Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Radio Tech Guru Is A Luddite? Or, Is Your Humble Servant Just a Geek?

A&O's Conclave 2008 session (click for our handout) was a full house on Friday morning, right between Jerry Delcolliano on radio's high tech/younger demo future and NAB President and CEO David Rehr's rousing pro-radio pep talk.

Just between us: O'Malley is the laid-back, easy-going, people person. I, on the other hand, am the obsessive compulsive who wants to get the equipment all set up 90 minutes before our session just to be sure everything works.

Imagine my panic, then, when I walked into Jerry's terrific presentation on what he has learned about radio usage from his students at USC and watched him make a big show about removing all of the technology in the room, where we were to speak immediately after him. I suppose his point, as he ordered the AV folks to get rid of the presentation graphics projector, screen, and even all the playback equipment and microphones in the room, was to showcase the importance of high touch in a high tech world.

(Gulp! ...maybe there was also a lesson in there for me?) ... which served to place me in an immediate state of panic, since our presentation was nothing BUT carefully produced and edited tech, with audio and video. Without those fancy gizmos in the room it was going to be a very long hour for "A," if not "O."

Fortunately, Delcolliano finished about 15 minutes before our session and the Minneapolis Marriott AV dude was a miracle worker, got everything working with seconds to spare (as I was sweating blood for all to see!).

Note to self: relax more in advance of your public presentations. Everything works out just fine in the end.

Note to Conclave and Marriott AV staff: thanks for putting up with my panic attack.

Note to Jerry: please read a little Marc Prensky before your next class ( .. not to mention before you precede US in the same room again).

You'll be a more compelling, Gen Y-engaging college prof ... and I'll be right at home at the podium, surrounded by the comfort of my wireless mics, FM/infrared mouse remote controls, presentation graphics, sights, effects and sounds.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Technology Speeds The Pace Of Tactical Innovations As The Marketplace Puts Its Foot On The Gas Pedal, Steers The Vehicle

The U.S. Digital Radio (DBS) standard was announced in 1997 and eleven years later more than two thirds of American radio listeners still have not even listened to it.

During that same time, ISDN made better quality remote broadcasts affordable again. Every control room got a digital phone editor. The number of RDS-equipped stations has grown and listeners love seeing the title and artist of songs on their radios. Every control room has several computers these days.. if not more than 'several.'

Internet in vehicles, with the news Friday that Chrysler is going Wi-Fi in next year's models, finally offers the more-or-less-immediate promise of Nicholas Negropante's "Things That Think" concept (from the book "Being Digital" which is also more than a decade old now).

Meanwhile, we in radio blame the record labels for dragging their feet on embracing new technologies, changing their financial models? Are we really doing any better on that score?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Live Nation Vs The Major Labels - Everyone Wants A Piece Of The Pie

Joshua Chaffin in the Financial Times' New York bureau digs into the new "360 Deals" that both major event promotion businesses and "record" (whatever those are) labels are trying to entice the biggest names to sign. (click to read it)
Through such agreements - also known as multiple rights deals - record companies are trying to move beyond traditional record sales to handle their artists' concert tours, corporate sponsorships, merchandise sales, websites, fan clubs and just about any other source of ancillary revenues imaginable. "We ultimately will become the fifth member of each band," is how Monte Lipman, president of Universal Republic Records, describes his label's ambition.

His article provides a good insight into where the music business may be steering (if they can get superstar artists to go along). The question is whether such arrangements represent a viable new model for an industry in crisis or merely another record company ploy to capture a bigger share of artists' earnings. Some certainly suspect the latter.

Count me among them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Some Event Ideas Just Take Your Breath Away When You First Hear Them

1. Click to read more, as someone who listens to KSON, San Diego's entire Christmas Experience is restaged for military (and family) who were deployed during the 2007 Holiday Season.

2. George & Katie at Eau Claire's WAXX have turned GREEN.

3. What are YOU doing to make your listeners' lives better today?

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Have The Answer

After waiting 48 hours for a brilliant comment in response to the dilemma faced by the M's and many a radio station and broadcast team over the years (below), I am reminded of a statement first made (to me at least) by KMPS General Manager back in the 1980s' and 1990's Fred Schumacher, who should have patented it back when he said it in the early 90's, long before The Donald uttered it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mariner Metaphor For Bad Management

(PI Photo): New Mariners manager Jim Riggleman, left, speaks with Atlanta Braves assistant manager Bruce Manno, right, during batting practice before the game at Turner Field in Atlanta. Riggleman took over as Seattle's manager on Friday with an upbeat attitude, urging players to ignore speculation about the impending dismantling of the team.

Seattle Post Intelligencer sports reporter DAVID ANDRIESEN's story on fired Mariner coach John McLaren's Friday conference call with reporters belongs on the business pages, as a case study of what can go wrong with a talented group of individuals who can't seem to find a way to play as a team.

"I think there is a little tension and friction, a little jealousy, and that's for those guys to work out (on) their own. We tried to, and weren't very successful. I think the players have got to do it on their own. The only reason I bring that up is ... to make this team better. That's the only reason I say it. If they can get in a room and work some issues out, I think they'll be better off. I care about all those guys. They're good people. But sometimes we get caught up in our own little world, and this is a team sport. I think there is some issues in there, and if they can take care of them, they'll be a lot closer to going where they want to go than they are now."

McLaren, who if anything erred on the side of defending his players too much as manager, said he wasn't bringing up the clubhouse issues to deflect blame for the team's sorry state.

Fans want to know what happened to this talented-on-paper team, and even the man closest to it still doesn't have a simple answer. Lots of teams have fought among themselves but won once they got on the field.

"We got blindsided, absolutely got blindsided. There's two things I've been shocked (by) in 39 years (in baseball) and 22 years in the big leagues: this right here, what has happened to us, and 2001, winning 116 games (with McLaren as bench coach). Never expected either one. I've thought about this a million times, and everything just doesn't make sense. We play with passion and we play hard, and that's why it didn't add up. If these guys didn't play hard and they didn't prepare, things would be more clear for me. If they had stopped playing hard, I would have had a discussion with the front office way before they got me, I can assure you that. I can hold my head high, believe me. I'm not happy with the record. I'm very disappointed. It bothers me. But as far as my staff putting in the effort and getting guys prepared, I thought we put the work in and it just didn't happen. It was a definite privilege and honor to manage the Seattle Mariners."

It was a privilege and honor McLaren, 56, worked all his career for, spending nearly three decades in professional baseball. It ended in disappointment that will surely leave McLaren with unanswered questions for a long time.

Those quotes have to ring true for anyone who has been a part of a potentially-great radio station or morning show that didn't live up to their potential due to infighting or personal conflicts.

If you have any insight into how a coach or manager can turn a disfunctional team around, I'd love to hear it. So, I'd bet, would the Seattle Mariners.

Tip #1 From Fortune Magazine: Open Your Junk Mail

I learned a lesson today: Open all the mail you get because it could be something worth reading — even if you think it’s junk mail. I wouldn’t necessarily categorize mail from Fortune as junk, but in a subscription renewal notice today I got a small card that lists “3 Skills You Can Improve Right Now.”

It could have been written by a radio talent coach for air personalities:

Public Speaking: Conquer fear with a game plan

  • Podiums disconnect you from the audience. Grab the mic and wander the stage.
  • Eye contact is your friend. Looking at people one by one shrinks the room.
  • Questions. If you’re stumped, talk about your team. “We’re lucky to have an expert on that, I’ll get you in touch with him later.”
Negotiating Skills: Using the right phrases matters
  • How did you come up with that number? Opens a window into the other side’s thoughts.
  • Let me check with my wife. Or husband, or boss. Stops you from saying yes prematurely.
  • If things change, give me a call. Put the burden on them.

Memory Skills: Never confuse Don with John again

  • Introduce yourself first so you can focus on the other person
  • Connect the name to your brain. When you meet a guy named Bill, think of other Bills you know.
  • Use the name three times. Once to confirm you have the name right, then in mid-conversation, and again when you say good-bye.
I was all set to write an article on the full implications of this advice, when I discovered that Melanie Holmes of Manpower North America had done the work for me on her blog.

Friday, June 20, 2008

From Mark's Mouth To Al's Ears

NTS Aircheck: "I believe there is going to be an entrepreneurial renaissance in radio, and that independents of all shapes and sizes are going to thrive and flourish. I predict you will see management syndicated in return for inventory and success fees. These people will be among the best GMs and PDs — the best management minds in America.

"I know people who have taken stations from a $50 a minute to $1,500 a minute who never got a success fee or a bonus from doing that. I think those are the individuals who, over the next five years, will be brought in like “hit squads” to help stations.

"I think most radio groups will want to become more like the way well-run shopping center owners operate. They don’t necessarily want to own the shopping center and all the tenants. I
think you will see a major shift in the industry to a more merit-based, success fee system that, in the end, will help all stations have more to spend on marketing and promotion and for building and recruiting great sales teams. And with less time spent on bureaucracy.

"But no matter how you slice it, it always will come down to answering the question, “Have you recruited the best sales team?” The second you begin to cut costs and look at salespeople as a cost, you’re out of business. We can talk about talent and the Internet all day long, but, in the end, everything in radio will be based on asking what have we done as an industry to attract,
recruit and retain the best salespeople — from newspaper, television and other worlds — to our industry. Because ultimately, you either increase top-end revenues, or you lower costs — and
there’s only so much cost-cutting that can be done."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Study: Ads Don't Work As Well In New Media

New York Times reporter Stuart Elliott blogs:

The study, called “When Advertising Works,” was conducted by Yankelovich in association with Sequent Partners. The Center for Media Design at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., provided assistance.

The study covered 16 types of media. Besides TV, the traditional kinds included billboards, magazines, newspapers, radio and movie theater commercials. The digital kinds included e-mail messages, Internet banner ads, social networking Web sites, video games and video-sharing Web sites like YouTube.

When asked what kind of an impression the ad made, 56 percent of survey respondents said traditional media ads made a positive impression, in contrast to 31 percent who said that about digital media ads. Thirteen percent reported a negative impression of traditional media ads versus 21 percent for digital media ads. Thirty-two percent said they had neither a positive nor a negative impression of traditional media ads, in contrast to 48 percent who said they had neither a good or bad impression of digital media ads.

A principal reason for those results, said J. Walker Smith, president at the Yankelovich Monitor division of Yankelovich in Atlanta, was that for ads that made an impression, consumers using traditional media were in a more positive mood and more likely to be interested in entertainment and relaxation.

By comparison, consumers using digital media were more likely to be in busy moods, seeking control or solving a problem, Mr. Smith said, and they were more likely to be by themselves. In contrast, traditional media are often watched, listened to or read by people in groups.

Although the new media may be better at helping people solve problems, which represents “a unique reason to come to digital media platforms,” he added, “when I’m tracking down information or looking for an answer or trying to compare things or searching for a link, ads are irritating to a degree not true when I’m relaxed and unwinding with TV or a magazine and thus more open to diversion.”

That may mean that “advertising will always have to work harder to make a positive impression in digital media,” he added.

Another reason for the results of the study, Mr. Smith said, is that consumers are not as used to seeing ads in digital media as they are in traditional media.

“Advertising wasn’t embedded in the new media from the start; it came along later,” he added, which may be why some consumers describe digital media ads as intrusive.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Are You A Teen? This Is For You

It would be very cool if country's stars on the ballot did very well.

Tip: if you think like a teen, please cast some votes for Taylor or Carrie!

A Little Old Time Radio For Boomers Fun

Thanks to Broadcast Dialogue Publisher Howard Christensen for the link to this page, where you can brush up your talkin' up to the post without stepping on the vocal skills.

(PS: you can also click to the WRC, The Great 98 tribute page from it and spend sometime on memory lane too)

On Second Thought...

I just looked again at my 'considerations' stack, the pile of incoming very viable songs by talented artists which are absolutely strong enough to become top ten hits if only they can get a fair share of the spins it takes to develop familiarity and positive acceptance.

Counting only the ones I genuinely believe could be hits, I come up with at least 15, some of which have been waiting for an opening on the first team for many weeks. And, that's not counting the many, many more which I have listened to and simply don't understand why anyone would waste the money to record or the 30 songs on the front page of A&O's weekly Accu-Test national research which we provide to all clients.

Of that 'could be, maybe even should be' pile, seven are by females and eight are by males. Sadly, as I documented here on June 9th, the odds of those eight guys of making the chart's top 20 are two or three to one better than the hopeful ladies.

Which makes it tempting to ask, "why do they waste all that time and money?" As Bob McNeill, PD at Entravision's KNTY (101.9 the Wolf)/Sacramento, asked R&R's R.J. Curtis a couple weeks ago:
Why is this happening? Is it the copycat mentality of labels' A&R departments trying to get the next Taylor Swift? There ís certainly nothing wrong with Taylor Swift. She ís an extremely talented breath of fresh air in the format. But how many do we need given the percentage of female music that the format has historically had? This format depends, to a great degree, on songs about life experiences. What kind of life experiences does an 18-year-old girl have? It is about boys and relationships that aren't mature. Meanwhile, the people who listen to country music on the radio (whose average age is somewhere around 45) are longing for lost loves and longing for the way things used to be. They are reliving their life experiences, good and bad, through the lyrics of songs that relate to their lives. Does the country format need more female artists? I don't know. Do we need to change the historical male/female balance of the country format? I don't know. What I do know is that history is a bitch. You either understand it or get kicked in the ass by it.

It's easy to agree with the very savvy McNeill, who has successfully programmed country in Dallas and Washington, D.C., among many other places over the years.

Why NOT just ask Nashville to slow down the flow, save the development dollars, just send us the very best of the best? That would sure save PD's and MD's a lot of time, not to mention a lot of label money too.

However, for those of us who love the process of listening, deciding what surprising new music will make our listeners stop, spend a few more minutes with our stations and then say "wow.. that really touched me, that was awesome" - after all, every Nashville wannabe now has production tools on their laptop that once upon a time only a handful of major studios could afford, so even the average indie artist effort is at the very least 'pretty good' - I vote for more choice, not less.

It's a difficult task, picking the golden needles from haystacks and then breaking the news to the promoters that we don't think their song has a realistic chance of being a hit.

The fun is listening, being Simon Cowell for your audience. Telling the truth of how you feel about their latest product to the very nice people who call and email every week with hope in their hearts can be difficult and not fun.

However, that's the price we pay for the luxury of lots of things to choose from and I'll take that every time.

Males, females, duets, instrumentals.. bring 'em on!

Ultimately, the listeners will let me know if my gut agrees with theirs and the more I have to listen to each week, the more 'turn it up loud' experiences I can give them each day.

That's what it's all about.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Et Tu, Tim?

Tim Dubois is the man who put Brooks together with Dunn, developed Alan Jackson and was the fuel behind many other stars (Diamond Rio, Pam Tillis, Brad Paisley, BlackHawk, BR5-49, The Tractors, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Lee Roy Parnell, Phil Vassar, etc, etc, etc) who are among the most-played names on the radio today. Obviously, he's not an uninformed observer of the state of our business.

You could have knocked me over with a 45 rpm spindle when I saw his letter to the Nashville Tennessean: "Music City would benefit from merger of Sirius, XM." Be sure also to read the excellent responses his advocacy generated too.

Count me in synch with this one:
It is my view that this merger would be bad for the music business in Nashville because it TAKES AWAY one more source to showcase our music and adds NOTHING. AS for what it does for the city...nothing.

Country Music In The News

* Toby Keith is a regular item in his hometown newspaper: Keith brings a little bit of country, a lot of spirit to Iraq, Keith helps to give back, Toby Keith and friends raise $709000 for Ally's House

* CMT's Hazel Smith has a cute narrative: Luke Bryan Provides an Accidental Concert

* In London, Ontario: Jewel returns to her teenage love for country

* Reuters reports Danny Davis, who put horns in country music, dies. He was 83.

* Kenny did an interview while he was in San Francisco last week that's now hitting the syndicates, as far away as Arkansas: Chesney’s path smoothed by blurring music genres

Monday, June 16, 2008

Neil Haislop: "Paisley Party Tour" Off To Rousing Start

The Nashville Answerman says:
"We don't know if Brad Paisley's tour had any rust to shake off during its first 3 shows last week, but it was a smooth-running, kickass fun machine by the time it made its fourth stop of the year at Irvine, California's Verizon Amphitheater Saturday night, featuring three strong opening acts, Julianne Hough, Chuck Wicks and Jewel."

Paisley's 2007 tour was hands down one of the top live shows of the year with high entertainment value (that featured Taylor Swift, Jack Ingram, Kellie Pickler, and some of the best hi-tech big screen visuals out there last year. At ACM Nominations press conference during CRS, Brad told us that he'd worked on making his show bigger and better in terms of visual content and musicality...and that he did.

It's such a unique experience that, if you saw last year's show, you need to see it again this year just to see how much cooler the experience is visually...and how just how his it-don't-get-any-better-than-this band and musical experience, is better than ever.

Highlights: Always the main highlight of the Paisley portion of the show is Brad's magnificent picking and his growing list of unique hit songs, all supported by just about the tightest bunch of pickers out there. "Party" was the right name for this experience.

Brad likes to show off how good his guys are by bringing them out the ramps with him for kick ass guitar pulls and guitar and fiddle jams eventually letting them all show-off from steel-to-drums on numbers that brought fans to their feet to hoot and holler even louder.

VIDEO -Paisley and company are so at the forefront of developing, high tech computer visuals (Paisley's self made animated bits have made quantum leaps technically and sheer fun), and synchronizing recorded video performances with live live music, he should title next year's show the "Paisley iTour Party." Wait till you see the 70 ft wide (estimate) panoramic HD computer screen (that replaces the multiple screens of last year) running recorded and live visuals, including singers in perfect sync (like Direks Bentley on "Celebrity," and Alison Krauss on "Whiskey Lullabye." A lot of clever stuff is going on as the band members physically interact with the screen. And, yet it remains one of the best country music experiences you'll have this year.

PAISLEY PARTY OPENERS all do themselves good on this tour. Julienne Hough has put together a very country set and worked all three of the big ramps. The show was about her and country music not the famous Dancing withe the Stars Champ she is.

Although, for Julianne it was family night with her mother, sister and brother Derek all attending the show. She, invited Derek, who she once sang with in a group back in England, to sing a number with her.

SHOWED THAT HE WAS more than just a "pretty face" as Brad jokingly referred to him. He turned in a cool, brief set that turned the women in the crowd that were already in their seats.

LEADING INTO BRAD'S SHOW, JEWEL showed that she is doing what she hoped, that her previous fans would follow her into country, and that country fans would except what she's doing as she received multiple standing O's during her set. A couple of those were inspired by some her truly unique, and powerful vocalizations.

Watch for a Brad Paisley on Tour Special Feature coming soon at

Friday, June 13, 2008

Marketing With No Message... Or, With Nothing BUT Message

Rob Walker had a very interesting conversation yesterday with NPR and WAMU's Diane Rehm about the barely-visible borders between the lives we lead and what we consume.

Then, I checked out the advance of his new book, "Buying In - The Secret Dialog Between What We Buy And Who We Are" - and now I am rethinking everything I know about why certain people love country music radio while others seem to wear a repellant to all of our attempts to convince them that our music is hot, cool, fun, exciting, contemporary, reflects their values, etc, etc.

Who's wearing your station logo? What message does that send? To whom? Is your product designed with the market messages built in?

Do you have the courage to create your radio brand in an open model, letting your listeners draw those lines themselves?

Can you do so in such a subtle way that Millenial prospects don't see it as a bogus hype?

It's happening with some of the artists you're playing right now. You may be riding that surf and not be aware of it. (listen to a few episodes of these vignettes and see if you can guess who these guys really are, creating them for Jeff Stone's morning show. Hint: the daily bit is "BS" in more ways than one...).

That's marketing.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Big Research's Monthly HOT (green stuff)/NOT (the economy)

It’s not easy being green, but many consumers appear to be making an effortmore than three in four (76.1%) agree that carpooling is what’s hot this month, followed closely by bicycling (72.8%) and reading books (72.1%). Younger consumers are also enjoying amusement parks and the Wii Fit, while women of all ages are lining up to see Sex and the City on the big screen. What’s Not? Long, flowy, figure obliterating maxi dresses may be a staple in stores this season, but look for this style to have the maximum discount on clearance racks soon.

-- Big Research June Exec Briefing

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Faith Hill Returns To Sunday Night Football

After doing a great job last year singing for the Sunday Night Football games, Faith will return to that gig this year.
"I have been busy I'm going to promote the Christmas record and I'm going to go and do the Sunday Night Football thing again in a couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to that."

Neil Haislop reports: Faith loves her daughters and loves being a mother, but she also love taking a break to rehearse and perform on the stadium show during CMA Music festival.

"It was great being on stage out doors, we've been performing indoors for two years, so I do miss that. But, I'm a mom first that's what I really know, I take care of my kids but I was sharing with my friends coming down here, I kind of feel like I'm off tonight (laughs) so I'm really going to party hard on that stage tonight. I don't have my kids with me, I'm going to rock it because it's usually all about them so I kind of feel like I have an off night."

Other Haislop headlines and quotes today:


Because he was always on the losing team in during the Celebrity Apprentice show, including losing as a finalist he never won any money for his charity. But thanks to his fans and friends he's received over $300,000 dollars to fight food allergy problems.

"I never made a nickel on the show. Every time I was the project manager we lost, so I never won any money. But,since the show we've raised over 300,000 dollars. So it's just been unbelievable, it's succeeded and I could never have expected anything like that. It's coming from just people. I don't hardly do a meet n' greet anymore where somebody doesn't walk up to me and hand me a check and these are just regular people, coming out of their pockets and just handing me a check and some of them are huge."

ASKED ABOUT HIS FAVORITE 4TH OF JULY MEMORY, Trace said, "I set the pasture on fire behind our house; shot a bottle rocket off in the back yard and it landed in the pasture way back and we just kept shooting off bottle rockets and then happen to notice that the whole pasture on fire, it was real dry and I'll never forget that, I was like 14 when I did that."

CARRIE UNDERWOOD- reluctant to start headlining.

Carrie Underwood is enjoying her headliner status although she was a little reluctant to step on out front. Carrie says:
"I think I was the last one to come on board the whole headlining thing," says Carrie. "I lot of people said this is a good idea, we can sell this, people will come. And I said, 'Are you sure people will come?' It's just a lot of responsibility because I want everybody that comes to enjoy themselves so much and I want them to have so much fun. I just love going to concerts and wish I'd gone to more, I just know how they feel and I know what I would want to see and I just want everybody to have good time. And I want the guys that I know their wives drug them to the show, I want them to have good time too. I want everybody to get their money's worth."

Carrie has just added more tour dates to the end of the year...check the new schedule out below in Country On Tour.


Alan Jackson says the best part of his job is working on a new album and the occasional great times performing live, ''I've always said, as songwriter and making a new album is always something that doesn't get old because it's always a challenge that you don't always accomplish 100 percent, but any time you can write something different or better or make a new album, it's always fun to make new music."

Alan adds that the worst thing is, "It's not always great to be on the road and away from home, "But, then still you walk out on stage some nights and you feel good and the sounds good and the crowd's excited and it's still magical all those parts are still the best parts of the business...the music."

Monday, June 09, 2008


1 = The number of female solos (Carrie Underwood/Last Name) in this week's Billboard/R&R Country Top 10 singles

2 = The number of female solos (Miranda Lambert/Gunpowder & Lead) in the Top 15.

If you add Lady Antebellum/Love Don't Live Here and Josh Turner w/Trisha Yearwood/Another Try, that makes four of the top 15 (27%) songs this week which have female voices on them.

6 = 30% of the top 20 are by female voices, when you add Sugarland/All I Want To Do and Reba McEntire w/Kenny Chesney/Every Other Weekend.

7 = The number of female voices in the top 25 (28%), as Taylor Swift/Should've Said No moves up this week.

8 = The number of songs by female voices in the 15 chart number slots between #26 and #40 (53%).

4 out of 5 = 80% of the songs which rank between #36 and #40 are by female voices.

i.e.: If you tune into the first hour of any of the weekly countdown shows, you're going to hear a lot of female voices in a row. The closer you get to #1 on the spin charts, the more male voices, it seems.

Judging from these stats, of the 11 songs ranking between #16 and 40 which include female artists, most likely only four of them will make it to the Top 15 in the coming weeks.

If you have any theories, please post them below.

Mine: you can get into medium or light rotation with a song and a personna which we programmers like, but you can't get into the Top 15 without also demonstrating strong and balanced listener appeal in research as well. And, with our listeners - even when you make the sample 60/40 female/male - the majority of women seem to have a harder time than men do.

But, not always:
the very best year for females of the last decade was 2005, when 26% of the highest-testing songs of the year were by women artists in A&O's annual year-end music research rewind. Since then, the percentage by women in the best of the best has fallen to 21% (2006) and 20% (2007).

Saturday, June 07, 2008

"They" Know Exactly Where You Are

.. and, frankly, it's not all that interesting! (Globe & Mail writer Maggie Fox - study confirms we are creatures of habit): Most of us go to work, to school and back home in surprisingly predictable patterns, something the researchers said would be useful in city planning and preparing for emergencies.

“Despite the diversity of their travel history, humans follow simple reproducible patterns,” Albert-Laszlo Barabasi of Northeastern University in Boston and colleagues wrote in their report, published in the journal Nature.

... which reminds me of this radio marketing basic: figure out where the majority of your listeners live, rank those postal codes in order of their percentage of the total population of your metro area and make a vow to be seen by the average resident of those places at least once every day. Saturate the top ten, and only once you've done that go to the next ten, etc.

Key neighborhood spots with the highest possibility of regular visibility: the freeway on ramp from the residential area to where most people who live there work, the strip mall with the most popular convenience store, and the local grocery store.

Of course, of you have a marketing budget, it pays to direct market to those homes and also to have strategic or tactical outdoor posted, if possible. But, meanwhile...

* Are your station vehicles parked in the station parking lot or driving around one of those neighborhoods right now?

*How recently have your personalities done stunts to support local community causes and needs in those places?

Shania Thanks Her Fans

As I am sure you have seen or heard; I am going through a rough time personally in my life. I wanted you all to know that I could not be getting through this without you. Your letters, emails and words of encouragement give me strength. Your overwhelming support reminds me to smile, no matter how deep the pain and to always be grateful for all the beautiful blessings in my life.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Berra On Business

A fun read, full of business wisdom: Yogi uses examples from his life and career to inspire people to make the right choices and become not only better team players, but better people. With the down-to-earth wit and insight that Yogi fans love, "You Can Observe a Lot by Watching."

"I see pitchers overanalyzing everything. I see them shake signs because they’re overthinking or not trusting the catcher. I see unnecessary uncertainty, something you don ’t need. Look, the pitcher - catcher relationship is the most important in the game. It ’s almost like a marriage, or like beer and pretzels. It just has to be together, or it won’t be. I always wanted my pitcher to believe that everything I did, every little detail or fact I stored in my head, was for the pitcher’s own good. Heck, we had the advantage — two guys trying to get one man out. If I knew my business, I figured we were in business and my job was to get the pitcher to do his job. When Allie Reynolds threw two no-hitters in 1951, that’s as good as you can do, but he wouldn’t take the credit; he told everyone I was the one who did the thinking for him. That in a nutshell was the kind of team we had. Nobody gloried in individual achievements."

Read Excerpt: Chapter (PDF)

Nielsen: 98.5 Million Go Online For Current Events Info

Men spend more time at their PC than women do in the average month. Yahoo! News, Tribune and YouTube top the online news rankers in total website user data for April, including detailed findings for viewers and advertisers in the Current Events and Global News categories, as well as Online video viewers and brands.

Well worth a click: Cornucopia of April Online Web and Video Viewers and Brands

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Your Recommended Hourly Requirement

Last Sunday, I flew into Calgary to get ready for a week of focus groups with listeners in several Alberta cities. Once in the rental car, I started listening to radio at about 3:00 pm and didn't stop scanning around the AM and FM dials until my head hit the pillow at 11:00 pm.

Eight hours of intensive listening to all of the radio stations I could pull in from across the mountain west.

One station - and, I'm proud to say that it was a country station - stood out and I kept coming back to it: Today's Country: Country 105 FM Radio Calgary


Sunday afternoon and evening radio at every radio station but that one was nothing but segued songs followed by jingles and pre-produced sweepers followed by more songs, but no sense that the station knew that it was a very stormy Sunday afternoon in tornado season.

Meanwhile, Country 105 clearly had a live presence on the air (he could actually have been voice tracked for all I know), who was talking about what I was experiencing as I drove through sheets of rain, saw cars pulling off the highway because of the poor visibility and needed accurate weather and traffic information. He was telling the titles and artists of every song he played, talking about things going on town today and how they were being impacted by the scattered storms mixed with sunshine and sharing his perspective on all of it.

The rest of the radio I heard was doing segue serenade, which was the last thing I needed from the radio, since I had my Ipod with me, a CD player in the car and my MacBook Pro with internet access as I drove thanks to my Rogers/ATT/Sierra Wireless connection.

Hey, radio: you know it's true. We've gotten lazy. We've gained weight. We're out of shape. We're not in the best of health.

It's time to commit to getting back onto serving up a healthy diet of what listeners come to radio for beyond imaging and songs.

Each morning, just to make sure that I get all the vitamins I need, I take a multi-vitamin which contains all the minimum daily requirements for good health. It doesn't guarantee I'll stay healthy, but it sure improves my odds of doing so.

The formats and the people we put on our radio stations need to do the same thing, to be sure that every hour, every day, 24/7, we are offering a balanced menu of elements which will nurture a local relationship with our heaviest users, the people who come to us as night and on weekends (ultra core listeners, go give us more than two thirds of total hours!) by giving them what they expect when they turn on the radio, in every quarter hour.

Jaye's recommended dosage of crucial hourly requirements (take one each in order to enhance the realness and entertainment value of every quarter hour, and call me in the morning):

( ) Fresh weather update, if not a full forecast, at least a reference to what it's like outside right now
( ) Community involvement - what the station is doing to create community and make life better locally today
( ) Backsells of title and artist at least every other song without crutches and cliches by relating to the artists and music
( ) Teasing upcoming songs, artists and station benchmarks
( ) Music image-builder promo
( ) Real listener voices, talking about local places and how they use the station
( ) Topical content, what's the local buzz today?
( ) Personal relating, personality personna-building based on authenticity, not just standard DJ verbiage
( ) Freshly updated, creative, unique morning show (reason to listener tomorrow) promos (more than one to rotate, so I don't hear the same one hour after hour)
( ) Your superstar artists endorsing your station in fun, original ways
( ) Pop culture references to what's hot with your core listener right now
( ) Jingles and sweepers are a little like vitamins A & E. They are vital and most stations require them once or twice a quarter hour, but too much of them can do more harm than good.

Listen to your station late tonight, before the morning show starts at 4:30 am tomorrow, and on the weekend. Can you check off every one of those elements in every single hour?

It's called divisibility. If you don't deliver on the minimum daily requirements in every quarter hour of your broadcast day, you're going to increase your odds of your brands getting very sick.

Judging from what I heard last Sunday afternoon in Alberta, the vast majority of us are already in need of a doctor. And, SOON.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

It's Not Like The FCC And CRTC Revoking All Of Our Licenses Or Anything, But It's Close To It

Every product requires a distribution channel to its consumers, and the music business just lost a big one, on very short notice. Now, we know part of the toll, as Wal-Mart talked about getting out of the music business quite openly for the last year or so.
"It should've been expected," said Jeff Stoltman, a professor of marketing at Wayne State University. "The rate of decay of pre-recorded entertainment -- and especially music -- has been quick as technology has advanced so fast."

Crain's Detroit Business reporter
Nancy Kaffer: Known for years as a music distributor with heavy ties to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Wal-Mart Canada, the company announced yesterday that it had agreed to sell the assets and inventory of its Wal-Mart-related North American music distribution operation to Amarillo, Tex.-based Anderson Partners, L.L.P. Dealings with Wal-Mart constituted about 70 percent of Handleman’s sales in the last fiscal year.

The music business' new best friends? Apple and Microsoft.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Something I Have Never Understood

Have you noticed the names of other country consultants listed in trade advertisements with the category move and/or research that consultant is recommending to their clients this week?

Why would they do that? Do you want your competition to know what A&O recommends nationally this week?

Our research on music is a national average of our clients' local research. Why would we want to share that info publically?

Thanks to AO's own "Mr. Integrity," Michael O'Malley, who invented our approach back when he started to consult on his own after leaving NBC Radio's WYNY, New York (which tells you that it was a long time ago), you have never seen Accu-Test (or, as it was originally called back when M O'M invented it, "Hot-Test") data or recommendations in any publication.

And, you won't, either. Which makes us wonder why every consultant doesn't feel the same way.