The $5 CD

I was surprised to find many young people enthusiastic about the prospect of paying $5 for a CD.

I'm sure the record business is not.

I can hear them right now: "We can't make money on $5 CDs" -- like they can make money on free downloading, right?

I put the question to students in my USC class "Music, Broadcasting & the Mobile Future". About 75% of them -- a surprising number -- said they would buy CDs or multiple CDs -- a significant increase over their current spending -- if the labels charged a flat $5 for the CD.

Only one condition: they also want a high fidelity digital version for purchasing the&hellip

Wrong Trax for the Record Industry

There was another abortion in the music industry this week.

QTrax, the startup that promised free music from the four major labels, and a number of indies launched without the music of the four major labels.

This is an advertiser supported project that had been at least a year in the making -- not unique -- just another whack at trying to offer music to the next generation for free.

Unfortunately, either QTrax or the labels scotched the much ballyhooed launch. We've heard that the ink wasn't dry on a number of the agreements. I don't know who launches a business based on four record labels without having the deal&hellip

Clear Channel on Jenny Craig

Tom Taylor broke the news of John Hogan's "draconian" first quarter contingency plan in his Taylor on Radio-Info publication Monday.

It's bad -- all bad.

Hundreds of additional jobs are in jeopardy -- this from the industry leader that has been cutting jobs at a record pace in preparation for what they hope will be the completed sale of Clear Channel to Bain Capital and Thomas Lee Partners within a few months.

Clear Channel has a problem. It isn't making budget for the first quarter and revenues are down.

In the movie Airplane, Lloyd Bridges who played the character&hellip

The HD Alliance’s Satellite Radio Agenda

The HD Radio Alliance has gone and done it.

It has officially opposed the merger of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio.

That tells me enough that if I'm at the DOJ, I'm going to approve the merger immediately -- which they're likely to do anyway.

You may remember that iBiquity, the designated manufacturer of HD radio, unofficially asked the FCC to consider mandating the manufacture of new satellite radios so that they would include the HD subchannels. Exactly, what satellite subscribers want, right?

Wrong.

Now the HD Alliance which riled the terrestrial radio business with its "creative" commercials that&hellip

Lost.fm

There is quite a controversy building around whether CBS-owned Last.fm is an eventual replacement for terrestrial radio.

The Motley Fool investors publication says Last.fm could mean the end of radio.

Kurt Hanson, who I respect more on these issues, says wait one minute -- Last.fm isn't even radio.

It's an interesting prospect either way. To bring you up to date the four major record labels have cut a deal with Last.fm to get a penny or so for every time a young consumer goes to Last.fm and requests a song. Hanson points out, "Going to a website and saying

The Ghost of Christmas Radio Past and Future

The post Christmas radio ratings are in for the two People Meter markets -- Philadelphia and Houston -- and you should not be surprised to observe that the two bellwether Christmas stations lost half of their huge ratings gains acquired in December.

Jerry Lee's WBEB (B-101), Philadelphia slid from a 29.6 share in women 18+ during the week December 20-26 to 12.8 when the station reverted to its adult music format.

In Houston, Clear Channel's KODA lost 47% of its women compared to those listening during Christmas week.

Significantly, both stations remained number one in the 6+ average daily cume.

Are 29 shares in&hellip

Radio’s “Recession” Started A Long Time Ago

The Fed further cut interest rates by three quarters of a point in an emergency move that is designed to help the U.S. economy avoid a deep, dark recession.

The market lost 465 points before greed saved the day and buyers took advantage of lower stock prices and bought back in.

The housing market is one of the major problems and the subprime mortgage mess goes along with it.

As the vaudevillian comedian "The Old Philosopher" used to say, "is that what's bothering you, bunky?"

The radio industry actually started its "recession" early.

After spending record amounts of their investors' money to put together&hellip

Peer-to-Peer Radio

One of the more startling things to traditional broadcasters is that today's young audience wants to sometimes be their own program director.

The iPod is an example of how a generation decided to program their own "radio stations" with the music they choose to buy or steal online. And their stations really do have fewer commercials and more music unlike the promises we've made and broken to them for decades.

Broadcasters do what they have always done -- broadcast. When radio programming got more specific in the 70's we used the term narrowcasting to reflect how the broadcasting service had adapted.

But one thing&hellip

Radio is King for a Day

Today is the commemoration of Martin Luther King's birthday. In our lifetime we can count on the fingers of only one hand those who have meant more to our society. Yet we feel it more appropriate to honor such icons with a day off and 50% off sales at the mall.

In the radio industry, we suffer from a similar abuse.

While some stations commit themselves to add meaning to the King holiday, it's often no more than another day for an industry that would be better off if it actually translated King's message to help a troubled industry.

How so?

Radio has even fewer Black owners of consolidated radio groups that you&hellip

Walk The Talk — Grant the Grant

There is a controversy brewing in the industry and on the major boards such as Radio-Info about how the R&R Talk Conference has rescinded its planned Lifetime Achievement Award to Bob Grant -- the always and still equal opportunity offender that he is.

In the interest of full disclosure, I know Bob Grant from his Philly talker days and I've always liked him as a person. I never let his views affect me for one minute on that.

R&R is feeling the heat from minority interests who consider Grant&hellip