

“It’s about defining what social plays in your business,” he said. “Large amounts of views on social platforms, while there’s no direct significant monetization opportunity as there is on your own platform, [are] still growing the brand.”

Some of those viewers will come to Global’s own sites, where, he said, videos generate around 40m monthly 30-second non-skippable pre-roll impressions, figures which are proving increasingly attractive to advertisers: in 2016, Global ran around 200 video campaigns that brands had paid for, up from just 30 two years earlier.

Deane added that regular radio users were also more likely to be listening to video campaigns than many people who view them in social feeds with the sound off.

“If someone is loading the Capital FM app, they are going to be listening to music, so [they will] have the sound on,” he said. “That pre-roll delivers a sound-on experience, so we’re seeing a big uptake in advertisers buying that inventory.”

Data sourced from Digiday, Campaign; additional content by WARC staff