09/30

Kroger’s Agency is Foolish

kroger

From Radio-Info: TRI has a copy of this email from the Kroger agency - "Hello radio partners, a couple weeks ago I had sent out a request for information in regards to your station using the verbiage 'commercial-free.' After much discussion with CB&S/Kroger Corporate, we absolutely cannot have spots running on a station that communicates that it is 'commercial free.' Please let me know as soon as possible that you will stop using this specific verbiage. All other stations across the nation have accommodated this request." It's impossible to know if that last statement is true, but there … [Read more...]

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09/29

A Lesson for News/Talk Radio from Amazon’s Kindle Fire

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Too many News/Talk broadcasters just don't get it. What can they learn from Amazon's new Kindle Fire? Quite a lot, I think. This is not a piece about Amazon vs. Apple.  Nor is it a piece about the merits and prospects for Kindle Fire.  Those are all discussed ad infinitum elsewhere. This is a piece about strategic thinking, specifically the strategic thinking that makes Kindle Fire different from the zillions of other tablet alternatives to Apple's groundbreaking iPad. Amazon's Jeff Bezos spelled it out, as reported by USA Today: One reason that some companies have not succeeded … [Read more...]

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09/27

“We Don’t Feel Like We’re a Radio Station”

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You can limit yourself by your delivery mechanism. That's the message from Jennifer Ferro, General Manager of LA's legendary non-commercial juggernaut KCRW. Quoting Jennifer: We have never thought of ourselves as a radio station. The radio is just the delivery device.  It's all the gooey stuff that we think up, create, and analyze that makes us what we are. And KCRW most recently illustrated this very concept in their groundbreaking iPad app, the Music Mine, developed in conjunction with PRX. Watch and listen to the way Jennifer describes the vision for KCRW, and recognize that she … [Read more...]

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09/26

Your Audience is People – Not PPM Gadgets

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It's easy to make the mistake - the one that confuses PPM gadgets with flesh-and-blood people. So much of our success and failure hinges on ratings, we forget that ratings don't exist without people.  And worshiping ratings without worshiping the red-blooded people it takes to make those ratings isn't just putting the proverbial cart before the horse, it's imagining the cart doesn't even need the horse. That's what I address in this video. Ultimately, media products and services built for PPM rather than for people will... Be devoid of heart or soul Be built for the next quarter … [Read more...]

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09/22

Radio’s Power on the Dashboard

radiobutton

There's no doubt that technology is bringing new choices to an auto dashboard near you.  Nor is there any doubt that consumers will embrace and even demand those choices. It's customary for broadcasters to freak out about this, as we stand by and watch radio's hegemony over the dashboard under attack. The natural response is to fight technology with technology - to assume that your FM station must have all the doo-dads and whistles that Pandora has. What is the truth about radio's user experience in the car? The truth is that user experience is not only about new features or … [Read more...]

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09/21

The Future of Radio is Between (or instead of) the Songs

popartmics

What's the future of radio? The answer is not "technology," although that's part of the answer.  The answer is to leverage what can't be easily duplicated by people who are much more knowledgeable about and committed to technology than you are. The future is between - or instead of - the songs. Southern Cross Austereo's extraordinarily bright and talented Craig Bruce talked with me about this very topic. We discuss: Are listeners less engaged in radio than they used to be? What will be the impact of pure-plays like Pandora or Spotify on radio? Why can't we find and nurture … [Read more...]

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09/20

What Radio Needs is “Soul”

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This is from my friend Beau Phillips, the EVP of Programming at Dial Global, a major radio industry content syndicator. Dear DG programmers and personalities; Last year, a research company asked 12,000 listeners “What do you like most about radio?” Their #1 response was “it’s convenient”. Sadly, we have become a commodity to people. Like a foot stool, radio is there when you need it. Over the years, radio settled into a comfort zone. We hired jocks for their deep voices and witty chatter. As long as you owned the radio tower, you could dictate what people heard. And we convinced … [Read more...]

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09/19

What are Radio’s “Great New Ideas”?

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You have probably heard about the changes at Netflix.  One company is now becoming two, with the original brand providing the streaming content and the new brand (ironically) covering the DVD-by-mail business that made Netflix famous. Whether or not this is the right move is something only time will prove.  But the motivations behind it couldn't be clearer, and those motivations should resonate for everyone in the broadcast business, too. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things … [Read more...]

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