Monday, October 20, 2008

You Think We Got Problems (in radio)?

With people under 30 it would appear TV may be in worse shape.

MediaPost had this story based on a Pew study:
Only 58% of adults younger than 30 say they watch TV almost every day, while 23% of say they watch television only a few times a week. That's according to new research by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Numbers decidedly weaker than we are experiencing in radio. What's not mentioned is what the numbers were in the past and how far they have fallen. It's reasonable to guess that younger demos have always watched less TV than their older counterparts.

Here's how the older demo's shake out.

Among older adults, the numbers are higher. Seventy-two percent of people age 30-49 watch TV almost every day, as do 80% of those 50-64 and 89% of those 65 and older.
A huge difference.

Get this...from the same MediaPost article:

Independent of the Pew study, The Wall Street Journal recently wrote about the growing number of adults who have stopped paying for cable TV because they can watch any programs they want online. Presidential debates can now be streamed live, shows on cable channels like MTV are available for free streaming, and the best moments from "Saturday Night Live" can be viewed on demand at and

And the article goes on to say:

If people had already started canceling their cable subscriptions before the recent economic events, it's easy to imagine that more will do so in a recession. And that means that Internet video, which already commands some of the highest CPMs out there, will grow in popularity. Current predictions are that the market could reach $1 billion by 2010, but that could turn out to be an underestimate if more people than expected stop watching TV.

Additionally, as people spend more time online, search advertising also is likely to continue to grow. Many Web users now view search engines, and not portals, as the gateway to the Web; when those people go online, they start at Google, Yahoo or another company's search engine. Just last week, Google reported that second quarter profit grew 26%, showing that paid search is holding up very well, even as the rest of the economy teeters.

The future is here and it's on-demand. Honestly, I had never heard that cable TV subscriptions were being canceled. But if that tidbit is accurate, that's got to send chills down the spine of TV exec's everywhere.

And we wonder why there is little to no appetite for HD Radio--good content or not.

MTV Networks learned long ago that music and music videos were becoming too much of a commodity (not to mention the declining ratings) to center most of it's programming around it. The channels today are largely about music and the people making the music but not music videos.

It's a very difficult lesson for radio to wrap its arms around. I'm guilty, we are all guilty of selling "more music." It was a plausible strategy before more music could be better deployed elsewhere. Now the challenge is to develop radio programming (live, on-line, on demand) that gets beyond the songs exclusively.

What exclusive content do you have worth searching for and consuming on-demand?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"And we wonder why there is little to no appetite for HD Radio--good content or not."


"After conducting a survey of 340 HD2 stations to determine their programming needs, the folks at Clear Channel have dumped a number of their HD 'Format Lab' stations due to a lack of demand. According to the Clear Channel Format Lab website, 46 HD stations are left to carry, including stations with names including 'Standing Room Only Showtunes', 'Pride Radio', 'JokeJoke', and 'Wack Comedy'."

"HD Radio Featured Channels"

erockster: Coldplay to Hot Chip, Duffy to Daft Punk
Verizon New Music: Discover fresh music and artists
Pride: Pop & Dance Hits with a Gay Sensibility
Slow Jams: A smooth blend of classic and new R&B love songs
Your Smooth Jazz: Deep cuts and classic smooth jazz hits
Real Oldies: Rock and Roll's Greatest Hits
New Country: Tomorrow's country hits

CCU has dumped all but 7 HD Format Lab formats - originally, there were 75. Also, trying to stream from individual stations' HD channels are resulting in broken links. No one seems to care anymore about HD Radio.