How Much Radio, How Much Digital

There are mixed messages being sent out there.

Media buyers are demanding digital to place radio buys even though most of them wouldn’t know a good digital investment if they fell over it.

Their clients have demanded it because that’s where they think their budgets should migrate – some even placing 33% digital mandates.

Meanwhile stations have panicked.

They call their on-air streams digital because they operate on the Internet and through apps, but they almost universally don’t generate significant revenue.

And station sellers are being pressured by their managers to increase the digital spend by bonusing – you guessed it – spot radio.

This all begs the question that I have been wrestling with for my upcoming media seminar – how much radio should we do and how much digital?

Let me run some thoughts past you …

  1. I believe we should be doing the best radio we have ever done but that isn’t what is happening at most stations. Our 100% focus should be on-air radio but that the product should change drastically.
  2. Streaming on-air content is not worth it. I’m going to make the case for allowing stations to be streamed just to put them out there for the minority of listeners who choose to listen like that but not selling them. Hey, they don’t make money anyway.
  3. Divert attention to creating video content and storytelling (my replacement for podcasting which is just repurposed radio).
  4. Short form video is money waiting to be made and if you want to learn how to do it right, don’t look at each other, turn to the kids. Teenagers are making more money in digital using an iPhone from home than most stations make from all their “digital put together”. I’m in this for myself. I’ll share with you. If you know nothing else, know that YouTube is your competitor not radio.
  5. Podcasting seems to be having a rebirth even though it never really took off the last time. Caution is called for. Podcasting appeals to older radio listeners not any of the 95 million Millennials. It’s radio dressed up as new media. But storytelling hits Millennials in their sweet spot and we radio people were born to do this.

We’re facing great changes next year – perhaps the most challenging year in the history of radio.

I hope you can reserve March 18th for our one-day interactive teaching seminar in Philly – I promise whether you are a station exec or entrepreneur, you’ll come away with inspiring concepts that can make a difference. That is the Media Solutions Conference reputation and we intend to live up to it again for the sixth year.

The early bird price is about to end so reserve a seat at the lowest price that will ever be available -- Reserve a Seat

By the way, here’s a sampling of more topics …

  • Better radio, stronger digital
  • How much radio, how much digital
  • Storytelling – Millennials’ hot new obsession
  • How to get audiences to listen to songs all the way through – face it, they don’t and yet we’re building our entire station on the concept of music sweeps.
  • What Millennials want the most -- Authenticity, no hype, consensus not confrontation, respect, trust & fairness, dreams (all the way from changing the world to building a better life), fun to be with and openness and diversity in programming & advertising. Now … here’s how to deliver them.
  • Eliminating radio’s 3 biggest weaknesses – repetitious music, too many lousy commercials, outdated morning shows.
  • Addressing radio’s biggest objections – too many commercials, repetitive playlists and not enough music discovery, morning shows that suck, stupid contests and promotions, too much hype. Damage control.
  • Radio’s 75 million baby boomers, 95 million Millennials – what to do?
  • Both music discovery AND ratings – how to add 2/3 more new music and not lose listeners
  • Beware of the digital dashboard – It turned out to be a Pandora’s box, sorry about that – but you know what I mean. A better Plan B.
  • Forget other stations, YouTube is your competitor. Change your focus.
  • Creating Binge Radio Content – yes, just like Netflix.
  • Radio’s answer to on-demand – not doing the service elements of a morning show that stations love but listeners now get on their phones. On to exclusive new content that can’t compete with a phone.
  • Millennial mistakes you don’t want to make – change the way you do commercials, talk to listeners differently, taking audience bingeing seriously, kill the 8 minute stop set before it kills you, don’t use social media to promote, ditch voice tracking and syndication, play games – hey, this is the gaming generation -- don’t brand or promote make personalities your “brand”.
  • Start a video revenue stream – I’m doing it, let me show you how you can too for the same pennies I’m committing.
  • What’s in the pipeline for radio – Is it really throwback hip-hop or something we’re missing.
  • Taking back market share from below average digital competitors.
  • Instagram is killing Facebook, but here’s what’s the next big thing in social media.
  • 2 things today’s radio audiences cannot resist – service and humility. Discuss.
  • If you’re thinking of leaving radio – make millions creating short form video like this.
  • Not ready for major changes, at least do this -- refresh your radio station using a can’t fail checklist.
  • Protect your station against competitors who drop their rates – it’s the biggest danger to independent stations and groups in 2015.
  • Expanded group questions & answers – You fire the questions that matter most -- we load you up with solutions.

Reserve a Seat

Inquire About Group Rates

Order Audio Only

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Pittman’s Plans For iHeart AFTER Bankruptcy

Of course, SpongeBob could avoid bankruptcy but he’d have to start making money at local stations, fire just about every employee and find a way to pay down $20.4 billion in debt.

Bankruptcy is the game plan.

But iHeart will look very different when they emerge.

What happens to their current employees, do they get whacked or are they part of Bob’s new plan.

How selling off all the assets like they are now doing helps a bankruptcy filing.

Here’s what they’ll likely do with those stations in the Aloha Station Trust.

Making sense of why Pittman sold iHeart’s tower real estate for $400 million and so easily gave up the estimated $12-15 million in rental income that local managers have no chance of replacing. What’s up with that?

One last raid on the company coffers being planned by owners Lee & Bain.

The ingenious plan to stiff debt holders like Citadel did.

And, what everyone wants to know – what is Pittman’s end game, what does he come away with and what’s the next move after you’ve gutted the company you can’t run. You may be surprised at the four divisions Pittman really wants to keep.

The timeline – which moves happen and in what order.

And what this means for employees – better times or more Fast Times at Pittman High.

Access this story now

Report news in strict confidence to me personally here.

Time running out to lock in the lowest rate to attend my March Philly conference here

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What Millennials Want Most From Radio

It’s tough.

There are 95 million Millennials some as old as 32.

And 45 million Gen Xers – the bridge generation between Millennials and Baby Boomers.

Plus 75 million Baby Boomers still alive and kicking.

What a dilemma.

Do you make changes to accommodate the emerging and massive Gen Y or focus on Gen Xers and Baby Boomers who are more similar to each other than to Millennials.

Those of you who know me know that I taught generational media as professor at the University of Southern California so this is a topic near and dear to me.

The good news is that I think we can make the changes that Millennials care about most – no, let me correct that – demand from everything they do and even strengthen out position with Xers and Boomers.

Let me explain.

Here’s what Millennials want and some of what I am going to get into at my upcoming management conference March 18 in Philadelphia.

  1. Authenticity – Radio doesn’t pass this test with them.  They want to feel that what we do is real, less bragging, more things drilled down to their interests.  Imagine a morning show like this.      
  2. No hype – oops, we’re blowing that one, too.  Ever listen to a Jingle Ball promo.       That’s good stuff from our old playbook yet there is a better way to talk up our positives without one single hint of hype.
  3. Consensus not confrontation – believe it or not talk stations could reimagine themselves if they changed the way they talk to people, but what used to work is clearly not working with younger demos. What would be the harm of changing the conversation and inviting an entirely new audience in.
  4. Respect – put bluntly, Millennials think radio talks to listeners like they are idiots. I think they make a good point – NPR is the exception. There are lots of ways to change this.
  5. Trust & fairness – you’re saying, huh! But just like Taylor Swift speaks to them because she is honestly telling it like it is, they feel more comfortable with people (and stations) that they can trust. Can you really trust a radio station? You had better figure out a way if I am getting this right.
  6. Dreams – all the way from changing the world to building a better life. They live for their dreams and when a station becomes an enabler of them, they feel drawn to them. Contests and promotions can make a great statement if we will make them about dreams and not ratings.
  7. Fun to be with – remind me to tell you about the generation being born right now and as old as their teens. The boys want to be thought of as fun to be with. When was the last time you heard a radio station that made a listener seem like they were fun to be with instead of the station trying to do it. Deadly.
  8. Openness and diversity in programming & advertising – obviously stations come across like the greedy bastards we know run a lot of them and making the station more diverse and more open has instant appeal. Let’s brainstorm this one.

I hope you can reserve March 18th for our one-day interactive teaching seminar in Philly – it’s fun, it’s motivating and enlightening.

The early bird price is about to end so reserve a seat at the lowest price that will ever be available -- Reserve a Seat

By the way, here’s a sampling of more topics …

  • Better radio, stronger digital
  • How much radio, how much digital
  • Storytelling – Millennials’ hot new obsession
  • How to get audiences to listen to songs all the way through – face it, they don’t and yet we’re building our entire station on the concept of music sweeps.
  • What Millennials want the most -- Authenticity, no hype, consensus not confrontation, respect, trust & fairness, dreams (all the way from changing the world to building a better life), fun to be with and openness and diversity in programming & advertising. Now … here’s how to deliver them.
  • Eliminating radio’s 3 biggest weaknesses – repetitious music, too many lousy commercials, outdated morning shows.
  • Addressing radio’s biggest objections – too many commercials, repetitive playlists and not enough music discovery, morning shows that suck, stupid contests and promotions, too much hype. Damage control.
  • Radio’s 75 million baby boomers, 95 million Millennials – what to do?
  • Both music discovery AND ratings – how to add 2/3 more new music and not lose listeners.
  • Beware of the digital dashboard – It turned out to be a Pandora’s box, sorry about that – but you know what I mean. A better Plan B.
  • Forget other stations, YouTube is your competitor. Change your focus.
  • Creating Binge Radio Content – yes, just like Netflix.
  • Radio’s answer to on-demand – not doing the service elements of a morning show that stations love but listeners now get on their phones. On to exclusive new content that can’t compete with a phone.
  • Millennial mistakes you don’t want to make – change the way you do commercials, talk to listeners differently, taking audience bingeing seriously, kill the 8 minute stop set before it kills you, don’t use social media to promote, ditch voice tracking and syndication, play games – hey, this is the gaming generation -- don’t brand or promote make personalities your “brand”.
  • Start a video revenue stream – I’m doing it, let me show you how you can too for the same pennies I’m committing.
  • What’s in the pipeline for radio – Is it really throwback hip-hop or something we’re missing.
  • Taking back market share from below average digital competitors.
  • Instagram is killing Facebook, but here’s what’s the next big thing in social media.
  • 2 things today’s radio audiences cannot resist – service and humility. Discuss.
  • If you’re thinking of leaving radio – make millions creating short form video like this.
  • Not ready for major changes, at least do this -- refresh your radio station using a can’t fail checklist.
  • Protect your station against competitors who drop their rates – it’s the biggest danger to independent stations and groups in 2015.
  • Expanded group questions & answers – You fire the questions that matter most -- we load you up with solutions.

Reserve a Seat

Inquire About Group Rates

Order Audio Only

Read More  FREE SAMPLES

iHeart Considering Bankruptcy

That’s why they are selling everything in site from their outdoor division to two office buildings in San Antonio and everything in between.

Bankruptcy is on the table and all of us better pray it doesn’t happen.

But it’s very possible, maybe even likely.

Look at the repercussions …

What happens to employees if iHeart files?

And what about pensions and previously agreed upon settlements and deals – will they be safe?

This will make iHeart employees even angrier. The details on what Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler are doing ahead any bankruptcy move – one more money grab for the owners.

Will layoffs be put on hold during any bankruptcy proceeding?

The scary options should iHeart emerge debt free.

Access this story now

Report news in strict confidence to me personally here.

Save March 18, 2015 for my next Media Solutions Conference

Read More  FREE SAMPLES

Coke Drops Idol For YouTube – Pay Attention

When Coca-Cola pulls out as a major advertiser on the iconic Fox TV show American Idol after 13 years, it ought to wake up the media world.

They’re not going to Disneyland they are going to YouTube.

Coke’s explanation:

Young people who like music aren’t watching TV anymore. They’re watching YouTube.

They are on mobile.

They are gamers and watching TV much more selectively.

Enter the radio industry.

Or should I say, exit – because that’s what is going to happen the more we fail to cooperate with the inevitable.

So shut down your radio stations?

Hell no.

But don’t operate like it’s 1999.

Teens use YouTube as top 40 radio. Meanwhile we’re obsessing over Pandora, Spotify, iHeart just about anything and we’re looking in the wrong direction.

I’m announcing my 2015 Media Solutions Seminar topics today and you’ll see that they are not your father’s radio issues and yes, video and Millennials and new ways to communicate headline the list.

This is my sixth year doing this teaching seminar for independent and outstanding radio broadcasters and if I wanted to just do the regular stuff like “John Dickey on Increasing Revenue” and “125 Million People Listen To Radio Every Week”, I’d pull my hair out.

And I want to keep my hair!

So, we report, you decide if you’d like to join our one-day learning seminar March 18th in Philadelphia.

Here are the seminar topics …

  • Better radio, stronger digital
  • How much radio, how much digital
  • Storytelling – Millennials’ hot new obsession
  • How to get audiences to listen to songs all the way through – face it, they don’t and yet we’re building our entire station on the concept of music sweeps.
  • What Millennials want the most -- Authenticity, no hype, consensus not confrontation, respect, trust & fairness, dreams (all the way from changing the world to building a better life), fun to be with and openness and diversity in programming & advertising. Now … here’s how to deliver them.
  • Eliminating radio’s 3 biggest weaknesses – repetitious music, too many lousy commercials, outdated morning shows.
  • Addressing radio’s biggest objections – too many commercials, repetitive playlists and not enough music discovery, morning shows that suck, stupid contests and promotions, too much hype. Damage control.
  • Radio’s 75 million baby boomers, 95 million Millennials – what to do?
  • Both music discovery AND ratings – how to add 2/3 more new music and not lose listeners.
  • Beware of the digital dashboard – It turned out to be a Pandora’s box, sorry about that – but you know what I mean. A better Plan B.
  • Forget other stations, YouTube is your competitor. Change your focus.
  • Creating binge radio content – yes, just like Netflix.
  • Radio’s answer to on-demand – not doing the service elements of a morning show that stations love but listeners now get on their phones. On to exclusive new content that can’t compete with a phone.
  • Millennial mistakes you don’t want to make – change the way you do commercials, talk to listeners differently, taking audience bingeing seriously, kill the 8 minute stop set before it kills you, don’t use social media to promote, ditch voice tracking and syndication, play games – hey, this is the gaming generation -- don’t brand or promote make personalities your “brand”.
  • Start a video revenue stream – I’m doing it, let me show you how you can too for the same pennies I’m committing.
  • What’s in the pipeline for radio – Is it really throwback hip-hop or something we’re missing.
  • Taking back market share from below average digital competitors.
  • Instagram is killing Facebook, but here’s what’s the next big thing in social media.
  • 2 things today’s radio audiences cannot resist – service and humility. Discuss.
  • If you’re thinking of leaving radio – make millions creating short form video like this.
  • Not ready for major changes, at least do this -- refresh your radio station using a can’t fail checklist.
  • Protect your station against competitors who drop their rates – it’s the biggest danger to independent stations and groups in 2015.
  • Expanded group questions & answers – You fire the questions that matter most -- we load you up with solutions.

Look at this great meeting room – perfect for interactive back and forth communication. I’m having to give up 25 seats this year but as soon as I discovered this room, I knew I was going to do it – Jerry

apollo

Reserve a Seat

Inquire About Group Rates

Order Audio Only

Presented at The Hub Commerce Square, 2001 Market Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia – walking distance from Amtrak’s 30th Street Station, 20 minutes from Philadelphia International Airport. Registration & breakfast begin at 8am. Conference starts at 9, ends at 4pm.

Djeetyet?

That’s Philly talk (translation: did you eat, yet?). You will -- Breakfast, lunch and breaks by acclaimed James Beard Award-winning Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix, former executive chef at The Four Seasons, included.

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Reported iHeart Station Bidder Revealed

There’s good news and bad news.

The stations everyone says are not for sale are available for the right price.

The bad news – this bidder can be a cheap son of a bitch.

Reputation for nickel and diming sellers.

What it will take to get Bob Pittman to sell – yes, people believe he will for a decent offer.

How many markets could be sold.

Why workers at these stations would probably like the buyer better than iHeart as an employer.

The x-factor that could eventually make the new buyer feel no better than the “best practices” of iHeart.

Why the potential buyer may be so hot to buy iHeart castoffs.

Access this story now

Report news in strict confidence to me personally here.

I am holding my 6th annual media conference in Philly this year on March 18th.   This time we’re focusing on independent groups who are finding ways to survive the financial problems of the majors – innovate, don’t imitate. New ideas. Better radio. Ways to generate more revenue without increasing the number of advertisers and tremendous opportunities in video. I hope you can reserve the date and lock in a seat at today’s rates here.

Read More  FREE SAMPLES

TV Now Second to Mobile

Can you think of one other industry where customers call up and ask NOT to have their main service?

That’s what is happening in cable as 26% of their customers are doing just that according to a new survey from Marchex Call Analytics.

According to BI Intelligence …

TV media consumption share from 2009 until 2014 is down from 42% to 37%.

Digital for the same period up 32% to 49%.

Radio 17% down to 11%.

Print 9% to 4%.

TV comes out first only if you split online and mobile viewing …

TV 45% to 37%

Online 25% to 18%

Radio 17% to 11%.

Print 9% to 4%.

Mobile 4% to 23%.

Other 7% to 2%.

Mobile alone is the second biggest audience.

This sounds like bad news to radio – and it certainly isn’t like being mobile.

But radio was the original mobile media. It has been dumbed down by consolidators and imitators who are slashing costs instead of investing in product.

I take the potential as good news for this reason and my 6th annual media conference is going to invest time into things that cooperate with the inevitable – that is, content that will help us compete in the digital space.

  • New innovative formats, new TSL strategies, new ways to engage the audience on-air and in mobile.
  • Storytelling is a sweet spot with 95 million Millennials – what is storytelling, how is it different from talk or spoken word, how do you put content together that will succeed in attracting audiences and revenue sources.
  • The “commercial” of the future – it’s not a 5, 10, 15, 30 or 60 second spot. Not even a great one. The one proven “commercial” that people under 30 will actually listen to is something few stations have ever done. Let’s put an end to that now.
  • The solution for music listeners most of whom do not even listen to one song all the way through let alone stick around for a music sweep. The way to handle them is edit the music, add discovery and repackage the presentation.
  • Danger words – the ones that end in “est” or brag. That’s what we do in radio and we call it promotion. Now it has to change because there are 5 things that turn audiences off. Most stations are doing all 5 – not good. It can be better.

This is worth attending. I hope you can join our group of outstanding broadcasters this year and reserve Wednesday, March 18th for our one-day teaching seminar in Philly and lock in a seat at today’s rates here.

Read More  FREE SAMPLES