Beware of the Digital Dashboard

When Bob Pittman runs his mouth on CNBC about the digital dashboard and how he wants to be everywhere, I hope you’re not buying his snake oil.

Pittman wants to be everywhere but radio!

Country iHeartRadio concerts from Texas. 

Pop iHeartRadio concerts from Las Vegas. 

Hell, iHeartRadio content and branding instead of local.

I fought the lonely battle against HD Radio when it was supposed to be the next thing and guess what?  It wasn’t.  HD Radio isn’t even a thing.  So I know a red herring when I see it.

The digital dashboard is HD Radio waiting to happen.

Getting caught up on finding a place on the digital dashboard with 7 presets and an infinite number of radio, satellite radio and digital competitors is such horseshit that I’d like to believe my readers know this.

During CES week we’re going to hear a lot of people like Pittman waxing eloquent about all the new technology that is coming and why shouldn’t he? 

It’s better than talking about the $21 billion in debt he can’t seem to fix.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for CNBC to ask him about that, either.

What’s more important than the digital dashboard?

Building a clubhouse of fans who want to be in your own social network not Facebook’s.

Making unique, addictive and compelling content not cheap computer-generated music that doesn’t compete with customizable streaming music services.

Selling content through personal relationships because it costs more but gets you more.

Not confusing digital with broadcast radio.  They are separate and don’t play well together.  We need to be market leaders in both.

That the digital dashboard is a figment of the imagination of people who know nothing about radio and a lot less about the 95 million Millennials coming of age.

For example, do you know Millennials don’t like to call themselves Millennials?  I’ll tell you how they refer to their generation when I see you, but be cautious in the meanwhile.

Top priority is creating great content.

That’s it.  Why don’t we want to believe this?

It’s times like these that I remind myself of why I love to share a more realistic and optimistic view with great local broadcasters and digital entrepreneurs.

At my Philly conference on March 26th we will be focused on making great radio content even as the largest consolidators are stinking up our markets with cheap, unlistenable programming. 

And -- how to create separate digital streams of revenue because, after all, radio people are the greatest content creators in the world.

This is the year of the local radio group that will eat consolidated radio alive while they are obsessed and distracted by refinancing all the debt they ran up.

For everyone else, it comes down this …

  1. Disrupting what consolidators have turned our radio industry into.  We can’t do this by just changing formats.  It’s going to take a nuclear option and I’ve got one for you that is so big it will push your consolidated competitors back with no option to compete with you.
  2. Master digital.  Digital isn’t a product.  It’s a technology.  Every radio broadcaster needs to start a second stream of revenue separate and apart from radio.  Let’s create some content.  There are some dazzling possibilities out there.  I will share.
  3. Create your own social media.  If you tie yourself to Facebook, Twitter or even the current rage, Instagram, you’re going down with them.  There’s a better way.  Make your own social network and drive it with content and revenue possibilities.  It’s being done under the radar by some smart people right now.
  4. Reinvent radio.  Stop thinking of it as hourly hot clocks and redesign it to be compelling to the very audience we can’t seem to attract – 95 million Millennials.  They dislike radio but they like some things we’re not currently doing.  Interested in providing this content for younger money demos?  It takes an open mind and some creativity.
  5. Video. Video. Video.  We’re wasting valuable time.  You must be in this business but it is not what you think it is.  Let me show you real success stories including one entrepreneur who makes $3 million a year by doing a free 5-minute weekly video.  No commercials, banner ads, product placement or subscription fees.  I’m going to play it, talk about it and answer your questions.  This is ingenious.
  6. The key to attracting Millennials.  There is basically nothing radio has to offer right now that Millennials can’t get somewhere else.  The secret to attracting Millennials is to build your station for them.  I know, that sounds awful, but Steve Jobs didn’t design Apple products for later adopters.  He mastered the early adopters by finding out the “radical” things they couldn’t resist.  We can do this and here’s the plan.
  7. Time-shift radio.   Look, if you get nothing else out of this learning session you must become skilled at time-shifting content.  Binge watching is the rage.  Broadcasting is out.  It doesn’t mean the end if we know how to time-shift our content.  I’ll tell you everything I know about this.

A day of information and inspiration where we work together.  I’m putting more time aside this year for questions.

This event will not be available by stream or video – only live and in person. 

I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with you in person.

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

Inquire about sponsorships – learn how to make it possible for your best clients to attend and they will love you for it. 

Complimentary breakfast starts at 8 am. 

Session begins at 9 am at the beautiful Rittenhouse Hotel. 

Buffet lunch and all breaks included.  

Conference ends at 4 pm.