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Scale: It’s Easier to Have than to Get

A recent Mediapost piece commented on the inevitable consolidation of players in the every-day-a-new-entrant social TV space.  This is the ecosystem surrounding your favorite shows and fresh ways to interact with them and with your friends in their presence via second screen digital platforms.

The whole notion of social interactions surrounding entertainment brands is something I have been talking about for some time, and it remains an area relatively unexplored by radio broadcasters.

But the Mediapost piece makes an important point:

Viewers need clear locations to get their social TV media fix – not just separate “silos” of TV program information. Say hello to another Hulu-like problem.  Social media platforms are like any other mass entertainment business – they need scale. All this comes from the main instigators of TV content – big media companies who also need scale, as do TV marketers.

Radio has scale.  And to the degree that radio has the kind of content that makes one station – or the radio medium itself – unique from any other station or medium, scale amplifies the value of that content.  And the only thing harder than creating great content is creating great content that scales.

If a tree falls in the forest nobody hears it, no matter how splendid it may be.

For example, the greatest perceived threat of Pandora to radio is its fast track to scale, not simply the value proposition of personalized radio. Personalization is common.  Scale, that’s scarce.

Scale is radio’s most precious resource.  And it is one largely provided by our legacy monopolization of consumer ears, especially in cars.

Now is the time we must continually earn that scale, that reach.  And we will have to do so by focusing intently not on what our industry needs and wants but on what its consumers and advertising partners need and want.

This is a time of incredible opportunity for radio because it’s a time of incredible opportunity for entertainment brands that scale.

Use it wisely.

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