You can learn a lot about radio when you look elsewhere.
When Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated last Thursday night, they spoke volumes in their own way about what is wrong with traditional media and why Millennial audiences are not understood.
Hillary answers questions about Sanders 70% support by young people which they don’t have to be for me, I’m for them.
That sounds like a parent.
Bernie lets Hillary beat him up when he presses her on her vote for the Iraq War no matter how visibly irritated she appears because it’s not cool to get into a meaningless shouting match.
In fact, Millennials dislike confrontation which makes debating before them particularly challenging.
Don’t worry; they didn’t watch the debate on cable. They saw what they wanted to on YouTube.
Hype doesn’t work so Sanders is careful to be humble about his accomplishments while Clinton is more forceful.
Baby boomers between the ages of 50-70 want to see a woman president in their lifetime.
Millennials 18-34 absolutely know they are going to see many women presidents in their lifetime and maybe even an LGBT chief executive. So, while baby boomers only have so long to see their wish come true, Millennials want what socialism has to offer even over electing the first woman president.
Madeleine Albright said there would be a special place in hell for any woman who doesn’t vote for Hillary.
Millenials don’t believe in hell.
How did socialism go from a bad word to something good?
Because capitalism has not been good to Millennials who graduated from college to a lousy economy, unemployment or underemployment, college debt, glass ceilings, and the ravages of Wall Street.
But how can – let’s be honest here – an old white man (74) become president with the support he is getting from young people?
Or on the alternative, how did baby boomer Steve Jobs get to be so iconic among this same generation?
Both looked to Millennials as the change makers and then the older generations adopted later.
So Millennial audiences 18-34 don’t hate radio, they hate the kind of radio stations are doing.
They dislike hype, which is epitomized by radio stations.
They crave authenticity in a world of bullshit. Notice how Hillary said she’d consider revealing the transcripts of her $200,000 Goldman Sachs speeches and how young people wonder, what’s there to consider. Just do it.
And she still hasn’t done it.
Radio hasn’t had a revolution since progressive rock in the 1960’s.
It has pioneered precious few new formats after all-news and conservative talk.
Radio needs a revolution if it is to have meaning in the lives of almost 90 million Millennials.
And a voice that actually sounds like the audience it wants to attract.
Or at least saying something that their youthful audience can relate to.
There are many formats that do not exist today that can be created for Millennials.
It doesn’t matter if Millennials are in love with their phones. That has nothing to do with the future of radio.
As I’m writing this I looked up to gaze out of my office window to a golf course where a young man just hit his drive, put his club away and pulled out his phone while he walked 200+ yards to his ball.
The phone didn’t stop him from playing golf (although it might irritate the hell out of older players). He likes golf and his cell phone – both.
In your heart you know that radio is not as good as it was at befriending audiences. If it were, voice tracking would be off the table. Sweepers would be outlawed and meaningless commercials that are the antithesis of no hype wouldn’t be stacked up one after the other for eight minutes every half hour.
I don’t know who will win the presidency.
I do know that an old white man who is admired by young people is worth studying because Millennials have disrupted everything and they are about to disrupt politics in 2016 as never before whatever party wins.
Lying is out (politicians lie).
Boasting used to be a right. Now it’s a bad move. Yeah, I’d like to crow about every prediction I ever made about media that came true but who cares?
Hillary said she believed in the death penalty and Bernie walked it back and said the government should not be killing people. He got the louder applause.
Stand for something or you stand for nothing.
What does radio stand for?
Repetition in music, not discovery.
Savings over entertainment.
Abuse of social media for promotional purposes not entertainment or enlightenment.
No news at all.
No one-on-one communication.
Nothing to binge on even over the weekend.
We can do better than this.
Can we name the top five things Millennials value this year?
If you’d like to continue the discussion, reserve a seat at my upcoming April 6 New Radio Conference in Philadelphia.
Stand up to ratings that are inaccurate and killing the business.
Sean Hannity and researcher Richard Harker will be there live to discuss disturbing findings about how certain formats are losing the majority of their audience to PPM technology and ways to deal with this inequity. (Harker did a survey for Hannity’s show that will shock when you see how much audience was lost to PPM). And it’s not just talk stations taking a hit.
See exciting ways to do a Millennial Makeover of your radio station.
Former Cox and CBS programmer Dan Mason will join me in providing useful ideas that can transform your station from the past to the future.
See the Program / Reserve a Seat
Inquire about group rates
If you’d like to stay close to the Hub Conference Center, find nearby hotels here.