Revenue Lifeline For a Difficult Year Ahead

As much as 50% of the local radio spend is going to digital and digital isn’t even that great.

Indie agency AdLarge is now avoiding buying ads on any type of AM station.

Major groups are driving the ad rates down so low that the industry cannot even equal last year’s easy comps to break even.

And every one of the financial soothsayers is predicting an off or zero growth year for radio.




I have to report this stuff but I don’t have to sit back and accept it and neither do you.

Let’s not just force positive talk, let’s do some positive things.

Ways to create meaningful revenue right now.

For example …

  • Do not spend money or a second of your time on podcasting. It is the enemy and detracts from radio listening. There is also no comparable way to monetize it.   A better idea, do podcasting on the air.      
  • Stream your on-air signal all you like, you’re not going to make any decent revenue from it. Shut down your station website, nobody will notice. Go into the video business which now, you can monetize it in all kinds of ways including product placement.
  • Make 60% of your revenue budget this year from only six hours of air-time. Which six hours matters as does what you do with it, but no sense spending in places that cannot contribute to the bottom line.
  • Monetize 7pm-5am – the time Nielsen says is not radio’s best listening times. In fact, I have seen just four hours in this time period explode into an entire new radio station.
  • If you’re not selling subscriptions to something, you’re leaving big money on the table. I know a little bit about the subscription model and can show you a number of ways your listeners will readily pay you a monthly fee (hey, they buy apps like crazy and only use 25% of them).
  • Do a Millennial Radio Makeover on your entire station.  Former Cox and CBS programmer Dan Mason has some great ideas he will share with you when we meet face to face at my April New Radio Conference. Listen to what young listeners want you to do over the air.
  • Reinvent the commercial. I did work at USC for some broadcasters focused on young listeners to see why they hate commercials and the answer was, they absolutely hate radio commercials except for the ones they don’t. Unfortunately radio does very very few of these. But master these and get a premium plus lots of renewals.
  • Raise rates.  WHAT?  You’re shaking your head?  Why?  Radio is too cheap. Do a Millennial Radio Makeover like we’re suggesting and then bite the bullet.  Radio cannot survive as a low cost leader so either step up or accept that you’re going down with your other fearful competitors.
  • Radio’s most dangerous competitor is user-generated content – period. Anyone who works with Millennials knows this. So, do you let these users eat you alive or get into the user-generated content business? You know what’s getting my vote.
  • Create binge content. Yes, Netflix type binge content. Radio can do this, too. In fact, there is precedent. There’s a way to do it and market it.

So I get that things are rough and that our big consolidators have finally given us their disease (the inability to preside over a growth industry), but reflect on the above and join me in Philadelphia, April 6th for one day that can make your year.

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