Friday, April 06, 2012

Radio Journalism VS PR

When two different trade media cover exactly the same story on the same day, that's not "news," that's reprinting press releases.

There's certainly nothing wrong with a competitor sending out PR each time they close a deal. Both Sirius and XM did it a decade ago. They also bought placement in movies and TV shows, all of which drove a growing impression back then that satellite radio was going to replace terrestrial radio among local business leaders.

"Local radio" is still standing and still wins the battle 10+ to one.

This is not to say that analog radio shouldn't worry about Pandora and all the emerging new media.

It's just to encourage you to tell your success stories in PR as well, while acknowledging that our value proposition on offer to both listeners and media buyers is under attack from new places.

So, what else is new?

Thanks to new media, we have two or three times the inventory to sell that we once did given all the platforms at our disposal.

1. Be sure that our clients get more than the results that expected by being better, more engagingly effective than any competing media's creative.

2. Give listeners more of what they come to us for and less of what they don't. Of course, doing so will mean that traditional "over the air" revenues will be flat to down unless we're able to aggressively raise rates, which in this economy and new media age is an immense challenge.

3. A more sustainable business model is to lower commercial loads "over the air" - making our analog products more listenable - and replace that revenue with money from all possible non-traditional sources.

Long term success requires long term thinking, and courage.


Mike Gould, Eastlan Ratings said...

What’s more important to the success of your station?

A.) The air personality who does mornings on one of your stations before voicetracking on two others?

B.) The dividends paid to the anonymous stockholder of one of your vendors?

Seems like a dumb question right? Sadly, as obvious as the answer seems, year after year, hundreds of broadcasters choose B and thousands of radio jobs are cut so that stations can pay exorbitant fees to their current audience ratings vendor.

Richard Harker said...

Arbitron announced that it will no longer release complete total person shares, only the ratings of paying customers.

Now radio stations who choose not to subscribe to Arbitron will simply disappear, banished to invisibility unless they pay up.

The decision is attributed to client demands that Arbitron enforce rules against non-clients quoting published numbers. This may be true, but the decision is ultimately short-sighted.

In the short term is might help a few Arbitron clients. The strong-arm tactic may even give Arbitron a minor bump in revenue (although we doubt it).

Arb NY 1990 R-RUnfortunately, the move will ultimately harm the entire radio industry. It will nudge broadcast one step closer to irrelevancy, and Arbitron with it.

Jon Friedman, MarketWatch said...

Pandora Media’s shareholders got an unwanted wake-up call on Thursday morning when Barclays announced that it had launched coverage of the personalized Internet radio provider with an “underweight” rating on the stock.

“We would avoid (the) shares at the current time,” Barclays analyst Anthony DiClemente wrote in an investment report. “We believe (the) valuation is stretched, as (Pandora) has negative earnings.”

Inside Radio said...

Pandora Media has announced it ran “more than 400 local advertising campaigns” in first quarter from an undisclosed number of advertisers.

Chief revenue officer John Trimble says the web pureplay is “becoming a top choice among local marketers.” But how does that stack up to broadcast radio?

The numbers show it’s not even a contest.

The Southern California Broadcasters Association says in the Los Angeles market alone broadcast radio added more than 400 advertisers in just January and February, bringing the total number of local advertisers for L.A. to more than 1,000 in the two slowest months for ad sales.

Miller Kaplan says the average number of advertisers among top ten markets in first quarter was between 700 and 800. That puts the top ten total at between 7,000 to 8,000 different local advertisers (not campaigns).

The average midsized market has about 400 advertisers. So when every radio market is added up, the total number of local radio advertisers is into the tens of thousands.

That’s a deep pool that Pandora obviously wants to swim in. But the data suggests they’ve just barely dipped a toe so far.