Radio was easy a few years ago.
The competition was limited to what people could pull out of the air locally.
Now it comes from all sides, radio, the web, WIFI, IPODS, IPhones, and I’m probably forgetting some.
It is tough out there.
So what is a radio station to do?
Simple. Focus on creating content.
A few years ago, the President of a large radio group boasted that his company had lots of content. They could take it an re-use it or re-purpose it on the web and it would generate additional income.
Not so fast there big guy. Most radio stations don’t create much of their own content.
The music they play isn’t theirs. Imaging between the songs isn’t content. .
Most jocks have little to say other than to plug the website or what was already said in the imaging.
That big radio company hasn’t been all that successful on the web.
Talk radio is different but most talk stations are programmed from networks. Most local stations create very little content of their own, and probably won’t have rights to re-use the network stuff on the web.
Local news is content. Only a handful of stations have anything resembling a local news room.
Most stations have very small overworked staffs focused on keeping the station on the air. No one in the building has time to create more content.
Yet content is being cranked out at enormous rates on the internet by regular people. Blogs like this one and hundreds of podcasts are examples.
The web is loaded with experts and hobbyists each with a passion for specific subject. They are creating content that touches the real life interests of your listeners.
Radio is competing with the guy down the street for a share of the audience’s attention. Soon WiFi will bring thousands of radio stations from around the world to the car.
Content tells your story , builds the brand and most importantly adds value to the lives of your listeners/readers/viewers.
People already spend more time on line each week than they do listening to your radio station.
Facebook’s size is equal in population to the fourth largest country in the world.
The station website will be the primary channel from which your audience will access your stuff.
The thinking at radio must change. Instead of being a radio station with website attached, it will be a website with radio station attached.
Your station either becomes an important part of their on-line experience or you go away.
This is not about putting the same old stuff in a new package. This is about creating content that that is not heard on your transmitter.
New day. New time. New rules.
Radio can‘t worry about the train leaving the station when the rocket ship is heading to Mars.
Let‘s hope it hasn‘t already left.