Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Will 2008 Be a Better Year For Radio?

Radio has many things going for it--here's my top 5:
  • Mass distribution
  • 93% national weekly usage
  • The ability to adjust programming very quickly
  • The majority of radio listeners are still satisfied with the medium
  • Lots of revenue and cash flow--despite recent negative growth

No one would argue we are in challenging times but I believe out of adversity good things can happen. I don't think consistent financial growth can occur again until some new strategies and innovations take root in our industry.

We have a few things to figure out moving forward.

  • How can a mass medium thrive in an on-demand word?
  • How can we reinvent our advertising model that would be perceived positively by listeners and advertisers alike?
  • What new format structures can we develop that will attract attention and loyalty?
  • The hits are the hits are the hits, but what might we do in order to spark new excitement in music radio?
  • What's next for talk radio--how might we ensure the next generation of 35-54's latch on to the format?

Seems like there's always more questions than answers, but I believe the answers are out there.

In a previous post I suggested programmers find the time to really listen to their station(s). It is an eye opening experience. Focused, quality time dedicated to the sound of the product will make the station sound better. I also believe greater attention needs to be paid to the output of station streams--too many streams are very sloppy. Lastly, I think interactivity with listeners is vital both in-person and on-line. Yes, in person. It's fine to have promotion staff at events, but there is still something special for a listener meeting someone whose voice they hear on the radio. And what's special about the content on your website? Is there any reason at all for a listener to come back tomorrow after visiting your website today? There better be.

I don't know how 2008 will turn out for radio. But I do know that I am a believer in our industry and believe it can recapture some of its past magic in the new year. What do you think? Can our industry rebound on '08? What are the most important things to be done?

Your comments in this space are always welcome. I realized that comments had been limited to Gmail folks. That problem is now fixed and anyone can be a part of this community.

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