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Your station is just the bait

In an exclusive interview in the April 27 Group Programmers Special Issue of R&R, Clear Channel executive VP of content development Tom Owens explains how rapidly changing consumer preferences are leading to “abbreviated” on-air content, where terrestrial stations are the bait, the Web is the catch and all roads lead to cell phone content convergence. Owens says he doesn’t believe the radio industry as a whole has made significant strides in adapting to consumer desires for on-demand, customizable content. “The Internet is the single greatest advancement in broadcast history for expanding radio’s entertainment values while abbreviating the on-air presentation of them,” he says. For example, WKQI/Detroit recently presented “a colorful Kim Mathers interview in half-minute terrestrial increments while constantly cycling more interested listeners to the Web site for the full half-hour segment,” Owens notes. “If a computer isn’t accessible at the moment, you can catch it on-demand at your convenience.”

Even if all roads don’t yet lead to cell phone content convergence, there’s no question that, as Tom puts it, “terrestrial radio stations are the bait [and] the Web is the catch.”

To look at this another way (as I have put it before), your radio station will increasingly be the marketing tool for your website, not vice versa.

You must understand that central notion to have any chance of anticipating what’s in store for us in the future. And from there, you build your plan.

By the way, from the financial perspective how do you value a radio station when it’s primarily a marketing tool for something else?

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