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.