What I Mean By Disrupting Radio

Digital companies are chipping away at radio stations because radio people refuse to disrupt their own business first.

The best defense is always a good offense here, too.

I’ve often talked about the need for major disruption by radio to radio – big stuff, major changes.

This will not drive listeners and advertisers away.  It will do the opposite.

So I’m advocating that we get more skilled at blowing up what doesn’t work about radio to make the medium much stronger and more competitive.

Let’s get back to channeling the innovator in all of us.

We’ll discuss, explore and converse about what this means March 26th, but I also plan to give those who are attending my Philly seminar a stash of strategies that could actually make audiences and revenues stronger.

Thought you’d appreciate sampling a few ways to disrupt radio.

  1. Shutdown your Facebook account.  Don’t hang on to a meaningless audience of “friends” that has nothing at all to do with your station’s future success.  Facebook is on the decline, not useful, not relevant, and not even accretive to increasing revenue.  There are two rising social media services that are better options for some stations, but the best option is to build your own social network.  Not expensive.  Very compelling and easy to monetize.  Ask me, I’ll tell you what I know.
  2. Give major advertisers who sign a lucrative contract with you this guarantee:  you get the results you want or you run the campaign again on us.  Then, before you take this to a client – raise your rates.  The more certain you are about radio working, the more advertisers will crave you.  Consolidators have turned radio sellers into vacuum cleaner salespeople (with all due respect to vacuum cleaner salespeople).
  3. As unintuitive as it sounds, higher rates are more desirable than lower ones if your advertisers are local, interested in results and need your help.  Disrupt the way radio relates to local advertisers by testing their copy at no cost, helping them make other buys (even on competitors) and getting them to see you as a solution that they don’t want to live without.  In fact, let’s ask More FM (formerly B101, Philadelphia) owner Jerry Lee.  He’s on the faculty and he’ll be teaching at our seminar.  He does this stuff better than anyone.
  4. Throw out the hot clock.  Younger listeners don’t like rules.  They don’t want to hear them either.  I’m going to want to talk with you about a way to make your stations appear more like Netflix as a user experience than a traditional radio station.  This means loading up on choices that listeners make.
  5. Make your next program director a listener.  Not to run things but build the format around their preferences and not yours.  This is hard for us to do because we have been gatekeepers of content and we have owned the towers and transmitters.  Now anyone can produce and distribute content so our new mission is to transform our stations into feeling like the listener is running the show.  Not so much letting them vote on what music to play.  Even more.  By empowering their musical curiosity like no other medium.
  6. Run random commercial breaks – so unpredictable that even a competitor can’t tell when the next one runs.  Then, add entertainment incentives into the stop sets to give reasons to listen.  For example, if I said “within minutes I am going to tell you about 5 marketing jobs that pay over $60,000 a year”, bet you’d listen to my commercials especially if I don’t post these jobs on my website.  Let’s talk about reinventing the commercial cluster and turning them into a grade A must-listen to feature instead of a garbage can for advertising.  Remind me to tell you how advertisers will gladly pay you extra to make stop sets more compelling.

I can hardly wait to be with you in Philly March 26th.

I hope you can put one day aside to be part of this learning seminar now in its 5th year.

The Philly conference is focusing on 7 critical things that will make you a better broadcaster or digital entrepreneur.

  1. Disrupting radio.  Digital competitors are doing it to us now but the answer is plain and simple:  we must do it to ourselves.  They are winning.
  2. Master digital.  Digital isn’t an add-on to broadcasting.  You’ll see it all differently when you go to school on how effectively a radio station can start a profitable separate digital revenue stream.  I will share.
  3. Dominate social media.  Facebook and Twitter are out, don’t exit with them.  Social networks you start, run, monetize and keep all the profits from – that’s what we’re going to get to. 
  4. Reinvent radio.  There are 15 to 25 things that can be done within a week of leaving Philly that cost you nothing more than the price of admission that can transform an antiquated approach to radio to one that even the next generation can embrace.  Real take-home pay.
  5. Video is your future.  I will play video from the best of the best – entrepreneurs who haul in $3 million a year by doing a free 5-minute weekly video.  No commercials, banner ads, product placement or subscription fees.  But a special secret path to monetization that you should adopt.  I’m going to. 
  6. Conduct a Millennial makeover.  Generational listeners 30 and under are available to you for the taking if you know what they want.  And as a USC professor who developed courses in generational media, I’m going to share the latest with you. 
  7. Time shift radio.  Broadcasting is out.  Audiences want on-demand.  Binge watching is in.  Morning shows are no longer morning shows.  This is a definitive look at how to time shift radio and catch the hottest trend of the past two years. 

I’m putting lots of 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.

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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.