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 …
- 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.
- 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.
- Divert attention to creating video content and storytelling (my replacement for podcasting which is just repurposed radio).
- 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.
- 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.