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Who Says Radio Talent Can’t Compete with Hollywood?


I’ve watched with some bemusement a debate in broadcasting circles:

Does it makes sense for broadcasters to embrace an abundance of digital tools – including video – to tell their stories and reach their audiences across platforms?

Or should radio folks simply do better radio?

After all, can you really compete with Hollywood? With ABC and NBC and CBS?

Well of course you can.

Indeed, people are doing it every day. And they’re doing it without the benefit of the magnificent stage called “radio” – the stage which gives you an unfair advantage over any of them.

What does Michelle Phan have that your radio talent doesn’t have? How about more than 1 billion YouTube views, 7 million subscribers, and her own makeup brand and advertising deals with a slew of major brands.

Think she can’t compete with Hollywood?

What does the Guitar Center have that your radio talent doesn’t have? How about three Content Marketing Awards for their amazing YouTube channel (beating finalists like Target, Four Seasons, and General Electric), where they feature an interview series with a slew of established and up-and-coming artists, clips from their TV show Guitar Center Sessions on DIRECTV and a promo for their latest “bigger than life” contest, a search for America’s next great singer-songwriter:

Submit your original song now for your chance to win a 4-song EP with legendary producer Don Was, a mentoring songwriting session with Colbie Caillat, a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, $25,000 cash, new gear from the top music instrument retailers, and much more!

Think the Guitar Center can’t compete with Hollywood?

It’s absurd to imagine that any radio broadcaster armed only with the virtually free tools of the Internet can make such a big splash, right?

Until it isn’t.

Indeed, having a big audience to start with only makes your job easier, not harder.

What’s lacking isn’t the tools, it’s the inspiration, the idea, the commitment, the desire to try and the passion to do. Your audience doesn’t want you to hide behind your microphone anymore – unless they don’t care where you hide.

Here’s the thing you need to understand: Attention is scarce. If you don’t capture it, nurture it, satisfy it, and bring it back for more, somebody else will. On any number of platforms, no matter where your comfort zone is.

And that somebody else could just as easily be one of your listeners in the bedroom at their mom’s house or one of your clients, suddenly empowered to be a “publisher” and reach their audience their way and on their terms without any radio brand’s help at all.

And without yours.

You can only beat ’em if you join ’em.

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