18-34’s Don’t Listen to Songs All the Way Through

That’s a problem because everything we do in radio – build cume, expand quarter hour listening, focus on P1s – is based on the simple idea that if a station plays the most popular songs, the audience will keep listening.

In fact, programmers believe if you stop djs and air personalities from talking, ratings will go up (and because of PPM methodology, it is true).

But listeners love really good radio personalities.

We even have this notion that if we run 8 minutes of commercials twice an hour it’s okay because the audience will check back in.

That’s like tempting them to seek another hit of dopamine at one of their many other digital choices.

2017 is the year of radio revenue challenges – make no mistake about it – and we’re focused like a laser on it.

But let’s not lose sight of how the audience has already changed and radio has not.

This is why we do a refresh every year on topics that are trending for radio stations.

And shorter attention spans that are killing our chances for success with this 18-34 demographic that advertisers desire.

  1. They don’t listen to songs all the way through even the ones that they like.  That’s the Pandora/Spotify influence.  It’s pure adrenaline that listeners seek when they are listening to music.  Even playing the hits is no longer enough, but there is an alternative made for radio but time is short.
  2. There are ways to make it more difficult for 18-34’s to tune out the music they like.  One way is how we present it and that will be front and center at my Philly conference in about a week.
  3. Another way is to let them tune out and keep trying to draw them back but that can prove to be difficult and costly because some kind of a bribe may be necessary.  Still, it’s one of your options.
  4. One area we will explore is “music discovery”.  18-34’s are really into that – again, a byproduct of streaming music services and music on-demand that they grew up with.  You are going to learn a way to feed 18-34’s the music discovery they want without losing the hit appeal of your station.

There is no problem the radio industry cannot confront and turn into an advantage.

But great ideas like these are useless without a game plan forward and you’ll get that in Philly next week.

Invest one day – Wednesday April 5 – and you will come away with focused ideas and strategies on revenue recovery, making 18-34’s stay tuned and the following subjects.  It’s tax-deductible, check with your accountant:

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CBS Radio Revenue Tanking

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Become a NEW SUBSCRIBER and begin with CBS Radio Revenue Tanking here.

If you’ve been thinking about subscribing and would like to access this story, let me tell you what you will get …

  • For stations that compete in markets where CBS Radio owns stations, here is what CBS is going to do in detail to disrupt ad sales.
  • Specifically, how CBS is going to change the way they manage their sales people – account execs are not going to like this.

A new subscription also unlocks these full articles …

            Dickey's Resignation from the Cumulus Board

            Entercom Planning 2 Major Surprises

            iHeart's Soaring Stock

            iHeart Major Market Fail

            iHeart's Plan to Dupe Lenders

            The Cumulus Cuts, Staff Reductions

            iHeart Takes 1st Step Toward Bankruptcy Filing

And includes access to every article for the past year plus 3,625 in our archive like these (scroll through/latest first). Everything.

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Inside Music Media contains no advertising. Accepts no corporate money or consideration. And is beholden only to subscribers who appreciate it so much that they pay for it. Thank you.

April 5 Philly Conference Registration

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Millennials Freak at Mobile, Video Ads

If this isn’t a once in a lifetime opportunity for radio, I don’t know what is.

According to Deloitte’s “Digital Democracy Survey”, 80% of young TV online and mobile TV viewers will skip commercials.

Over 70% of Millennials and those under 15 (Gen Z) say such ads are “irrelevant”.

45% use ad blocking software with 89% saying it is their intent to block all advertising.

46% say they focus more on ads that they can skip.

99% of Millennials and Gen Z multitask while watching video.

If the radio industry wasn’t so driven by two big companies flirting with bankruptcy and desperate to sell anything, they would call this an opportunity for radio, too.

Independent local stations – the ones planning on staying in business and making a profit – can come up with a strategy to make radio advertising more appealing to a very large generation of potential listeners.

Be more authentic in spots.

Use more voices – we now even know the optimum number of voices to create the most effective ads.

Test the spots before running so the client doesn’t waste their money (obviously, a debt-ridden consolidator isn’t worried about advertisers wasting their money or doing more effective ads).

You bet advertisers will pay more for this.

What I’m saying is that the glass is more than half full for radio if stations focus on results and that includes understanding how Millennials and Gen Z think.

You are aware that I am doing a conference for local radio in about a week and a half.

I have consulted an expert in Millennials to drill down on these powerful keys.

And independent stations who have mastered – yes, mastered – getting premium rates from advertisers while making them more effective to in-demo audiences.

I can make you this promise.

Invest a day in this conference and you will have so much focused information on what is currently trending among audiences and advertisers.

It will be the best and most useful day you’ve spent gathering intelligence on how to compete in the second wave of consolidation.

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Dickey’s Resignation from the Cumulus Board

Subscribers get INSTANT ACCESS here.

Become a NEW SUBSCRIBER and begin with Dickey's Resignation from the Cumulus Board here.

A new subscription also unlocks these full articles …

            Entercom Planning 2 Major Surprises

            iHeart's Soaring Stock

            iHeart Major Market Fail

            iHeart's Plan to Dupe Lenders

            The Cumulus Cuts, Staff Reductions

            iHeart Takes 1st Step Toward Bankruptcy Filing

            The Katz Rep Firm Scandal

And includes access to every article for the past year plus 3,623 in our archive like these (scroll through/latest first). Everything.

For 27 cents a day, join the thousands of members who read Inside Music Media -- insightful, deadly honest and informative.

Inside Music Media contains no advertising. Accepts no corporate money or consideration. And is beholden only to subscribers who appreciate it so much that they pay for it. Thank you.

2017 Philly Radio Conference (April 5) Registration

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The Epidemic of Shorter, Cheaper Spots

This one is on iHeart.

They can’t get their rate so they are selling as much as they can for as little as they have to take.

Market after market competing managers are telling me that this is killing them. It drives the price of radio down and it makes it harder to make your numbers.

And if anyone cares – good broadcasters usually do --- a lot of crappy, cheap, short ads are being aired making the on-air clutter problem even worse.

In other words, listeners have had it with commercials and radio adds more of them. And when you run a lot of shorter ads, it seems like even more.

This is a big deal especially for independent operators who can’t afford to sell inventory the way iHeart is doing.

Scorched earth selling.

So, if you’ve been following my narratives about the radio conference I’m doing in Philly in about a week and a half, you’ll understand why I’ve consulted independent stations that are succeeding at fighting rate cutters.

I’m going to be honest (as opposed to the opposite, right), even shrewd operators are getting dinged by predatory sales practices of desperate consolidators like iHeart.

But they are getting dinged less.

And they are increasing the spends of their best advertisers and cutting down on churn.

So if you’re at the table when we get to this number one revenue issue confronting radio right now, you’ll learn …

  • How to get your best advertisers to spend more with you even if they have to take it from your competitor.
  • The exact pitch that makes you their lead and biggest buy.
  • Why and how independent stations employing the approach you will learn are even getting premium rates.
  • The package to put in front of advertisers and we’ll name names of resources you can go to for helping your best advertisers spend with you first with the biggest buy.

I’m not a big fan of what consolidation has done to the radio industry and I want to offer solutions that can help independent operators succeed even when their competitors are hurting the industry.

I can’t force you to be there, but I can invite you with this promise – it will be the best and most useful day you’ve spent gathering intelligence on how to compete in the second wave of consolidation.

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Entercom Planning 2 Major Surprises

Subscribers get INSTANT ACCESS here.

Become a NEW SUBSCRIBER and begin with Entercom Planning 2 Major Surprises here.

A new subscription also unlocks these full articles …

            iHeart's Soaring Stock

            iHeart Major Market Fail

            iHeart's Plan to Dupe Lenders

            The Cumulus Cuts, Staff Reductions

            iHeart Takes 1st Step Toward Bankruptcy Filing

            The Katz Rep Firm Scandal

And includes access to every article for the past year plus 3,622 in our archive like these (scroll through/latest first). Everything.

For 27 cents a day, join the thousands of members who read Inside Music Media -- insightful, deadly honest and informative.

Inside Music Media contains no advertising. Accepts no corporate money or consideration. And is beholden only to subscribers who appreciate it so much that they pay for it. Thank you.

2017 Philly Radio Conference (April 5) Registration

Contact Jerry

Report News in our Witness Protection Program

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Radio’s 2 Biggest Problems

One of them is not radio’s fault, really.

The other absolutely IS radio’s doing.

Consolidation ruined the business.

When I first said this as publisher of Inside Radio in 1996, I got more crap from people who were loving the potential of gobbling up competitors, running an entire market and dominating ad rates.

Did they get fooled.

But all of that eventually faded when they saw that the venture capital that put these monopolies together started firing them or making them take on more jobs than any human could do.

And it wasn’t just once – it kept happening and still does today.

Just yesterday, I got a tip on Entercom and how they are cutting CBS expenses even now without FCC approval to merge.  Just a small detail when CBS execs understand a wink and a nod.

The other problem that is directly on radio is a blatant disregard for an entire generation of listeners and what a lousy time to assume that all teens growing up would be radio listeners.

So we lost Millennials and judging from my mail and my contacts in this business, the word Millennial is not one radio people even like to say even though they constitute the 18-34 year old demographic.

You might say Napster killed music, but it didn’t.

Apple killed music when Steve Jobs talked the labels obsessed with music piracy into letting him sell tunes for 99 cents.

Let the cherry picking begin.

You might say digital devices killed radio but radio killed radio by refusing to change, ignoring vastly different needs of an 86 million generation – something it continues to do right up to this moment.

So venture capital continues to play monopoly with a handful of groups.

Only the strong will survive unless …

Unless, the local, independent radio operators re-engage this Millennial audience because without them there is no growth ahead for radio.

  1. We will need to focus on making radio the next social medium because radio personalities used to have a direct pipeline into the heads of listeners and it can be that way again when it comes to music, all things local and advocacy.  Social media is not Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or SnapChat.  It’s radio. 
  2. We will need to stop stealing from advertisers.  Okay, get mad at me if you want but it’s true.  Radio consolidators are so desperate that they have accepted a new standard – shorter spots, cheaper prices.  Now that’s a loser if I ever heard it. Instead radio needs to help its best advertisers get palpable results.  Test copy, produce better commercials, meet joint goals.  Not just run one cheap ad after another.  That’s not a business, it’s a fire sale.  So when I tell you Jerry Lee knows more about making advertiser ad campaigns wildly successful at higher prices, I’m not kidding.  That’s why I am having him lay it all out at my conference in two weeks – the one you need to attend if you care about not going down with venture capital backed companies on the verge of bankruptcy.  You think bankruptcy doesn’t hurt you?
  3. Once and for all, get over digital.  Do radio.  Great radio.  Give listeners what they want and advertisers something they can’t get from a programmatic buy at low, low prices.  And when you want to do digital right, make it short form video, the fastest path to a never-ending money stream.  Get the right topics, the right people, the right angle and the right monetization – and we’re going to have a conversation about this.

To make miraculous things happen for the rest of this year, become expert at the things that matter most to listeners and advertisers by taking a seat at the table at my radio conference in less than two weeks.

Conference details here.

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