Category Archives: Management

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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Can Radio “get it’s cool back?” #NABradioshow

GROUP PDs SUPER SESSION

Some of the top programmers in the industry discussed digital media and how to monetize it as well as the state of the industry and how to best bounce back.

Some quick examples of what some stations are doing right:

  • Hot97 100k text msg subscribers, 90k twitter followers, 150k iPhone app downloads
  • Power 106 126k TW, 50k MS friends
  • 20 MM uniques/ week at Clear Channel online / iphone app

Cyndee Maxwell, Former Director/Assoc Editor R&R Magazine: “So everyone agrees that social nets help with ratings.”  What about revenue?

According to the responses from all the group PDs on the panel they are still looking for ways to monetize.  Most are still treating the digital space as a hobby.  All group PDs agreed that radio MUST treat digital as a viable, main source of business before results will be realized.

Other tips from the panel:

  • JAY STEVENS, SVP Programming Radio One: We have got to get FM tuners into every mobile device, cell phones, iPods, etc.
  • RICK CUMMINGS, President Programming Emmis Communications: We’re just not top-of-mind.  Critical to on mobile devices to “get our cool back”.
  • Lots of stations aren’t using Radio Data System.  ALL STATIONS NEED TO USE IT!  It helps compete with iPods, Zune, etc.  (RDS = displays song, artist info on radio displays)
  • Lots of talk about “getting our cool back.”

CYNDEE: “Do the stations have to program differently for the online stream?”
GEORGE ROMANO, Executive VP Programming, Clear Channel Radio: “No. It’s the radio station.”

WHICH HALF OBSERVATION:  WHA??????  I think we need to program a little differently because of how listeners are used to using online music.  But that’s just me.  I can’t believe that a top programmer wouldn’t realize that listening online is different that on-air.  Especially with the likes of Pandora and Jelli popping up, listeners are being conditioned to listen much differently online, namely the fewer number of interruptions.

Gen Y’s Idea Currency

The currency of Advertising is Ideas.

Have you ever had a boss that could never admit he was wrong?  Took credit for your ideas?  Played two employees against each other?  Old school managers, I think, believed that admitting an error or not being able to develop their own ideas showed weakness.  They ruled with an iron fist or worse, a deaf ear.

For the next generation of American employees, especially those in a creative discipline, middle and upper management HAVE TO TAKE A DIFFERENT APPROACH.  With the New World Order (aka Gen Y) upon us, a more collaborative work atmosphere is taking shape.

The new mission for managers?  Concentrate on FINDING the best idea rather than HAVING the best idea.  Those that harness the ingenuity of Gen Y will be the successful ones.  They are as smart as our generation maybe smarter, but their work styles are vastly different.  They are identified by flex hours, constant contact, hard-working/hard-playing types that don’t have to take life or work as seriously as prior generations.

So Gen Y managers:  Listen to your people, give them room to do their jobs, give them a goal and get out of the way.