Zune — A Turkey

I knew it. My students knew it. How did Microsoft not know it. The new competitor to iPod from the folks at Microsoft -- Zune -- was a turkey even before Thanksgiving. The Wall Street Journal just reported that Zune sales are not meeting expectations ramping up to the holiday season. As we used to say back in South Philly, "who don't know that?" It's clunky, rather ugly, not better than an iPod, not cheaper and not...not...not an iPod. I always used to think when Proctor & Gamble launched a new product with all their market research, how could it not be a home run? They have many home runs, but not always. So the Zune will&hellip

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We Don’t Know Jack

When I first told my students about the "Jack" format as it first debuted in LA several years ago, their reactions are worth recalling even today. I say this because since I have been at USC I have come to closely value the rather direct reactions of this generation on things ranging from new mobile media devices to old approaches to radio formats. Nonetheless at the time they were troubled by the "Jack" format motto, "We Play What We Want". One young student told his fellow classmates, "yeah, we play what we want, too -- it's called an iPod". All this time has passed since CBS reinvented the wheel and the "Jack" format one assumes&hellip

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How Radio Is Like Satellite Radio

What happens when you dominate a market, offer the majority of your programming to an audience you don't have and then fail to deliver young listeners? You have satellite radio! Wait. Increasingly, you also have terrestrial radio. It's a losing formula in a time of great change that is begging for a remedy. Satellite radio operators have hit the wall as witnessed by unusually slow sales at their traditional busy time of the year (Christmas). They've done an excellent job in finding their market -- the pay subscription market -- but there's not enough consumers willing to subscribe. Satellite programs some excellent channels for&hellip

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Interactive Media Envy

Traditional media companies are falling all over themselves to do content deals with their new media rivals -- Internet and mobile companies. NBC Universal did a deal to allow AT&T to offer their owned stations a chance to be broadcast on AT&T phones -- welcome to some mighty lucrative markets. Google and Yahoo announce deals on an almost regular basis. And even without alliances, traditional media is rushing to find new ways to offer their content digitally. MTV is developing niche broadband channels. HBO is mulling putting their content on broadband. Newspapers ally themselves with Yahoo and hope that the lure of local content&hellip

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A Clear Channel Christmas

It's very easy during the lull in the Clear Channel sell-off to think everything is going to alright. But it's not alright for the employees of Clear Channel who are being let go or for the ones having to endure the holiday season wondering if they will be the next to be fired. If consolidation means anything, it means doing more for less. And now that Clear Channel's dynasty Mays family has decided to cash out for about $1 billion and take the radio division private there's still lots of housekeeping to do. Like tidying up the bottom line. This should be no problem to the radio industry leader that cut, combined and consolidated&hellip

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