08/29

Is Groupon Evil?

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In too many cases, Groupon and various Grouponalikes are destroyers of value.  I'm going to tell you why, then explain why I think deals driven in association with media outlets like yours can do better. Today in my email I find a deal for "71% off a 4-class yoga pass" for $13.  After subtracting the cut to the deal aggregator (which was not Groupon in this case), the studio walks away with just over $1.50 for the same class which normally brings in between $10 and $15. Anyone who thinks it's a smart strategy to drop your prices to almost nothing and crowd out people who are paying full … [Read more...]

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08/28

Pandora’s Ads “are as Valuable as Traditional Stations’” Ads

That's the word from newly public Pandora on their first-ever quarterly report. As GigaOm writes: Pandora posted total revenue of $67 million during the second fiscal quarter of the year, more than doubling its revenue from the same period one year ago. Revenue from ads accounted for the lion’s share of Pandora’s Q2 sales, totaling $58.3 million.  And while Pandora did not turn a bottom-line profit for the quarter — the company’s net loss was $1.8 million — it seems to be impressing Wall Street with the traction it has gotten thus far. On a phone call with investors and analysts after the … [Read more...]

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08/26

The Advantage of “Reach” in a Social Media World

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Radio folks talk a lot about the "reach" of radio.  And while "reach" isn't sufficient, it is necessary if your goal is to spread a message far and wide. So says social media scientist Dan Zarella in his terrific new book with a recall-resistent title: Zarrella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas. What makes a message "go viral"?  Or, in traditional media terms, what allows a message to spread to as many people as possible? The first ingredient, says Zarella, is obviously awareness.  And awareness at scale requires reach, not simply a … [Read more...]

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08/25

What Broadcasters can learn from Steve Jobs – the Tao of Steve

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What lesson does Apple's just-departed Steve Jobs have for broadcasters? As one Appler once told me, "Steve doesn't think anybody listens to the radio." And while this person's tongue may have been placed slightly in cheek, it's certainly true that Steve doesn't think anybody should be limited to what they hear on the radio. I once caught sight of Jobs on the Apple campus.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, and there was Steve talking to a coworker a few feet away.  As a result of his health issues he's a slight man, almost unrecognizable in a crowd.  His presence does not shout "charisma," … [Read more...]

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08/22

Celebrating Radio’s first “Artificial Intelligence DJ”

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She's causing a ton of consternation in radio circles and she's either unreal or all too real, depending on your point of view. I'm talking about "Denise," radio's first "Artificial Intelligence DJ," appearing soon on one HD station with more to follow, no doubt. Let's begin by leaving aside the easy jokes about "intelligence," artificial or otherwise, as it relates to the average DJ in the ears of many listeners. Let's also acknowledge that this is, first and foremost, a publicity play which has already proved worth its weight in gold. Finally, let's note the difference between a … [Read more...]

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08/18

Radio: It’s not about More Choice – it’s about More Relevance

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“Brands don’t necessarily need more choices, they need more choices that are personally relevant.” That’s from advertising giant John Winsor, head of ad agency Victors & Spoils, the former VP/Executive Director of Strategy and Innovation at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, and soon to be interviewed for this blog. Think about what that means. Especially in a world of blossoming choices – a world where anyone can copy your playlist song for song if they wish. How do you keep your audiences interested in your brand? We tend to assume that the problem of too much choice means we need to … [Read more...]

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08/17

Talent Coach Valerie Geller goes “Beyond Powerful Radio” – Part 2

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I'm a firm believer in the notion that what's between what used to be called "records" is what's most important for radio's future over the air. That means "personality." And nobody knows more about bringing the best out of a personality than Consultant and Talent Coach Valerie Geller, whose new book, Beyond Powerful Radio is available now. In this final chapter of my two-part conversation with Valerie we discuss: Is great radio talent born or made? How do you discover new talent - how do you know it when you find it? How do you nurture talent? Why doesn't talent get more … [Read more...]

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08/15

Is PPM Unfair to News/Talk Radio?

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Here's my understanding of how PPM works: In any given quarter-hour under diary methodology, you used to have to listen at least five continuous minutes for that listening to "count" you as a listener and to "count" your listening as an "occasion." Under PPM however, I'm told that those five minutes no longer need to be continuous.  That is, if I flip back to the station several times in a quarter-hour I count as a listener and my listening counts as one occasion as long as all those minutes and seconds add up to at least five minutes. This hurts the performance of … [Read more...]

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