The Shooting of the Media

(Reserve a seat at my upcoming Media Solutions Lab – info, hotels and a discount await you here).

If you ever needed a clear example of why traditional media is losing it, look no further than the Tucson mass murders over the weekend.

Media coverage was unremarkable and in some startling cases flat out wrong.

Now the windbags from both sides of talk radio are going to do – well, you don’t need me to tell you.

This sad incident is full of good intelligence for executives who want to separate themselves from the increasingly out of touch media business.

This article deals with strategic lessons that are begging to be learned:

1.  Why did traditional media lay an egg during the Gabrielle Giffords shooting?  It’s not what you think.  It’s actually worse and not likely to improve. 

2.  The one mistake you can’t make today in the digital age when your audience has a smart phone in their hands.  I’ll tell you what it is.

3.  Which handful of radio stations actually exceeded audience expectations in their shooting coverage and cleaned the clocks of cable news?  Bet you are surprised.

4.  Why consolidation plus the proliferation of mobile Internet devices has caused the perfect storm for broadcasters – and what you can do about it.

5.  What is coming soon – in place for the next tragedy, national disaster or world event that compels audiences who crave information?  Is it radio?  Cable news?  Websites.  No.  It’s something that may not even be on your radar right now and you can get into this business.

If you would like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (over 1,100 pieces) and get the next month of my writing included, click “read more” for your choices. 

 The media mistakes to avoid starts now.

A Homeless Man Teaches Radio a Lesson

(Reserve a seat at my upcoming Media Solutions Lab – info, hotels and a discount await you here).

Ted Williams, the unshaven, homeless ex-radio dj who became a YouTube star this past week finally got a job.

But did the radio business – and broader media industry – get the real message?

This wasn’t a freak show or promotional opportunity for media companies and sports teams. I contend it was actually the best learning example we in the industry have seen in decades.

This article drills down to the real lessons:

1.  What has become bigger than radio and even bigger than television?  I’ll name it and explain it.  I’m not going to say the Internet or Apple.

2.  What radio doesn’t understand about today’s audiences and why their ratings are going down.  Is it programming?  That, too.  Radio people are missing the point. This homeless ex-radio jock may have just embarrassed the industry, which is chasing its tail not the audience.

3.  Why radio is misunderstanding new media.  It thinks new media is streaming terrestrial stations and selling spots for $2 a hit.  They may not know it yet – but you will – the unlikely Ted Williams may be able to consult them.  I’ll share with you the one thing radio stations are missing as they try to be both terrestrial broadcasters and Internet streamers in a world they don’t understand.

4.  Why broadcasting as we know it is dead on arrival.  This is the replacement …

5.  Could radio have made Ted Williams the sensation he is all by itself without YouTube?  If not, then what?

6.  While radio is loving this story of unemployed radio voice meets employer, they are missing the point.  Williams, it turns out, is cooler than the medium and is begging the question if the medium is no longer the message, as McLuhan argued, then what is it.  I will share.

If you would like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (over 1,100 pieces) and get the next month of my writing included, click “read more” for your choices. 

The real lesson of the homeless radioman is not what you think.

It is far scarier.

And it starts here.

How to Fix the Music Industry

(Claim a pre-registration discount at my upcoming Media Solutions Lab and reserve a seat for the January 27th event at The Phoenician in Scottsdale here).

How crazy is this?

The music industry is broken yet more music is being consumed than ever before in history.  What’s that all about?

Well, if you’re in the business – radio, music or the rapidly growing mobile Internet field – you’ll want to take a no nonsense look at the 14 biggest problems killing the music industry right now and how to fix them – pronto.

If the record business continues its decline, what happens to the media businesses that rely on music?

This article proposes an actual fix for each one of the music industry’s problems.  You’ll have to have an open mind reading it because most if not all of these fixes are not commonly thought of as solutions by the powers that run the majors.

But I’m betting you’ll put it all together.

Among the 14 issues we’ll discuss:

1.  What to do about iTunes.  The record industry can’t seem to live with it and can’t live without it.  Now, here’s a workable solution.

2.  The answer to the contentious music licensing problem that the labels need because they really don’t have another source of income growth but they are shooting their growth potential in the foot.

3.  The one sure way to spike interest for consumers to own music.

4.  Why streaming revenue was lost and what can be done to save the revenue stream.

5.  How critical is music video to the music industry – online?  You may be surprised.

6.  The quick and effective road to concert pricing.

7.  RIAA lawsuits – continue them or try something new.  I’ve got something new for you.

8.  Music royalties for radio.  This issue had better be settled properly or else …

9.  The one guaranteed way labels could get back into relevance and generate profits tomorrow if they would do this one thing.

10. One hot button that Gen Y cannot resist when it comes to music.  You’ll own them.

11. The effect of record label mergers ahead this year. EMI is in trouble and if it “solves” its problems the way I think it will, EMI will actually create even more problems for the greater music industry.

12. The anti-record label.  Ever hear of it?  You may want to get acquainted with it now because it could be the replacement for traditional record labels as we know them.

13.  The labels hate Apple.  They need them.  They have enabled them, but there is one thing the labels never thought of that can put the power back in their hands with regard to Apple.  I’ll share.

14. iTunes pricing.  With Steve Jobs ready to make a major announcement that could reshuffle the entire music industry, it’s time to get real about the pricing of digital music.  Read this before Jobs backs the labels against the wall again.

If you would like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (over 1,100 pieces) and get the next month of my writing included, click “read more” for your choices. 

Get the real story about 14 painful fixes for the music industry that could turn it around in the foreseeable future.  If the labels don’t want to listen, you will because as long as music is a consumer obsession, there is  a lot of work to do to understand the new rules.

Dickey’s Citadel Takeover Strategy

Lew Dickey told employees this week he is damn serious about taking over Citadel even though Cumulus is burdened with debt while Citadel is not (thanks to bankruptcy) and that the Citadel board has virtually no reason to be taken over by a much smaller company with a lot of financial baggage.

This article examines:

• Why Dickey cannot back down in his attempt to buy Citadel.

• The best thinking on how he will proceed – how long he will try – and what Dickey is really after.  The Citadel Takeover Playbook.

• How the three main consolidators – Clear Channel, Citadel and Cumulus – will reshuffle their dominance and which one will emerge the most powerful.  I think you’ll be surprised.

• As a consequence, what Clear Channel will look like – a picture that may emerge even within the next 12 months.

• Citadel’s plan to stick it to Dickey

• And what the prospects will be for Cumulus if Dickey should fail to win Citadel after many more months of public haranguing about a hostile takeover.

• Plus, selling without ratings and the truth about the Cumulus seller hiring plan.

If you would like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (over 1,100 pieces) and get the next month of my writing included, click “read more” for your choices. 

Get the story no one else will tell with our remarkable reliability on what the Cumulus Citadel takeover strategy really is – not what they’re telling you.  And how the big consolidators are ready to change places in a major way.

You’ll only read it here and you’ll get it first.

Baby Boomer Audience Turns 65

The radio industry is at it again and it’s only January 4th!

The trades are full of analyst and CEO predictions of 2-3% growth (analysts) or even higher (radio CEOs) in the year ahead.  That after what will probably turn out to be a 5-6% increase (in the 2010 election year) compared to a disastrous year in 2009.


What they and you should be watching is the migration of the generations – the available media audience.  How many generational listeners are available and what do they want.  That's how to build an audience base to increase radio's share of revenue.

This year Baby Boomers will start turning 65 and about all the radio industry can do for these 79 million Boomers is program a few oldies stations (being careful not to use the word “oldies”).

Disaster is ahead.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a baby boomer.  Some of his best customers are Baby Boomers, but he has a generational strategy so sound, I am going to share it with you in a radio context.

This piece will discuss the similarities between Baby Boomers and guess who?  80 million Gen Yers coming of age now.

That’s right – similarities

I’ve got four useable pieces of strategy for you if you are serious about being more like Steve Jobs than the hapless CEOs of radio consolidation.

Specifically …

1. The one thing you must get right to hit a bull’s-eye when creating saleable content for younger as well as older generations.

2.  Which market do you aim for – the kids or the adults?  There is no margin for error here.  Do you know which one to aim for?

3. The Great Technology Misstep – how to avoid it.  That is, while radio CEOs are fighting for FM chips on mobile devices, you should be doing this …

4.  How traditional media is actually driving away audience by making the same mistake over and over again.  Any idea what that mistake is?

If you are already a subscriber, thanks very much for supporting Inside Music Media and recommending it to others. 

If you’d like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (over 1,100 pieces) and get the next month of my writing included, click “read more” for your choices.

Get insightful information on what Baby Boomers turning 65 means to an industry that is struggling with Generation Y coming of age.

It starts here.