Category: Radio’s Future


The New Auto Dashboard Isn’t as Scary as Radio Thinks

Every time there’s some new innovation out there which enhances the choice set available to consumers who want to hear audio entertainment or information, a chill runs up the spine of every broadcaster, because with such a large fraction of listening, radio seems to stand more to lose than to gain from the expansion of choice. Without question, new choices squeeze existing options. Indeed, given the growing number of distractions available to consumers across every platform – audio, video, and more, it’s exceedingly unlikely that the pie of audio listening is actually growing so long as … [Read more...]


And Radio’s Secret Power is…

Recently one of my radio clients explained how his 20-year-old daughter uses radio: “She chases her favorite songs around the dial,” he said. For her, every station button is another chance at hitting the proverbial jackpot. Either I land on a song I love or I don’t. And if I don’t, I move to the next button. It’s radio as slot machine, and – like a slot machine – the odds are better than even that any given spin is a loser. But this is the behavior of someone who is using radio because it’s convenient, not because it’s her preferred way to solve a problem. Let’s face it, if it’s your … [Read more...]


Here’s What Radio Will Learn from This Week’s Republican Debates

So all the leading (and not so leading) Republican presidential contenders will be stretched across two stages at the end of this week in the first official debate of the election season. So what can radio learn from this political extravaganza? Well, consider what you will and won't see. You'll see little of any depth or seriousness. That's because time is so short. You'll see that there is no "winning" or "losing" of the debate on the power of argument or the weight of issues. Instead, the "winning" will come from memorable moments that result in "oohs" and "aahs" and cheers and … [Read more...]


What’s EXCLUSIVE about your Radio Brand?

If you aren't the exclusive provider for something meaningful, you're sunk. In April, I shared Bloomburg's report that Apple Music’s strategy would be to secure new music exclusives from some of the industry’s hottest artists, and I wrote about how exclusives were set to power the next generation of online radio competition and, by association, all radio competition. Now there's a report that this strategy is beginning to unfold, big time: Apple [has] started creating their own original content. The company made Drake's amazing "Energy" video in-house, as well as Pharrell's "Freedom" … [Read more...]


How to Hire Radio Talent

This week I was called by a radio industry trade and asked an interesting question: How should radio stations hire differently in this new age? In other words, what qualifications should we be looking for in talent, programming, and sales that are different from today's conventional qualifications? This is a great question, so let me provide some answers. Today I'll tackle how to hire radio talent. In a later post I'll take on how to hire radio programmers and sellers. First, let's consider it a given that talent is hired in no small part for their ability to generate and grow … [Read more...]


The Power of Just Because

Spend enough time around any mature, successful industry - radio included - and you'll find an environment that isn't necessarily welcoming new ideas unless those new ideas are attached to a firm business plan. On one hand, how can you blame folks for this? After all, shouldn't everything we do at one stage or another add value to the consumer experience? And shouldn't that value come back to us in the form of dollars? Well, maybe not right away. And maybe not directly. Revenue is usually an outcome of doing many things right, not any one thing right. And stuff that is valued just for … [Read more...]


What Apple’s Beats 1 Means for Your Radio Brand

The shape of Apple's new live-streaming radio station Beats 1 is coming into focus, and it's full of exclusive celebrity content: The New York Times reports that Elton John will have a regular show on Beats 1 titled "Elton John's Rocket Hour," and it will play old and new music. Other musicians with shows on Beats 1 include Pharrell Williams, Drake, Josh Homme, St. Vincent, Jaden Smith, and Disclosure. Pharrell isn't just a presenting a show, though. His new single "Freedom" will be the first track exclusive to Apple Music, only available to listeners of Apple's streaming … [Read more...]


How to Make Your Online Audio Go Viral

Video goes viral, but what about audio? I have never even heard the expression “viral audio,” have you? “Going viral” means “being shared.” So why is it so tough to share audio online? In some cases the sharing capability is clunky or nonexistent. But even where conventional sharing functions exist there are two larger problems: Consumption and discovery. Consumption: Online audio is hard to consume. Okay, not hard, but taxing. If one picture is worth a thousand words, then it takes a thousand words to communicate one picture and – more importantly – the time to consume a thousand … [Read more...]

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