Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pandora Wants What We Have

Does that mean we should want what they have?

A&O has been very proud to work with Peak Broadcasting's WOW 104.3 in building the very first country-format listener driven radio station which embraced the concept of "you drive" more than a year ago, and it's gone very well as the Boise rating trends have shown.

(Thanks to the hard work and great creative content by some amazing people.)

A very small percentage of core listeners love the fact that they control the playlist, and that's nothing new. Just ask anyone who's ever answered a request line.

Maybe that's why Cumulus and Clear Channel are both buying companies which hope to give Pandora a run for the money.

A quick two points from history to put these developments in perspective.

1. All request shows and DJ's who played all their favorites on demand pre-dated music scheduling software, which introduced the concept of well-researched music, carefully-balanced and rotated for maximum cume and time spent listening. The latter smoked the former and still does.

2. "Radio" at its best is so much more than music.

"Entertaining, compelling people will also get more response on Facebook, or at a party, or sitting in the stands at a ball game. Do anything with Facebook that you like. It's fine, but in the long run, it just doesn't matter. The Facebook world may be larger than the pool of people who call, but it's still a minority, and there's no proof that it makes them listen more. The overwhelming majority of listeners don't call, don't go to a station's Facebook page, don't go to many (if any) of a station's events, and rarely, if ever, go to a station's website. Stations that try to be at every event, instead of picking the biggest parade and getting in front of it, always expend a lot of energy but still lose. Stations that will expend tons of energy trying to ignite Facebook response will have the same results. The plain truth is that most people listen to the radio for companionship, for information (Traffic, Weather), or to be entertained. That's never going to change. The cure for all of radio's woes--every single one of them--is to hire more entertaining people to be on the air." - Tommy Kramer

Yeah, "Radio" has what Pandora wants.
No wonder Pandora's chasing US.

Let's not get lost chasing after Pandora.


Tommy Kramer said...

Very interesting, Jaye. Thanks for including me.

I also liked the "Don't focus too much on switching" post. It brought to mind my friend and mentor Bill Young, and the time I spent working for and learning from him at KILT in Houston.

Bill stayed with the basics, dividing people into simply "Actives" or "Passives," and stuck with the premise that Actives are the ones who find you and spread the word ("those who turn their radio on to you first" in your article), but Passives ("those who only leave you when they turn off their radio" in your article) are the people you have to get and keep in order to have long range success.

We never spent any energy on worrying about people that didn't listen, or switched away. We only thought about giving the best "listen" possible (or the best station events possible) for the people who were already there--the first two 'kinds of listeners who can impact your success' in your article.

It seems to me that you can use an awful lot of time worrying why people don't listen, only to find out that they like to nap that time of day, are watching TV, or are on Facebook catching up with friends--all things you can't do anything about. And you can drive yourself crazy worrying about why people switched you off, when the only two likely answers are that they got too busy to listen, or the station was boring.

Always enjoy your stuff. Very thought-provoking.


- - - - - - -
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach for Radio, Television, & Voiceover Acting
214-632-3090 (iPhone)

Kim Carson said...

Townsquare I believe is doing something like this as well.