What's a "Radio Web Site"


It takes more than slapping the word “digital” on your stationary to get into the digital business. You know who’s doing it without me naming names.
Fact: Radio does not come close to being in the digital business. We are stuck on analog while our future HD radio road – suffers from stunted growth syndrome. This analysis is one of the best I’ve seen this year, RBR 08/19/08 RBR #162, entitled Integrated Marketing – Grab vs. Growth where Chuck Francis said it and I’ve thought many times – “I’ve come to a simple conclusion: Show me someone that bills themselves as an internet "expert" and I will show you a delusional liar.”

Yep agree with Dardis on events this year and what is coming in Austin. The key to learning about the internet, building a website into a web portal is by asking people who are in the space. I am not an expert on what you see with RBR-Epaper and RBR.com.  But I do have people on staff that who are younger and their intellectual property in today’s digital business is scary. So find your own knowledgable youngsters and get them into your organizations. It is better to become a scary person and a scared person. I will say it again – Content is King – but – Only if you Control the Content. Today’s Internet is the most valuable tool radio has to succeed for the future which is right now.  

Online Publishers Association: What’s a "Radio Web Site"?It’s not like the sky is falling or anything like that. Is it? Let’s recap two events that hit over the past twenty-four hours.

1) Jim Boyle, the main man of media in the stock analysis sector, has proclaimed: "The industry’s larger groups do not appear ready to institute revolutionary changes yet in sales, programming, promotion or station clusters. There is a notable sense of denial of how harsh the prospects have been and continue to be for radio."
2) The Online Publishers Association (OPA) has just released its report titled "Local Online Media: From Advertiser to Action." In it, there’s this big chart with the heading "Portals, Newspaper and TV Sites Lead in Satisfaction with Local Coverage." You might want to go through the remaining slides. While interesting, notice there’s no mention of "radio." Wait, I thought radio was a local online media.


Do you think radio industry executives will start understanding just how bad a predicament they’re in? Not even the OPA recognizes that the radio industry has web sites! Please, somebody bring the resuscitator. This is information which you cannot ignore, or breathe easily with.

We are witnessing a farce played out by a cast of characters that were never ready for prime time, but somehow made it to the head shed where they’ve destroyed an industry. And what do you think will be the response from NAB?

Let’s look at The NAB Radio Show 2008 listing of sessions… see, there’s the answer. The session at 2:15pm on Wednesday, September 17 is "NEW MEDIA TRACK: Creating Radio’s Interactive Future." Ah, shouldn’t that have been started about ten years ago? Unfortunately, that session is scheduled at the same time as "Thrive, Don’t Just Survive in a Multi-platform World," the only other session about new media scheduled that day.

Come listen to Gordon Borrell*, Terry Heaton, and myself later on Wednesday – September 17 at 5:30pm. We’ll talk about local online ad revenue, options for your local web site, and analytics and metrics. (There will be free cocktails because some of you might need a drink after hearing what this panel says.)

On Thursday, Sept. 18, NAB 2008 is featuring "1+1=3: Making Radio and the Internet Really Work Together for Advertisers" at 9am. It’s scheduled at the same time as "NEW MEDIA TRACK: Local Web Sales Success Stories." You’ll have to pick which is more important to you.

Thursday’s a good day, though. There are two other sessions you can catch: "New Media Executives Super Session" at 10:30am, and "NEW MEDIA TRACK: Podcasting – It’s an On Demand Audio World" at 2pm. You know podcasting. In radio, it’s where you take a recording of your morning show and post it online. God! This industry is really getting into the online action now.

Then, on Friday, NAB 2008’s last day, make sure to attend "NEW MEDIA TRACK: 60 Digital Ideas in 60 Minutes" at 9am. Bring your court stenographer along, because catching 60 Digital Ideas in 60 Minutes is going to be rough on your memory.

A little farther down the clock at 10:30 there’s another session you can’t miss (if you want to become all-knowing in 75 minutes) – "NEW MEDIA TRACK: Streaming Past Your Competition."

At 1:45pm NAB 2008 will wrap up its new media sessions with "NEW MEDIA TRACK: Making Money with Video on Your Web site." I’m particularly interested in this one. Radio hasn’t figured out how to make money online with audio, and it’s turning to video.

Look at the titles of the RAB 2007 and February RAB 2008 convention booklets; "Opportunities: High Tech, High Touch, High ROI" (2007), and "Bold Signals: On Air, Online, On Site (Feb. 2008). Now, you’d think with titles like that, produced when the going was getting bumpy, we’d be seeing some improvement in where the radio industry is online. I’ll let you decide if this is the case.

To those who created The NAB Radio Show 2008, don’t worry about today’s headline from Jim Boyle or OPA’s failure to mention radio. What do either of them know? For that matter, what do I know?

Mr. Boyle has noticed "a notable sense of denial" within radio, but maybe he’s just wrong. Radio industry executives will deny that there’s denial, which would mean they’ve at least looked at the problem. Right?

So what if the Online Publishers Association doesn’t recognize that the radio industry has local web sites. All the industry executives know they’re there. Really, isn’t that all that matters?

(source: Ken Dardis, Audio Grapphics, www.audiographics.com)

Carnegie Observation: My friend Ken Dardis is right that radio, and even to some extent Television, is not ready for prime time in the internet environment today. I’ll add to his thoughts that radio tosses around the word Digital like tossing a ball back and forth.

*Gordon Borrell is CEO of Borrell Associates, the leading analytics company gathering data about local online media revenue.
** Terry Heaton is an analyst at Audience Research & Development LLC, and author of "Reinventing Local Media."