Thursday, January 24, 2008

Are you in the Loopt?

Social networking's next obvious step-mobile!

It's starting to happen in a very big way. Loopt already has deals with with Sprint and Boost Mobile, a company that offers Pay-As-You-Go wireless phones and voice data services to the youth market.

Here's what Loopt does:
  • Connect with friends and get alerted when they are nearby
  • Share your location, status and photos with a few or all friends
  • Explore places and events recommended by friends
  • Control your experience anytime, anywhere
Over the last few days, if you have been sampling the radio trade press, you have been reading about how social networks are "beginning" to find there way onto radio station websites and are now becoming a larger part of a stations marketing plan. No argument there.

One small issue...

Social networking, while still growing rapidly, is taking it outside. Mobile social networking is going to be the next big thing. Stop for a moment and think about how perfectly this fits a radio station's profile as an out of home entertainment source. Things are moving so fast that every positive step forward we as an industry take still leaves us two steps behind.


Radio groups must find an expedient way to tap into the youth culture every day because that's how fast it's moving. Someone in your IT department? A college age intern? Listener panels? On-line surveys? Someone scouring the web for trends (I'll have some good tips on how to do that in a future post). If you are running a station that cares about 12-34 (or any subset of that broad demo) it behooves you to make this a priority.

No, we can't deploy everything that comes down the pike (wow! there's a little New England flavor) but I will say this as gently as I can--there are still stations that are not streaming. As a pop culture medium we can't afford to lag far behind.

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