Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

16 Social Media Trends for 2010

I know...blah, blah, blah...another list of trends.  Hey, it's that time of year.

Stick with me here...this ones pretty good.  If nothing else it reaffirms a lot of what we have been writing about this year.  Take a few minutes and flip through the deck and pick up some interesting points and stats. 

Monday, December 7, 2009


Local...that's one of the big buzz words these days among many of the B-I-G players and portals like ESPN and Yahoo!.  They are rushing to come to YOUR town with hometown content.  The more local the better.  Seems like they are taking a page out of the old radio playbook.

Paidcontent had this article that provides an update on MSN, AOL, and Yahoo!'s local plans.  

They have not perfected the "local thing" just yet.

ESPN seems to be a little bit further ahead

Local for local sake is a bust.  However, relevant and interesting local content remains a big win.

Taking a page out of the old radio playbook--find unique and creative ways to be local.

What local content will cut it with your listeners?  Hmmm.  Sounds like a good poll question to put on your Facebook fan page.  Let your listeners help make that decision.  They are the very people you want to ferry to your website--why not cater the local info TO THEM.

The race is on.  Radio still has the lead when it comes to local, but it's clear the national media (sometimes through their local O&O's) are coming after us.

In some ways, it's a head scratcher.  Why would the national platforms need or want these local footprints?  Easy...follow the money.  The local media money they can target because they are just as local as you.  Uh Oh!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Iphone Guide For Lovers

Gizmodo had this humorous piece: 

Friday, December 4, 2009

What's New?

As we march towards the close of 2009 I thought it would be timely to ask the question: What's new? 

What happened in the "radio space" this year that's new?

Did anything "new" succeed?

What failed?

Did we really try something/anything new?

Who were the new breakout talents this year?

What new format was developed this year?

Who made the greatest strides in the digital media department?

What's new with you?

I pose these questions to stimulate talk, thought, and if you would like feel free to post a response here on the blog.  I pose these questions as a wake up call to all those passionate about radio--we must find more creative and innovative ways to delight listeners.  I love that word, delight.  It's old fashioned.  In many ways it almost sounds out of step with today's fast moving society.  Honestly, the thought of using the overused word "engage" doesn't really get the job done in this case.  So I go back to the word delight. 
1. Great pleasure; joy.
2. Something that gives great pleasure or enjoyment
How much better would our medium be if we ran everything we did through the "delight filter" before doing it?  Hmmmm. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mel, Howard, Liberty, World Space, and SiriusXM

Two stories surfaced on Reuters regarding the future of SiriusXM.  One about distribution and the other a story we've seen before--Mel and Howard getting ready to do the contract dance.  Hadn't seen these stories in the trade press yet--thought you might find them interesting. 

Sirius, Liberty could do WorldSpace deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sirius XM Radio Inc (SIRI.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) could team up with Liberty Media Corp (LINTA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to take its satellite radio offerings global through a partnership with WorldSpace Inc (WRSPQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Chief Executive Mel Karmazin said on Monday.
"We understand that Liberty has expressed an interest in WorldSpace," Karmazin said at the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York.
But if a partnership with Liberty does come about, Sirius would not invest any money, he added.
"We would put our expertise and experience in the pot and Liberty would put their money in the pot," Karmazin said.
Liberty Media, controlled by cable pioneer John Malone, rescued Sirius from a possible bankruptcy filing earlier this year with a loan of $520 million. In return, Liberty secured a 40 percent equity stake in the company.
Through a subsidiary, Liberty Media has also bought up the debt of WorldSpace recently, leading to speculation that Malone would seek to combine Sirius and WorldSpace. Most of WorldSpace satellite radio's subscribers are in Asia and Africa.
"So one would think that if Liberty were to do something there that they would want as strategic partner somebody who has successfully done satellite radio in 5 percent of the world," Karmazin said.
Such a partnership could involve Sirius bringing its relationships with car makers and expertise in building satellite radio gear to WorldSpace's operations, he added.

(Reporting by Anupreeta Das and Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Richard Chang)

Sirius CEO Karmazin limbers up for the Howard Stern dance

Posted by: Alexei Oreskovic
Tags: Media and Communications, Mediafile, , , , , ,
It’s been five years since Sirius lured shock jock Howard Stern to satellite radio with a $500 million contract. Whether Stern can re-up with a similar deal when his contract expires at the end of next year is anyone’s guess, but it ought to be entertaining. Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin is preparing himself for negotiations with the self-proclaimed King of All Media.
In a meeting with reporters at the Reuters Media Summit on Monday, Karmazin gave us a thumbnail sketch of his version of “The Art of the Deal.”
“I could tell you, it will start with Howard feeling that he is working too hard and doing too many shows and not making enough money. Our side would say, ‘We want you to do more, and get less money,’” Karmazin said.
“That would be how we would go into the room once the time came to go into the room. And the hope would be that we would come out with Howard staying with our service,” he said.
Karmazin praised Stern as “a talent like no other in radio,” but would not say whether such a talent was still worth a half billion dollars.
“You have to now assume that the negotiations are at a stage where everything is in print, so if I were to say, yes, we got every penny’s worth, Howard would come in with that piece of paper and say ‘See? I sold myself too cheap,’” he said.
Stern is one of the biggest draws of Sirius XM’s satellite radio service, which counts 18.5 million subscribers. His decision to exit FM radio for Sirius in 2004 is credited with establishing satellite radio as an established form of media, though some analysts have also noted that high-priced contracts like Stern’s contributed to financial woes that pushed Sirius to the brink of bankruptcy earlier this year.
Stern is not the only big personality whom Karmazin may face at the bargaining table; Oprah Winfrey’s contract for her Sirius talk show ends in 2011. While Karmazin said he has not yet had talks with Oprah, he said that satellite radio could become a more valuable promotional tool for Oprah once she quits her broadcast TV show.
Asked whether Oprah or Stern was the tougher negotiator, Karmazin said both previously got the best of him.
“I’ll tell you who was the worst negotiator: It was always Mel because they got all that money from me.”


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do You Know The Way To Creativity?

There are many detours in our work lives that distract us or prevent us from being our creative best.  When we are focused on creativity it sometimes can become a chore given the pressures surrounding us. 

Here's a short deck of helpful thoughts on creativity. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is Facebook An Effective Advertising Tool?

Does your station have a fan page on Facebook?  Looking to attract fans to your page?  Want to do it for a reasonable price?  Facebook offers targeted advertised, by region and demo, to reach out to your listeners.  You know, those ads on the right-hand column of every page.  You can buy ads by impressions or clicks--your choice.  I have a client who was looking to build up its Facebook presence and we decided to give it a try. 

The station that is testing this out is a Top 40--targeting young adult women. 

Here's how it's going:

We've been up and running for about three weeks, in that time we have increased our fan's by a whopping 260%!  We spent around $1,500.00.  About 2/3 of those who clicked the ad have became fans.  And we have had over 5 million impressions.  

Everyone involved is very happy with the results.  Not hard to imagine given how well it's worked for us. 

Next steps:  engage our new fans in meaningful ways. 

That will be the subject of a future blog. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mood Music

Came across a music site that programs the tunes according to your mood.  Seems to be more word based than mood based, but an interesting idea none-the-less. Click here or the picture to check it out. 

An All-Time High

A new Nielsen study reveals that daily televison viewership has reached an all-time high.

Interesting at a time when radio stations are fighting to maintain their declining TSL.
Nielsen says, "For the 2008-2009 TV season, the amount of television watched reached an all-time high as Americans spent four hours and 49 minutes a day on average in front of the TV, up four minutes from last year and up 20% from 10 years ago. The average household watched eight hours and 21 minutes a day on average, also at an all-time high".
Certainly there are many differences between radio and TV. One of the biggest being the expanding channel line up on cable and satellite which expanded the programming choices 24/7.  I also believe the DVR has played a large role and has fueled the expanding viewing patterns buy sucking people into watching more episodes in less time as the can skip the spots.

The bottom line for radio can be summarized in three words:  content, engagement, digital. Program entertainment or information worth listening to, entice your users to participate, and use the available digital tools to provide your unique content on multiple levels. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cloudy Skies Ahead

No, this post isn't about weather forecasting.  In fact, the cloud referenced in the title is all about information and entertainment.  In your car.  Soon.  All from a system that hosts all of your information and entertainment choices in a cloud. is always good for scaring the digital bits and bites out of to speak.

Automobiles will soon be linking up with servers in the cloud to enable everything from crowdsourced pothole detection, personalized radio stations, video selections that include YouTube and even video streams from the front windows of other cars.

Yeah, but how fast will it be? 
a high speed LTE internet connection that promises to make 3G feel like dial-up.
The cloud will do a lot of the heavy lifting thus reducing the installed hardware needed in each car; potentially keeping costs within reach of the average buyer.  
“Once you assume constant connectivity, the whole mindset changes of where you partition what’s in the car and what’s out in the cloud,” said Dodge. “Other than this nice, rich touch screen, a lot of the computing power has been moved onto the cloud, so the car of the future may be physically cheaper to build.”
 Of course they have to mention radio in more detail...
The losers in all of this: satellite navigation and radio. They appear to have about three years, tops, before personalized applications and cloud computing make them look as outdated as black-and-white television.
Thanks for that!

Look, we already knew this was coming.  No surprise here.  Surely audio streaming will be part of the plan for these systems and they probably will still provide traditional radio tuners as well--so we'll still be in the game. 

Like now, how good we are will determine how well we do.

How well will you do when your competition is 40,000 competitors vs. the 30 or 40 radio stations in your market now? 

Read the full article here

Monday, November 2, 2009

Don't Target Me!

"...most people who are members of online communities don't really want to be the targets of marketing campaigns..."

I have been and continue to be a loud voice regarding the need and value of utilizing social networks for radio stations.  But, the prize here is not only promotions and forced listening events BUT relationships and engagement on a higher level.   

Does your station offer something worthy of that deeper relationship?  Something interesting enough to cause two-way communication between the station, a station personality, and the listener(s).  Worthy of telling a friend?  Valuable enough to return a second, third, or forth time?  

Don't feel too bad, companies of all kinds are feeling the same pain.  Everyone is trying to figure it all out. 

 Mediabistro's WebNewser had this piece this morning:  

Companies Continue to Fund Social Media Initiatives (Even Though Many Really Don't Get It)

Shaky economy and tight budgets notwithstanding, companies still recognize the potential of social media to help their businesses.
Computerworld's Mitch Betts reports on a recent Deloitte LLP survey that shows an overwhelming percentage of respondents intend to "maintain or increase their investments in social media tools and online communities."
new_deloitte_logo.gifSpecifically, 94% of the 400 companies surveyed said they'd keep spending as much or more on social media going forward, with only 6% reporting they would cut social media spending.
This despite the rather primitive efforts to measure the ROI of social media. As Betts reports:

Businesses use metrics such as the number of active users and how many people post or comment to gauge the success of their social networking efforts.
And what are the top goals of corporate social media initiatives? Deloitte's 2009 Tribalization of Business Survey reports:

Increasing word of mouth -- 38%
Customer loyalty -- 34%
Brand awareness -- 30%
Idea generation -- 29%
Improved customer support quality -- 23%
There's a potential problem inherent in those numbers. As Deloitte concludes:
In the majority of companies surveyed, marketing continues to be the primary driver of online communities, resulting in a significant gap between community goals and the organizations' capability to fully leverage these communities on an enterprise wide basis.
In other words, most people who are members of online communities don't really want to be the targets of marketing campaigns. Yet that's what many companies see as the primary value and purpose of social media. That's a real disconnect.
You can read more details of the survey here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pandora's Box Opens A Little Wider

For listeners of Pandora Internet Radio sharing favorite songs with friends is a simple click away.  The new sharing feature posts a favorite song or station on Facebook or Twitter...or by email.  While this type of sharing isn't new, it does prompt me to ask how many "traditional" radio stations are doing this? 
This is a great example of how a radio station doesn't exclusively own the megaphone anymore. 

If your station has a fan page you could use this type of feature to turn listeners on to the new music you are playing.  If they like it they will share with their friends and maybe even turn on your station to hear the song. 

Dare I say there is also a sales opportunity here as well.

All one-way streets are now two ways.  Look both ways and opportunities abound. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Password is INTENT

A few days ago I wrote a post about shared experience and explained how we are no longer the megaphone of our markets.  Radio has always been about shared experience.  Those who broadcast on the radio shared their experience(s) with listeners and they listened.  Sure a few phoned in or came to an event, but mostly, like all (I say this with love) old media we operated a one way street. 

I came across this amazing slide show I want to share with you.  Normally when I find a presentation I find worthy of including on this blog I will read it 2 or 3 times, pick a slide or two that really captures the essence of the message, and put those pictures in the body of the post.  This time was different--there's so many important points to digest that a couple of slides just won't do it. There's some very insightful information here.  I hope you will read through it and share it with those who may not normally read blogs--if you know what I mean. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shared Experience

So much of what is talked about in the radio business today is DIGITAL.  And rightly so.  We've all heard it a millions times, "it's a digital world".  How are we going to thrive in this universally agreed upon digital world?  It's not going to be because of a great app or podcasts or even social media.  Sure, those things and countless others are now the tools of the trade--required!

So, what's gonna do it?

Shared Experience.

Become a part of the conversation.  Start a conversation.  Connect.  Listen.  Argue.  Respect.  Debate.  Commiserate. Laugh. Cry. Be a star.  Create a star.  Discover.

Every format from AC to Talk has it's own set of parameters, but every format must be more than a megaphone.  This two-way street works well when your listeners are enriched by your content and you, the radio station, are enlightened by your listeners.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We're In The Business of Sound

The sounds we make have a great deal of impact on those who hear them.  How's your sound working?

Another informative (and short) presentation from TED.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Performance Tax Inches Closer

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the Performance Rights Act that would require radio stations to pay performance royalties to record labels and other copyright owners. Quite simply, any additional financial burden heaped upon terrestrial radio stations could trigger dramatic changes to music radio as we know it.  This, at a time when stations are already feeling the pinch of changing listening habits and competition from many more places than ever.  

The Congress still has work to do to make this a reality.  There's still time to encourage a reversal and  

I believe this tax continues to be worth fighting against.  Here's a good place to start.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rush Today And Tomorrow

Just saying the name Rush Limbaugh evokes a reaction--both positive and negative. That's politics. But for us media types I would hope we would have the good sense to separate our individual political feelings and consider what Limbaugh means and represents for our industry.

Rush was on the Today show today and he will be back on tomorrow morning for another segment. If you missed it I thought I would post a few clips.

Like so many of us, Rush wanted to be on the radio since he was very young:

Despite claims to the contrary, I believe Rush when he says, "it's all about the ratings."

He is the master of PR.

Rush is one of radio's best ambassadors. Whether you agree with his politics or not, we should all agree he is one of the mediums leaders--damn proud to have him.

If you missed the first full segment this morning, here it is.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Just Interesting

From WebNewser
Facebook Knows When America Is Happy

Facebook Knows When America Is Happy

Don't worry, be happy, and Facebook will measure it. The social-networking site announced on its blog that it created the Gross National Happiness index, which uses information culled from Facebook status updates to take the pulse of the United States as a whole.
Adam D.I. Kramer, an intern on Facebook's data team, wrote in the blog post that happiness spikes on holidays such as Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas and Easter, adding that Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008—the day the United States celebrated the election of President Barack Obama—more than doubled the happiness of the average Wednesday.
Conversely, Kramer wrote, the two lowest days were Jan. 22, 2008, when the Asian stock market crashed and actor Heath Ledger died, and June 25, 2009, when Michael Jackson died.
Kramer wrote:
Every day, through Facebook status updates, people share how they feel with those who matter most in their lives. These updates are tiny windows into how people are doing. They're brief, to the point, and descriptive of what's going on this week, today or right now.
Grouped together, these updates are indicative of how we are collectively feeling. At Facebook, we're always looking for ways to help people better understand the world around them, and we're interested in how people express their emotions with one other and the world. So earlier this year, data scientists at Facebook started a project to measure the overall mood of people from the United States on Facebook, based on the sentiment expressed in status updates.
The result was an index that measures how happy people on Facebook are from day-to-day by looking at the number of positive and negative words they're using when updating their status. When people in their status updates use more positive words—or fewer negative words—then that day as a whole is counted as happier than usual.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Local Media's Hidden Asset

Their Salesforces

That's the word from venture capitalist Fred Wilson on his blog. His company Union Square Ventures has an investment in Target Spot among many other companies.

He writes:
Traditional local media companies; radio stations, TV stations, local newspapers, and the like, are in a tough situation. Each of those businesses had a monopoly or near monopoly on their audiences a decade ago. Now none of them do.

...these businesses have been trained to think their strengths are local and relevant content, their monopolies or near monopolies on distribution (spectrum in the case of radio and TV), and their brands. All of these assets are waning quickly.

But there is one asset that is still quite significant and the value of it is growing, not shrinking. It is their large, well trained, and well connected salesforces.
There's more:
The media business, either on the national or local level, is losing its grip on audiences as they fragment and disperse all over the digital realm (including of course mobile). But they do not need to lose their grip on the relationships they have built up with local merchants since the days of Mad Men. What they need to do, and what they are increasingly doing, is reselling the inventory of others to their customers.
If we buy into his thesis, this could represent a bold opportunity for local sellers that goes beyond the terrestrial signal. It seems to me that for as long as local stations still command high cume levels and acceptable TSL this strategy will be a tough putt. That's not to say that Fred Wilson is wrong. I think he has the right idea.

Lastly, selling in the digital space is a different animal so one has to question are the local sellers properly trained to make this transition.

Before posting this I went back and re-read the article just to be sure I captured its essence to my satisfaction. I also read through the comment section and sure enough others also questioned whether or not local ad sellers had the skills necessary to pull of the digital platform sell.

So, here we are at a crossroad...opportunities abound yet there are numerous landmines along the way.

Read Fred Wilson's entire post here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Full Steam Ahead

Mobile web usage on the move. Big increases year over year--up 34%. Broad demographic appeal. Nearly 57 million users strong!

Here's the Nielsen synopsis of this chart:

Web visitors using a mobile device increased 34 percent year-over-year, from 42.5 million mobile Web visitors in July 2008 to 56.9 million in July 2009 according to The Nielsen Company. Overall, year-over-year growth among the 13-17 and 65+ age groups outpaced the growth of the total mobile Web audience, with a youth increase of 45 percent and seniors surging upwards 67 percent in July. While men continue to make up a larger portion of mobile Web users versus women, comprising 53 percent of the audience in July, the growth of female visitors outpaced the growth of male visitors during the month, with women increasing 43 percent YOY as compared to a 26 percent growth among men.

“As with other forms of Internet technology, more men were early-adopters of the mobile Web and still make up a slightly larger presence today,” commented Chris Quick, client services manager, mobile media. “Now that the technology is more mainstream, women are quickly embracing the benefits as ‘connected consumers,’ tapping the convenience of Web access on mobile phones to network, browse the latest shopping deals and get ideas for dinner, all while on the go.”

The full story here.

Let me also point out that 25-54 Adults makes up two-thirds of all mobile internet usage.

What part of your digital strategy is worth using while mobile? If you have a good answer to that question you're a few steps ahead of most.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Rich History

I love history--of all kinds. I especially appreciate the rich history of radio. Gee, what a surprise! There's a new book out by radio historian Bob Shannon called Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946-1996 that looks to be a fun read.

In addition to the book, there's going to be a series of free audio excerpts (podcasts) available which are posted here. The first of the series was just posted today and it's Fred Winston's sneak preview of the Dick Biondi Story.

We can't expect our medium's history to provide the answers to the myriad of issues we face today; but we can certainly look back and enjoy what I think most of us would agree was pretty damn good.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Totally Twitter

Last week Twitter scored a mega funding deal--said to be 100 mil. It got me thinking how pervasive Twitter talk seems to be these days and social media in general.

Many radio folks are trying to figure out how to use social networking to their best advantage....aaaaa.....make money from it. That seems to remain allusive thus far. There may not be a home run money play anytime soon. Of course that doesn't mean it should be kicked to the curb. Done right, there may not be any better way to connect with your station's fans. Done wrong, and risk pushing fans in a different direction.

Companies of all types are also wrestling with how to allow their employees interact with social networking sites during the work day. Many are concerned of too much time wasted, inappropriate comments, and of course liabilities and trade secrets. Some workplaces have banned social networking activity all together. If you are working through these issues there's a website that provides links to companies who already have a social networking policy in place.

More on the subject...Ad Age had this story--Six Reasons Companies Are Still Scared of Social Media.

And finally...a chuckle. The latest craze: Twitteleh

Thursday, September 24, 2009

People and Tools

I happened to catch this excellent post written by Tom Webster on Edison Research's Infinite Dial blog. It's his reaction to the programming leadership session at the NAB Radio Show. Having attended the session myself I can't help but agree with much of Tom's analysis.

Those who participated on the panel are good people and programmers--all very successful and have strong track records. The post is not really about them--they are the ones on the front lines who are confronted with the "current realities" and have to develop and implement the best solutions possible given the circumstances. I know, I've been there.

See what you think.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

...From the NAB

As I have mentioned in this space before I am heading to Philadelphia to attend the NAB. I plan on "twit-viding" who and what I see, what I learn, and maybe a some of the sights and sounds of Philly. If you look to the column on the right hand side of this blog you will see "follow me on Twitter"=============================>>>>>>>

All the updates will be found right there.

If you are reading this some other way go to or www.twitter/halan

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's a Twofer Tuesday

And no, it's not what you are thinking.

Here's two quick hits:

#1 Facebook continues to grow. In the month of June it had a unique audience of more than 87 million according to the
The Nielsen Company . That's huge. I am amazed at who I connect with there. Personally, I have a blast on FB and I am not alone. And of course for radio stations, Facebook continues to be a goldmine of opportunity for those who choose to take part and do it right.

Check out how it breaks out by gender and demo (interesting how males are laggards in every cell):

US Facebook Users, by Age and Gender, August 2009 (millions)

#2 According to this projection radio will uptick in 2010, 2011, and 2012 but still not regain 2007 levels. Nothing to just up and down about, but then again, maybe it is. It's no surprise that the internet is projected to be the top revenue producer in 2012. The one area that is projected to show huge growth is a sector I think radio can grab a piece of--branded entertainment/product placement. For radio it's kinda like back to the future, hearkening back to it's earliest days. Think: theater of the mind and specifically branded shows here and you will get where I am headed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm A Believer

As many of us head to the NAB in Philadelphia next week, most attendees will be thinking about how they will make 2010 a better year for radio and by default themselves. Last year I had an idea to create a station that was targeted at a demographic group that admittedly is difficult to reach - young males. We know the reasons, but at the end of the day I believe we can lure some of them into the tent with the right programming.

My vision amounts to what I believe is top 40 for guys. By another name: alternative. The format hasn't disappeared, not by any means, but it has in many cases been turned into more of a gold-based format than it was originally. In some cases the percentage of current and recurrent material has been pared down to 20 or 30 percent. That's fine. I think there's another path that can be very successful.

I've written about my client RED 104.3 before. I've noted that now for two books running we have taken the market, Alexandria, LA by storm. All the indicators are good...cume, AQH, and TSL...all growing. I think this format can succeed in other markets.

I admit it. This post is all about self promotion. By now, I'm sure you had a pretty good idea where I was going. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this success story with you. With confidence I say, this current based format can help you have a successful 2010.

Please let me share with a fact sheet I am sharing with potential clients. (click on image to see it full sized)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Future Is In Your Pocket

Thanks to Mark Ramsey at hear2.0 for finding this gem on You Tube.

Terrestrial radio has already found a home on mobile devices. Now all we have to do is give people a reason to listen on that mobile device. And that's just the beginning. No longer limited by a single transmitter and a single receiving option--the speaker, "radio" can and needs to be more. There is no reason it can't be...unless of course someone decides they don't want it to be. I hope that person isn't you!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The FCC's Mark Lloyd -- Follow Up


At the end of August I wrote this post about FCC appointee Mark Lloyd. Included was You Tube video of speeches given by Mr. Lloyd at past communication conferences. As you might be aware some of his statements have be a source of concern among talk show hosts (mostly conservative) and freedom of speech advocates that he was put in place at the FCC to push new government restrictions on speech.

The Wall Street Journal today published this story on Mark Lloyd. They stay away from some of the more extreme statements he has made so I would suggest after you read the article go back and watch those videos of Mark Lloyd in his own words. Chilling!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

See You In Philly!

I am looking forward to this years NAB Radio Show in Philadelphia. Sure, it's nice seeing people face-to-face that you would never run into otherwise and having the opportunity to meet someone for the first time. Yeah, I know the business and the world has never been smaller but there are plenty of people left to meet. But, the thing that's got me excited is "just I feeling" I have. A feeling of a turning point. Some things shaking out. Fresh opportunities for our industry to shine. And of course, there has to be one or two convention shockers that will rock the house with buzz. I can think of a couple of possibilities that would accomplish that.

For me, I am looking forward to seeing YOU! I can't wait to bend your ear about some exciting successes since we met in Austin last year. And I want to hear from you that things are going well and all about how you too are having had a successful year. Of course if you are facing challenges I would be pleased to work with you and help improve your situation.

Let me know you are going and we'll make it a point to spend a little time. Call the office at 952.401.9067, or send me an email (harve@harvealan [dot] com) and we'll set up a time.

See you in Center City soon!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

9-11 A Day To Remember

Some 9-11 memories...

Just days after my twins were born. Already a week filled with emotions...of another kind.

The first report I heard was that a small plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers.

Very quickly that all changed.

That day changed me forever.

I will never forget driving on the Whitestone Bridge, connecting the Bronx with Queens, and seeing all that smoke rising from lower Manhattan--days after 9-11.

Art Vuolo put together a video compilation of the events of 9-11 and has made the audio soundtrack available for that video. I thought I would share it with you here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Big News!!

Apple announces the new iPod Nano will include an FM tuner. This is what radio has been waiting for. OK, radio heads...we got what everyone wanted.

Now what?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tragically Funny!!

Many in our business talk about innovation and how we must develop new "this or that." The creative folks are told to come up with a plan and then present the plan to the "brain trust" far so good, right...things are going so well...and then it happens. (insert screeching brake SFX here).

That brings us to the Fake Innovator's Dilemma--take a look and tell me this wasn't written with radio in mind.

New means new, innovation by it's very nature means untried, and the radio business could use a lot more of it. I'll leave you with this question today: do we have the guts to come up with "new" and then actually do it? Your comments are always welcome.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What's Next For Radio? Video!

Nielsen just released a new study on video usage and the bottom line: video consumption in terms of time spent and size of audience is up...way up. Even old school television was up 1%; while mobile video usage is up a whopping 70% and internet video usage rose 46%.

Ready for a shocker? What age group has the largest percentage of on-line viewers? 45-54 year olds at 21% followed by 35-44 year olds at 19%! When it comes to mobile viewsers 25-34 year olds leads the way with 32%; while 35-44's come in at 20%.

And as one who does this all the time myself, 57% report using the internet and watching TV simultaneously at least once a month.

We are already having problems with the younger demos and their fading interest (read: declining TSL) in radio; and now we are beginning to see evidence that our bread and butter demos could very well be in jeopardy due to their growing interest in on-line and mobile video.

You can see the entire Nielsen report here

Helping radio stations and radio groups develop on-line and mobile strategies is part what I do every day and I would be happy to assist you and your group maximize this amazing opportunity to effectively reach video entertainment consumers. You don't need to be a CBS or Fox affiliate to be in the TV biz!!

Here's two (somewhat obvious) suggestions as thought starters:

1-Your on-air stars can be video stars. How can you leverage their popularity within your market and capture some of that video traffic? What can they produce that the listeners will seek out on line and on their iPhones?

2-You program a top 40 station, why not put a video playlist together that replicates your on-air playlist simultaneously? You can invite your fans to watch station KAAA's music on line now. The simplest way to accomplish this would be to use You Tube as your video source since most popular videos are already there. There are other more proprietary ways to do this if you want. You may also want to consider creating additional playlists as well, maybe one that features the hottest newly released videos or a playlist of your stations best flashback songs. The opportunities are endless.

Bottom line: video is not a passing fad and neither is on-line and mobile consumption. As we consider how best to navigate our sizable ship into the future, we must consider how we are going to use video to our best advantage. Not doing so will not make it just go away. It's here to stay and it really needs to be something more than an afterthought.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Radio CAN Thrive...Just Different

We all know there are more challenges ahead for the radio business. We also know that the newspaper business is, arguably, in an even tougher position than radio. An article published on the website makes the case that newspapers (and their on-line strategy) can have a positive future by understanding and taking advantage of what the new news reality has made scarce.

The radio business, music radio in particular, must understand that the way we've been providing programming and selling advertising must change and adjust (differently than has already occurred) to the new reality. A lot of what we offer is no longer scarce and we must figure out how to proceed with entertainment programs and consumer & client services that provide the opportunity for abundant listener value and revenue going forward. Radio stations that are non stop music machines (PPM be damned) and offer little else for listeners and advertisers are doomed. Not tomorrow, but I don't believe it will be as long as ten years either.

After reading the article I thought so much of it could apply to radio. So I took some of the key themes and bring them to you here:
News Corp (NYSE: NWS). and other traditional news businesses are hand-wringing over how they will make money on the internet. I think they are focusing on the wrong problem. bosses should be taking this opportunity to re-examine old assumptions, to rebuild their product for the 21st Century.

we quickly realize that it lost touch with its customers a long time ago, and that the model for the future will most likely look very different to what we are used to.

We kept buying (using radio), though, because we didn’t have any choice.

...all of a sudden, there is choice

...understand what is becoming commoditized and abundant, and what new scarcities are created as a result

The good news is that every abundance creates new scarcities and this is where the news (insert RADIO here) industry must go to make money in the 21st century. The scarcities created (and enabled) by abundant news are interesting stories, thought provoking analysis, conversation and community, and trust/verification.

...They do, however, have the option of leveraging their standing in the community to generate other revenues.
...the real money will come from leveraging the position in the community to offer services no one else can.
The final sentence says it all.

How strong is your station's position in the community? Are you prepared to leverage it for fun and profit? Do you have a community strategy? How can those community ties be turned into revenue? Hint: a folding table with a lone DJ doing breaks from a car dealer lot doesn't constitute community.

If you want to read the entire article click here.