Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Read All About It!

Just like the radio industry, the newspaper business and all traditional media for that matter is undergoing dramatic change and challenges. Just as radio broadcasters bend and shape its future strategies so does the newspaper industry.

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) created an informational presentation for its' constituents outlining what's happening and how they ought to deal with it. This report was chock full of interesting stuff; much of it 100% applicable for radio.

Here's a sampling:

Competition shift
While the competitors used to be easily identifiable, almost any company can be a future competitor when newspapers have TV channels, broadcasters offer news web sites, cell phone operators have news and mobile tv, and Internet companies offer searchable media.

From channel to content
The content becomes more important than the channel. Instead, the best suited channels will be used in clever combinations to convey the content.

Hyperlocal newspapers
Local newspapers are becoming even more local.

From being in control to being in touch
Customers of today (especially young ones) don’t want to be told what to buy, but instead they want to be invited to a dialog and interact.

The first two items are nothing new-we have been talking about these things for years. However, the third item is interesting because they highlight the necessity to be hyperlocal. This is dead on. For now, until everyone can be hyperlocal, it's something we can own and I believe can pay dividends for radio. Have you given your market a bear-hug today?

Lastly, I found this item the most interesting. What if their assertion is true, that [younger] consumers don't want to be told what to buy but instead engage in dialog and interaction? Is there an opportunity here to assess the purpose of our on-air commercials? Could the future of our on-air spots be to direct listeners to our social networking sites where they can interact with the advertisers and the products being sold? Sales and programming driving traffic to our sites? How about that!

Read the complete presentation here:

And click here peruse the World Association of Newspapers website

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