They’re predicting another flat year for radio.
And there is talk of a recession possibly kicking in before the end of 2016 or early the following year.
iHeart is out selling multi-million chunks of advertising for one large lump sum, which is good for them but drives down the price of local advertising for everyone else.
So for those of you who plan to be in this business for a longtime to come, what are the options for an infusion of free cash flow?
- Attract more young money demos by giving your station a Millennial radio makeover. This is not difficult if you have an open mind but a warning – your radio station is going to sound real different. Are you ready for that?
- Put the majority of your precious resources into just these 6 hours each day to return 50-60% of your profit. You probably don’t have money to spend on everything these days, so how to focus on what will bring you the greatest return.
- Start monetizing the 7pm-5am time period. It’s a wasteland for radio right now but if I told you you could start a new “mini” radio station somewhere in that time period and generate some serious revenue, would you believe me? How about if we talk about one station that actually did it and started a new franchise – in off-hours, yet?
- Do podcasting on the air instead of on digital devices. You can’t monetize podcasting no matter how you try but by taking a “over the air” approach to podcasting, you have a legitimate replacement for older skewing talk radio. Let’s talk about what this podcasting station would sound like and how you sell it.
- Do digital that is separate and apart from what is on your air. Save the money and wasted time and go right for the one digital project that will give you a stream of income in six to 12 months.
- Re-invent the commercial. I’ve got some research that 18-34’s do like commercials, just not the ones radio is doing. Focus on these and you’ve got something that will earn you a premium with local advertisers.
- Target 75 million baby boomers 50-70. That generation is still almost as big as 83 million Millennials. Don’t just air the same old programming, reinvent radio for baby boomers as well as Millennials. Format options.
- Master video. There is money in video right now and I’m not talking about using your station personnel to generate it. There’s an even better and less expensive way.
- Cash in on gender neutrality. Young girls want to look like boys, dress like boys, wear boy’s clothes and assume “traditional” boy roles. And boys are comfortable reassessing their gender preferences. This is going to have a major impact on what we are and what we say to audiences. Savvy advertisers are already in tune with this change. Let’s discuss.
- Radio’s most dangerous competitor is user-generated content so get into the user-generated content business for additional revenue streams.
- Create major radio binge content like Netflix does for TV. You can create binge content that is impossible to tune out and get a premium for ads in it. Interested? A blueprint for you.
- Take the step to embrace new forms of revenue such as subscriptions and product placement (“mentions”). Yes, subscriptions. Audiences 45 and under gleefully buy apps like it is nothing and most don’t use 25% of them even when they pay. Don’t stick your nose up at the subscription model. It’s money being left on the table as an adjunct to free radio.
If you can master even just one of the above suggestions for new revenue, it could easily make the difference between a zero-growth year or a growth year.
Would that be a good investment of time for one day – April 6th at my New Radio Conference in Philadelphia.
Sean Hannity and researcher Richard Harker will be there live to discuss how Nielsen is robbing stations of ratings they’ve earned and the money that goes with it.
And former Cox and CBS programmer Dan Mason will lead a discussion with me on doing a Millennial Radio Makeover – you can bring your own questions or ideas to share in the discussion.
I love doing these conferences because they are for people who love radio and want to do it right.
Reserve April 6, 2016 to attend my next New Radio Conference in Philly – hurry, last days of the biggest early discount here.
If you’d like to stay close to the Hub Conference Center, find nearby hotels here.