Radio, Should You Register Your Listeners Online?

Registration of consumers on radio’s web platforms is a hot topic at this week’s NAB.

In this video I lay out some of the key arguments as to why broadcasters should absolutely positively require registration in exchange for value (and yes, those last four words are key).

We are in a world of registration.  Are you ready, able, and worthy to be part of it?


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  • Anonymous

    Mark:With great respect for your overall message on radio needing to bolster its online efforts, I’ll point to a couple of items which makes registering at a radio station’s web site impractical. 1) As you point out, the quality of experience-of-visit needs immense improvement at most all station sites. That takes time, and dollars, which we both know are unlikely to be invested.2) As a software coder for over 40 years – and someone who spent 27 years in broadcast radio – I can state that what you describe, in the registration (and use of data), requires tens-of-thousands of dollars of backend coding. But, it also goes deeper…3) You need to take this one-step farther and implement an analytics system for the data, to get use of it in the way described. Radio does not posses this analysis ability in any form to date. (I’m not talking about simply counting ads served or clicks.)Companies that have registration systems, which are used to further audience experience, have teams of developers working to make it possible. I’ve worked on these systems. Pandora’s – as an example – does not just enact a simple collection of data and then respond with a favorable action to the user. The data buckets used number in the thousands. The analytics of that data stretches into a continous action, by another team.Parsing out these bits of information and applying them to an individual’s repeat visits is required if what you describe can be made to work.

    First, though, someone in the executive suite must give the backing (read: dollars) to make this happen. Which, as long as it’s been talked about, I don’t see happening.Ken

  • Hi Ken,

    All of the main providers of radio’s CMS platforms will soon provide social login which, at a moderate to low cost, will provide all of what you describe. They will do this because the economics drive their decision-making. And their clients will accept it for the same reason.
    That said, there will still need to be value on the back end for the consumer to make the exchange worthwhile. And if that’s not there….then radio has a lot more troubles than registration, if you know what I mean!
    Thanks for the note!

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  • Lane Jennifer

    Hi Mark, I wanted to note that this was a hot topic at RAIN Summit West, which took place during NAB. Neal Schore, CEO of Triton, and one of your clients, made an excellent presentation advocating for it at the Summit. Thanks for the coverage!

    Jennifer Lane

  • Yes, this is what motivated me to write the post to a broader audience. The fact that we still are debating this is amazing to me.

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