T-Mobile — A Textbook Disruptor

T-Mobile is a sore loser.

The DOJ wouldn’t approve its merger with AT&T because it would have created a monopoly (hey, what’s USAir and American Airlines?).

Nonetheless, T-Mobile was left whole too small to compete with the few remaining established monopolies so it threw caution to the wind.

Radio people, read this carefully.

They started driving their competitors crazy by disrupting everything on site from those onerous mobile contracts to the most recent shot below the belt – they will cover termination fees for individuals as well as up to five lines per family for consumers who leave their mobile carriers.  

That translates to up to a $650 credit after trading in their phones.

This is radio waiting to happen.

Listeners are bailing, advertisers are paying pennies on the dollar and we have to throw in bogus digital options to effectively win the lesser radio buy these days.

Don’t get me started because I’m going to go off on this at my Philly conference.

But I can’t wait.

Why aren’t we offering something to Pandora and Spotify users who actually pay fees to these potent streaming music competitors?  And I’ve got a few ideas on exactly what to offer their customers.  Bet we could come up with even more together.

Why aren’t we taking radio off the digital life support system that is killing ad rates? 


How about going in and offering the equivalent of frequent buyer miles that reward radio buys.

Why aren’t we blowing up commercial sets – I have a few programming friends who are thinking, I’ve got the staging for it in my mind right now.  Listeners hate commercials and yet we keep telling them how much music we’re playing only to run more unlistenable commercial blocks.

Ask me about the no-fail way to get almost anyone to try your radio station if you do this one thing.  But remember, I’m the program director who pulled all contests off of one of my stations and started giving away jobs -- so keep that in mind.

Let your listeners form a programming planning board and don’t override them.  In fact, turn the station over to them for an entire weekend.

Or keep playing the same 30 songs over and over again – you decide.

Find ways to give them music discovery not repetition. 

I know.  I know. 

Repetition works if winning PPM is your goal, but PPM will let you down next month when they change panels but listeners will stick with you if you give them what they really want.

Make life difficult for your digital and cross-market radio competitors.  You’re making it easy right now.

Be T-Mobile and act like you’ve got nothing to lose because you really have everything to lose if the status quo is maintained.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere crashed the AT&T CES party and was rejected.

I love it. 

Competition is a contact sport not “best practices” handed down from a few suits in a venture capital monopoly.

So when I say disrupt, I mean really disrupt and if you want to get into this discussion meet me in Philly where we will focus on 7 things that will make this year your best in a long time.

  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.

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.