Radio, will you marry me? #NABradioshow

DIGITAL THINK TANK SUPER SESSION

It’s all about ENGAGEMENT, engagement, ENGAGEMENT!!

At the recent National Association of Broadcasters Radio Show in Philadelphia leaders from all over the radio industry gathered to compare notes and discuss the state and future of radio.  These notes are from several sessions during the event which concentrated on the digital space and how to make it work FOR radio rather than AGAINST it.

Good examples of digital in use

  • Humane Society invests $350k in radio using social media and gets back $3.5 million over one weekend in donations. (Canada)
  • Ford Focus
  • Tennis Shoe Company: created funny “Naturists” viral videos (100k views overnight).
  • Dunkin Donuts: “Everyone Runs on Dunkin”. User-generated content – How do you run on Dunkin?

How to make digital work

  • Stations should be able to turn a profit for their online business in 18 months if they are taking it seriously.
  • Use existing technology (a lot of which is free) and spend your time creating content.
  • Currently radio is getting 2% of local digital pie, which is probably what we deserve considering how seriously we’re taking it.
  • WEEI.com is an online brand for all things sports in Boston (very specialized).  Good job!
  • GAP Broadcasting loyalty rewards programs are bringing in amazing royalty.  Good job!
  • Driving more traffic creates a bigger audience and thus drives up the rate.  Sell for higher rates because of larger audience.
  • Multi-channels of HD may work to create a bigger collective audience.
  • CBS Radio putting Last.fm on the air using one of their HD channels in Los Angeles.  Good example of how online radio is working its way into main stream.
  • Microsoft Zune HD will help bring younger audience back to radio with it’s RDS-enabled HD tuner.

TRENDS AND EXAMPLES
These are trends and examples of what the panelists are seeing bubbling up to the top in the marketplace.

  • Jelli.net (crowdsource radio)
  • Pandora.com (online personalized radio – AWESOME!)
  • Mashable.com (digital industry news site)
  • PaidContent.org (digital content news site)
  • Etsy.com (supposed eBay killer)
  • Everyblock.com (hyper-local neighborhood tool that MSNBC just bought)
  • Popsugar.com (celeb gossip and publishing platform)
  • Cloud computing (the next big thing: using the internet (cloud) for all of your software needs. Having everything on the web and not on your own computer hard drive)
  • Casual gaming (trend is easy-to-play games that anyone can play quickly and in their web browsers)
  • User-generated content (giving users the power to publish content they’ve created to websites such as YouTube)
  • Episodic videos (short videos that have interwoven story lines that are one-step up from user-generated content)
  • Entrepreneurs tirelessly increasing and bettering the tech
  • Change your day.  Get up an hour earlier, read blogs, and everything else.

WHICH HALF OBSERVATION: Finally! Radio is talking about technology other than AM/FM/XM.  We’re a little late to the game since most of these online technologies have grown without incorporating radio.  For too long, radio thought it was insolated from any “new tech”.  With Pandora and more recently Jelli, Radio needs to run full speed ahead if its to stay relevant.

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