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The Trouble With Content

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.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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A Little Twit Calls Out A Tyrant

The way the world uses media can change on a dime.

The events around the election in Iran is a startling example of just how things have changed.

Most of the the world’s major networks have been tossed out of the country.

Reporters have been arrested, their cameras confiscated.   Yet word of riots and unrest continue to get out of the country.

Twitter is the reason.

Iran has closed down most all of the social networking sites.  Somehow, Twitter continues to operate.

Much of the news reports are not from the networks but from bloggers and apparently Iran has many of them.

Network reporters still in the country are shooting scenes with their cellphones.

Twitter is the ultimate weapon in creating democracy.  No wonder North Korea keeps cellphones and the internet out.

The Voice Of The Iranian Revolution can be heard in the US at 1:30-2:30 GMT on 7235 and 9495 shortwave.

The BBC World Service available on XM/Sirius and via the web will likely have the best coverage from overseas.

There is no telling how things will play out in Iran.  But every indication is the Revolution is back on and this time the people are in charge.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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The Less You Get It, The Better

About five years ago my youngest son did a project at his high school that surveyed radio listening among students.

The findings would shock most broadcasters.

The students at that high school did very little listening to radio.

Fast forward to today.

If you surveyed that same group of kids they would probably say they listen even less.

He’s in college now, and most of Andrew’s friends never listen to radio.

They all listen to music and are constantly finding new and interesting bands.

But those bands rarely make it to radio and if they do it’s when they are ‘over’ in their eyes.

Broadcasters have their head in the sand or somewhere else, it they believe this generation is like the last one.

They are not.

IPODS, Facebook, You Tube and all of the interactive sites are their media world.

Radio is something your parents might listen to, no your grandparents.

It’s that far off the radar.

Radio doesn’t speak their language, talk about their interests or play their music.

What happened to the program directors that lived and breathed the audience?

Top 40 PDs of an earlier generation spent time in the schools and sock hops to find out what the audience cared about and to learn their language.

I know CHR PDs today that just go home to the suburbs at night. Their only contact with the listener is when they are looking at the callout.

Ever wonder how research companies contact the participants? None of the people in this age group that I know have home phones.

Makes you wonder about the research.

Radio owners have a very serious problem on their hands.

I don’t know how radio will win younger listeners back.

Perhaps a company should hand over a signal to this twenty-something group to allow them to create their own radio station.

Pick some smart creative types and let them go at it.

The result will probably be a great interactive website with a radio station attached.

Not the other way around.

My guess is you won’t get it at all, but they will.

And there’s the win.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2008 in Radio programming

 

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