For so many years as a buyer of radio time, I was reminded repeatedly by stations and reps about the "laws of supply and demand" when rates were being increased exponentially as during the so-called dot.com boom, or politicals, or TV sweep months, or the Olympics, or whatever else they could come up with to justify what we regarded as inordinate rate increases.
My standard response as a buyer was that I would buy that argument if just once a station or rep called and said they were going to lower a previous rate because the demand was down. Of course, I never got such a call. I didn’t really expect to. I just used that as an illustration that the laws of supply and demand seemed only to work one way and that the buyer had no real way of knowing what the real demand was except from what stations told us.
Stations can’t have it both ways. Now that it’s widely evident that radio demand is down in most markets, it is only reasonable that operators acknowledge once and for all that the laws of supply and demand work both ways.
At Unity Media, we’re still big supporters of radio. When our clients entrust their budget to us, they expect us to get as much for their stressed budgets as the stations want for theirs. That’s not abuse. It’s economic reality. And it’s the law of supply and demand working as it should — both ways.
Jim La Marca
Unity Media, Inc.
New York, NY