Analyst: Tough radio economy into 2009.
Stanford Research analyst Fred Moran says rising energy costs, the credit crisis and a slumping housing market have combined to create a recession for the consumer which will "pressure advertising demand" through next year as budgets "tighten" to align with softening consumer spending.
If this analysis is correct it will be another tough year for those on the front lines at radio stations all across the country. More personnel cuts, even smaller or non-existent marketing budgets, smaller or non-existent research budgets, and the continued and inevitable loss of innovation when it's needed the most.
Just as we were beginning to deal with the onslaught of new media platforms and changing attitudes we were also beginning to make those cuts -- a perfect storm of sorts.
There were many among us who underestimated what was about to happen; after all we survived and thrived as the Walkman's, 8-track's, CD's attacked. We weren't going to stop the new media train but we did less and less to slow it down and react appropriately to it. Even today, there are STILL broadcasters who doubt the severity of seismic shift that has taken place.
2008 is barely half over and already we are being alerted to a shaky 2009. As mind-numbing as this is, at least we have a head start on thinking about how we can productively deal with what might confront us in the months ahead.
Now is the time to plan ahead and figure out how innovation can figure into your equation--no matter what that the financial situation is going forward. Here's a few thought-starters:
- How can we better connect with and reward our most loyal listeners?
- How can we be more than a easy to replicate jukebox?
- How can we be better story tellers in order to capture the imagination of our listeners?
- How can we make the "same old-same old" not so stale?
- How can we develop content good enough that listeners would consider podcasting it?
- How can we demonstrate to our clients that not only should they spend money with us, but it will be the best money they will spend?