Knowledge Bridge

Global Intelligence for the Digital Transition

Indonesia’s KBR68H looks to web portal to reach new audiences and advertisers

Indonesians embrace of social media is leading traditional media in the country to develop their digital media offerings. One example is Indonesian radio news agency KBR68H.

The news agency serves some 900 stations in its network across the country and to keep pace with consumers as they move online, especially via mobile phones, they will soon be launching a news site,

The online space in Indonesia is very dynamic, Tosca Santoso, the managing director of KBR68H said. The news site, a portalPortalA Web site that often serves as a starting point for a Web user’s session. It…

Indonesians are quickly moving online. And, as we’ve noted before on Knowledge Bridge, Indonesian’s embrace of social media is increasing the use of the internet and internet-enabled mobile phones. According to social media consultancy Socialbakers, some 7.6 m Indonesians joined Facebook in September alone. “It has had a very big impact on our society on many things, serious issues, political and social issues, that can be influenced by Twitter and social media,” Tosca Santosa said.

“Indonesians like to chat with each other. We like to socialise so this media is only a new way to reflect the tradition,” he said. “When the technology came, it gave us an easier way to socialise.” The impact of social media on the democratisation of information in Indonesia has been very important.

He sees social media playing a supportive, rather than simply competitive, role with respect to traditional media. Social media can be used to increase the loyalty of radio listeners by reaching out to them, involving them in stories and engaging them. He even sees social media allowing them to reachReach1) unique users that visited the site over the course of the reporting period,…

Our (radio) partners are located in many remote areas in Indonesia, small cities and villages. If they want to reach their listeners outside of the terrestrial coverage area, they need the digital media, the new media. There are more than 2 m Indonesians living in Malaysia, working in Malaysia. They left behind their favourite radio station in the village, but now they can still use it. Migrant workers can still consume it.

One of the keys to success for the new portal will be the extent to which it can work together with the radio network. The radio network and portal have worked together on the design of the websites of their partners, Santoso said.

The portal will also allow the radio partners to send information more easily back to KBR68H. Right now, KBR68H distributes its radio content to its partners via satellite, but in the past, there has not been a way for partners to return information back to KBR68H apart from the telephone. The portal will act as a hub, allowing radio partners to send back information daily, he said, adding:

It will change the flow of information, not only one way from the centre, but also from the partners.

Winning over advertisers

However, he also admits that the business of digital media is only in the early stages of development in Indonesia. Santoso said that advertisers have to see the benefit of digital advertising. To make the case, he says he will prove how social media will deliver a more loyal, more engaged audience.

“The migrant workers living abroad can now listen via the new media, and we will show (advertisers) that this is a new added value for them,” he said.

Digital media is also good at reaching niche audiences with special interests. For example, they created a website focused on environmental issues, Green Radio FM. The numbers of visitors is relatively low, but people can engage on environmental issues. The site has also attracted a number of sponsors and advertisers who want to reach an audience specifically engaged with environmental issues.

What’s clear is that, like Santoso, to succeed in winning advertisers over to digital media, broadcasters and publishers will need to make the case that there is a benefit to them. Whether that benefit is reaching more loyal, more engaged audiences or audiences interested in special topics such as the environment, media leaders need to be ready to make the case to win advertising revenue.

Article by Kevin Anderson

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