The End of “Reach”

From Business Week

For decades network TV has been about reach. Programmers traditionally chose shows with broad appeal, the better to get millions of viewers and, in turn, persuade national advertisers to buy those eyeballs. That era is essentially over and the networks are scrambling to adapt to a fragmented landscape where even popular shows are lucky to pull in 10 million viewers. "They have to rethink what they put on the air, how many hours they'll do it, everything in their playbook," says a former top executive who now produces TV shows.

I keep saying this but few folks in radio seem to be listening:  The era of reach is ending. The era of accountability and engagement has arrived.

Sure, it's still important to reach lots of people.  But reach as the primary – or exclusive – selling point is fading fast.  How radio navigates this tipping point is one of the most critical decisions you or your company will make over the next couple years.

This much is for sure, it ain't business as usual anymore.

Or, as NBC CEO Jeff Zucker said, "We can put our heads down and we can cross our fingers and wish this was 1987. But it is not."

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