Once upon a time media was something you consumed and somebody else owned, often because a license was granted to them.
We talk a lot today about the new nature of media. We talk about a 24/7/365 always on, you make it, you mash it up, you talk back to it and pimp it out, on-demand brand.
Virtually all of us own mobile phones dripping in personalization, from what’s on the face to the sound it makes to the color of the case.
And then we stand back startled when we discover that Metcalfe’s Law is raging and the once-big Pandora is now exponentially bigger with no end in sight. Meanwhile online radio powered by terrestrial broadcasters hiccups and coughs and sputters and asks for a blanket and a bowl of warm oatmeal.
Could it be because Pandora is matched to me rather than reduced to we? Could it be because investing my attention in technology makes more sense when that technology can conform to me rather than vice versa – when that technology connects me to who I am, not to whoever you wish I were?
Do you imagine in any way, shape, or form, that this trend will reverse? Do you truly think that in the long run this trend will not reshape behavior and cut into traditional radio listening?
I don’t write this to warn or nag. I write it to encourage and embolden. Because the great and powerful industry called radio certainly has within its four corners the skill and the will to meet its audience on their terms, doesn’t it?
Ask yourself how many ways audiences can interact with your content and your platforms.
How do you allow me to customize my experience with your brands? Do I sign in to your site? And when I do, do you recognize that my version of you should be different from his or her version of you? Does your content invite comments and sharing and creating and remixing?
These are not trivial questions.
Not unless you think there’s no difference between the fully customizable, me-reflecting shiny sparkle of Pandora and the relative indifference that greets the undifferentiated, unconnected, one-size-fits-all, repurposed and thus purposeless average online radio stream.
To say nothing of the average radio digital portfolio.
If I can’t interact with it – if I can’t make it my own – then it shall be invisible.