Saving Radio, Pt 2
by Jerry DelColliano – added observations by Jim Carnegie.
Friday we viewed five topics–one of which is seeing radio under a larger umbrella. To review the first 5 points check out RBR.com’s "the Hot List." It’s time to think out of the box, as radio cannot live by analog alone. But if you do, and if you must, then fall on your sword now and end it quickly. If you want to fix the box then think outside of it with technology and the internet.
Extra point recommended to Save Radio as it applies to all in the media business today – point 11: "Horse vs. Car," a view from the Y generation.
6. Internet streaming – Terrestrial radio is okay for stations that are big on in-office listening. Start new streams and make them different than what’s on the terrestrial signal. Internet radio is going to be big – real big. Once the copyright issues are resolved it will enjoy a greater period of sustained growth.
Carnegie observation: Agree, this is a no brainer.
7. Unplug your HD equipment – Make a door stop out of it. Move your emotional and financial efforts to something that has a chance to work with the next generation. Sub-channels on a band where you have no chance of attracting the next generation makes no sense.
Carnegie observation: No argument from me. RBR just posted on HD in Washington DC, DC drops the HD ball….again. This was a technical drop, but the big paradox we see is this: The value of broadcasting to an advertiser is getting access to a large group of people in a specific geographical area. It’s hard enough to aggregate a big group already without taking the audience you have and splitting it further. HD for quality is a good idea. HD to multicast is a highly dubious one.
We’ve complained about this before, and we’ll keep doing it: How are folks going to "get into" HD Radio multicasts when they are off the air for extended periods? (Note: Review HD Radio 2008, 02/21/08 RBR #36). P.S. Bonneville’s WTOP HD-2 "i-Channel Music" was off air for hours on Saturday, 02/23/08, as well!
8. This is my favorite – And I’m thinking of getting into it with partners – develop the podcasting business – Podcasting is the new radio. The marketing of these podcasts to the next generation will also take some innovative thinking. Perhaps we can get into that in the future.
Carnegie observation: Podcasting and Webcasting are here, as is user-generated content. Fox News Channel has captured the YouTube spirit with ‘You Report’ videos. Technology is here, just look around at all the hand devices shooting video then sending it to Fox News. RBR/ TVBR also dong webcasting and more on the way, view RBR.com’s Media Center.
9. Develop personalities for all your products – Just yesterday, when I asked some of my young students to tell me one thing radio could do to win them back many said – are you sitting down? – put more personalities on-the-air like they do in the morning except have them on all day long.
Carnegie observation: Ditto, it can be done and I did exactly this by taking a person off the street that had knowledge of sports, specifically the NBA, a passion for radio and walked him into the doors of Tampa-based Genesis Radio Group. That was four years ago and Steve Kyler, publisher of Hoopsworld.com is still on the air with a weekend program – The Game. It’s damn good – he could be doing the morning program, local instead of running network syndication – but I don’t own the station. But local beats a satellite feed any day.
10. This one is for consolidators – You don’t need seven stations in a market to make money. Just one WLW or one WBEB or one WLTW. Just as in real life, it isn’t how big you are, it’s how long you can dominate a market. Doing one thing well instead of seven things on a shoestring is clearly better in our post-consolidation world. More cost effective. More potential profit. (Consolidation really was a bad idea).
Carnegie observation: Agree. If you want to do seven things at one time, my recommendation is to join the circus and become the side show juggler. Probably make more money. Food is bad but you get to wear all that funny makeup and a costume. Do one thing well at a time: focus.
11. Horse vs. Car – Probably the most important point was from one young student with this insightful comment about the radio and record business today. He said "It’s like they (radio owners) keep trying to find a new way to repackage a horse in a day when we prefer cars."
Carnegie observation: We learn from the young and remember we in the X generation were young once too. Horse vs. Car is not just about radio but in many areas of our medium. Reed Business Information, publishers of the once bible of our broadcast biz, Broadcasting Magazine, went through various attempts to save the Horse or in their case Print magazine in today’s internet world. They finally tossed in the towel 02/22/08 RBR #37
Radio and all media must go on to the future – and with the talent in our business – it could be a new beginning, just in the nick of time.
(source: Jerry DelColliano, Professor of Music Industry at USC, from his blog – InsideMusicMedia.com and observations by Jim Carngie, RBR/TVBR Publisher.)
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