Radio’s Most Important Trends in Five Minutes

Want to know what’s ahead for your radio brand in just five minutes?

Then this video is for you:

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It’s a highlight from Mark Ramsey’s appearance at the NAB Conference in Las Vegas in 2013.

Issues discussed:

  1. Why the question “what’s the future of radio?” is the wrong one – and what’s the right one?
  2. What business is radio in, really?
  3. Why the PPM device does NOT measure listening and what it means for us all.
  4. Is there no “creativity” in radio, or does the system bake creativity out of the platform?
  5. What’s most defensible for a radio brand and why that’s so important?
  6. Why you shouldn’t worry so much about the technology of the mobile dashboard.
  7. Why public radio and non-commercial radio are models of your brand’s future.

Also on the panel, Carolyn Gilbert of NuVoodoo.

Thanks to host John Owens of the University of Cincinnati.

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  • I’ve discovered that pretty much every time I feel frustration working in radio is because there’s not enough people around thinking, talking and acting like you, Mark. Good stuff – thanks for sharing this!

  • Thank you so much Jeff!

    Mark Ramsey

  • Yes yes yes… Thanks for the note

    Mark Ramsey

  • Dave Mason

    Mark-something here is a little awry in our thinking, and you might explain something that bothers me every time I hear it. “PPM is sucking the creativity out of radio.” If that’s the case we can all hang it up and go home. Our industry has been home to many creative people from Gene Shepard to Gary Burbank to Jack McCoy to Joey Reynolds to Phil Hendrie. Most of them were involved in music radio at some point in their career and all of them took a road which enhanced their creativity. In all cases they had/have the ability to paint a picture in the mind of the radio user that is unique and as multi-dimensional as could be. What PPM shows is the tolerance level of the radio user and just how much they can/will take. I will choose station “A” because it plays music I like-and if the talent adds to it something that does what I just described, then that’s a plus. Just like a tangible product (Burger King) – you need a platform to gain their attention (cume) -then you need to offer up the special features that keep them around for awhile (TSL). That part of the game hasn’t changed – except now the clock is running. Someone much smarter than I will figure out a way to maximize PPM data and inject it with “just the right amount” of content. The right mix of music to personality, or the right amount of politics vs. news commentary. The next BIG radio personality (and you can bet there will be one) will be armed with the answers and will prove this. Your tolerance as a radio user will be revealed by PPM data (when the sample is large enough to be scientifically valid) and we can use it to our advantage. It CAN be a great mirror if used correctly, much like Carolyn Gilbert’s old dial-twisting music research. Back in the day people would be sitting in their cars to hear the wrap of a Burbank/Hendrie bit. That’s extending TSL. People would marvel at a Jack McCoy “Last Contest” promo. Those elements don’t have to go away. They need to be recreated and re-tooled to fit the PPM model which MAY be :15 vs. :60. But if we can deliver the full meal in half the time -we will win. Radio now has the reach – still much wider than the internet. Radio now has to establish the brand as entertaining again. Your insight is priceless – and the practical application will be evident if we can get past the “threat” of PPM. I’m just sayin . . and reflecting Marc’s comment).

  • Thanks for your comments, Dave!

    I think the best way to get BEYOND PPM is to actually get beyond it.

    I’ve seen some scary data recently about shrinking TSL, and the concern I have is that PPM is a methodology perfectly happy to measure TSL as it shrinks without necessarily telling us what to do about it. And that’s because PPM doesn’t reward the Gene Shepard’s of the world nearly to the degree that audiences do.
    It’s not lost on me that most of the talents you mention (all?) came to prominence PRE-PPM.
    And the next big radio DJ is out there right now. But she’s making youtube videos, not radio segues.

  • Mesmerized is pretty strong, Jeff! Just imagine your attention if the audio was perfect! 🙂 Thanks for the note.

  • Robin S

    Risk aversion is proliferating everywhere. And as the economy gets tougher, creativity–or should I say, the freedom to be creative–lessens. We are becoming a society that is less flexible and more demanding. Not an ideal environment for creativity in any industry.

  • Nobody has ever liked risk…but nor has it ever been as important for as many as it is now!
    Thanks Robin.

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