How Apple’s Music Locker Affects Radio

Steve Jobs is about a month away from announcing his much-anticipated cloud-based music locker concept.

For a price, consumers can store every bit of music (video, files, etc.) they own on Apple’s cloud to access on any equipped mobile device.

The details on this are important – especially ahead of the announcement. 

I’ll share Apple’s plans – the price to consumers, the concept and more importantly, who will be hurt the most by this new concept.

Apple has caught steaming music services off guard and radio is always in denial.  Can radio be hurt by this extension of an iPod?  We’ll take a look.

This article will identify …

1.  What is likely to happen to Spotify, Rhapsody, Slacker and other all-you-can-eat music services?  Are they immune or is it over for them?

2.  What about Pandora?  Pandora is closing in on 100 million subscribers.  Will the Apple music locker close Pandora’s box?  If so, that would be major.

3.  Is radio immune from Apple’s music locker?  Radio is kind of playing into Apple’s hands – I’ll tell you how.  Is the music locker a threat to music radio?

4.  Radio has one sweet spot left – a place that Apple cannot attack – but don’t ask media execs like Bob Pittman where it is.  He’s out buying failed digital companies, but you’ll discover what Pittman is overlooking.

5.  YouTube is top 40 radio today.  Will YouTube music video become a thing of the past?

In these five questions alone, you have mountains of change that could affect the new and traditional media business.

If you would like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (over 1,200 pieces) and get the next month of my writing included, click “read more” for your choices. 

Digital Advertising Starting to Kill Local Radio

A new BIA/Kelsey study is showing real trouble ahead for the radio industry that is highly dependent on local advertising dollars.

Groupon is growing rapidly but so are other digital opportunities that radio is missing in mobile, online and social networking.

This article reveals useful strategies that could prevent radio from losing out to digital media – a trend that is underway at this moment.

1.  Compelling evidence to rethink the digital threat to traditional media – research and surveys.

2.  Some hopeful news from a recent poll that shows where Groupon is vulnerable – and how local radio can step in.  How much the average person spends with Groupon.  And how hooked they are on this coupon-of-the-day service.  Finally, some numbers you can use.

3.  Why the two best radio groups in the digital area are in trouble if they can’t change their digital strategy.

4.  A blueprint for radio to turn digital into a separate business that may even enhance their terrestrial operations.

5.  The best way to sell digital if you are a terrestrial radio station or group -- no one does this -- yet

6.  What one thing a radio station could do on-air that would make it a slam-dunk for bigger buy for local digital dollars.  Not what you think. In fact, it’s the opposite.

7.  How to rewire radio’s digital thinking.  I’ll give you an idea you can steal and take to local advertisers now – just for reading this piece.

8.  If you cannot do anything else, here is the one digital initiative you must have going forward if you are a radio company.  It’s this or nothing when it comes to local digital.

If you would like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (over 1,200 pieces) and get the next month of my writing included, click “read more” for your choices. 

Save the date for my next Media Solutions Lab – February 6, 2012 at The Phoenician in Scottsdale.

America’s Best & Worst Radio Groups

I am often asked which radio group would you work for if you wanted a career in radio.  That would be the one with the best management and best chance to succeed.

A lot has happened since I ranked the best and worst including bankruptcies, mergers, key station acquisitions, critical personnel changes and even luck.  For four years I’ve been getting hundreds of emails a week on the inner workings of radio’s major groups.

So here is my latest list of the best and worst radio groups.

In this article I’ll reveal …

•  What formerly worst group has finally made it to the best list and why they are no longer the worst.

•  The top 8 major radio groups -- what makes them strong and what their future looks like.

•  The three worst radio groups on the planet – at least in the U.S.  You may think you know which three I am talking about but you would be wrong.  I’ve got a big surprise for you and I’ll explain why.

•  The group I think has the inside track on being the number one best 12 months from now.

•  What toxic radio groups to avoid if you’re planning to stick around and have a career in radio.

I start counting down the best and worst radio groups in order – right here.

If you would like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (over 1,200 pieces) and get the next month of my writing included, click “read more” for your choices. 

Content Providers — Be Afraid of the AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

Tell me what about the merger of AT&T with T-Mobile is good for anything or anyone – other than AT&T.

Once the news came out this weekend and it sunk in, I said OMG -- Oh My God, this is big – for content providers like us, radio and traditional media businesses that want to take advantage of residing on all those cool Apple and Android devices that are flying out of retail stores.

If you read any of the news accounts of the just-announced AT&T purchase of T-Mobile, just about everything written is about how the deal will benefit AT&T and hurt competitors.

One of the few good things about radio and record industry people who have been screwed into mediocrity by consolidation is that we have the capability of knowing exactly what is going to happen when there are only three major cellular companies left – AT&T, Verizon and the much smaller Sprint.

This article reveals the growing threat to content providers by a handful of gatekeepers that get to charge a digital toll each month to your fans and customers.

1.  The odds that the AT&T merger is approved by regulators.  Remember this is like Clear Channel, Cumulus and Entercom owning everything in radio.

2.  The threat to you if you are a radio station or pure play operator streaming music for a living.

3.  The fail-safe plan for content providers who are increasingly using more video and audio as part of their content.

4.  The only thing that can stop AT&T, Verizon and Sprint if this merger gets approved and this will truly shock you.

5.  What happens to slam-dunk consumer cellular expenses like that $20 a month texting fee?  There is a change slowly happening regarding consumers and texting.  Do you know what it is?

6.  What is the best strategy for content providers to safeguard against some of the roadblocks that cellular consolidation will throw at you?   I’ll name three things you can be aware of starting today.

If you’ve been considering accessing Inside Music Media every day, today is a great day to start.

If you would like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (over 1,200 pieces) and get the next month of my writing included, click “read more” for your choices. 

Radio’s Believe It Or Not

It is time once again for real stories from the radio and music business that I nominate for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

More outrageous than a woman delivering a 19 pound baby.

More freakish than high heeled hooves made out of 5,000 hairs.

Or the Frozen Dead Guy Festival.

In radio, we have our own incredible happenings that – as always – to the best of my knowledge are true – a sampling …

1.  The “never-ending” rep contract -- you won’t believe how long this radio rep firm ties up its clients or what they have to do to break the long-term agreement.

2.  Free radio news for the price you’re paying for it.  Which radio trade publication got sexist about a little tiny bit of competition?  Guess.

3.  Confucius:  The Dickey Who Golfs Putz.  If you thought it takes a lot of hard work and long weekends to do a hostile takeover of a competitor like Citadel, wait until you see what Lew Dickey was doing right in the middle of negotiations.  Documented.

4.  Bonuses for failing.  In this age of cutbacks and “layoffs”, guess who turned out to be the greediest bastards of them all on the backs of their present and departed staffers.  We’ve got the eye-popping numbers for you.

5.  The pep talk before Cumulus took over Susquehanna a few years back gives the best insight as to how it will takeover Citadel in September.  An insider tells all.

If you would like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (over 1,200 pieces) and get the next month of my writing included, click “read more” for your choices.