Audio Graphics was founded in 1991. January 15, 1997 is the day AG went online. Our first years were spent making radio and television commercials while I was also heavily involved in the radio industry. Total time in the radio trench 28 years, across a wide swath of job disciplines from GM to talent, to sales. It was one great ride.
16 years to the day it's time to wrap up the radio industry part of this endeavor.
"It will live in a lie to keep troop morale high, but creating something 'new' for advertiser or audience will not go past the talking stage...."
Radio (markets 75+ excluded) appears caught in a tragic comedy of errors. The same utterances heard eight years ago continue: Radio reaches 93% of America, loyalty of audience is profound, and radio has the capacity to sell. Yet, it takes only a cursory listen to know there are problems that radio won't address, can't address, and doesn't see a need to address - like HD Radio being on life-support for too long, and program/commercial quality dropping.
For how many years have radio conferences been attended which echo a phrase carrying the word "digital"? To what end has digital been employed with radio? And, for this definition, use the view of how a tech community sees "digital" to answer.
It's a lost cause. These reasons outline why:
There will soon be another radio conference with "digital" as a keyword. Folks will attend and depart, to continue as the radio industry has existed for years, believing they are involved in digital. They are not. The item none will learn (again) is that doing digital properly is difficult and expensive - which is why so few stations employ digital's power past serving of banner or audio ads (easy & cheap).
There has never been, nor is there any indication there will ever be, digital scrutiny of advertiser campaigns to improve response. This is a basic premise of the digital ad world that radio has no interest in delivering. It's called "accountability," or delivering a proven ROI.
New vehicle dashboards are coming. Radio waited too long and now will pay a price to stand in a swamp full of alligators. It will live in a lie to keep troop morale high, but creating something "new" for advertiser or audience will not go past the talking stage - as so many other radio industry initiatives.
If anyone believes there's an audience to be gained by having an FM chip in cellphones, they are leading a life of hope every bit as intoxicating as the purchase of a lottery ticket.
Tech sector concepts, like couponing, move so fast they can't be copied. Yet copy has been the radio industry's strategy. Please share any original radio concepts I've missed with AG readers (below).
Refusal to serve accountability metrics will hasten the drain of advertiser dollars. It's not too difficult to imagine a $10 billion a year radio industry in spot revenue by 2017.
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time" is an adage usually attached to "but you can't fool mom."
For the past 16 years, radio has been attempting to fool all of the people, all of the time. Advancements through technology have caught up to it. The exit seems a nice fit for me about now.
Moving forward, it's time to put full force into my two other loves:
helping indie artists and independent online radio stations.
Now, stictly for online stations, how about some great new free music?
Hot New Songs at RRadio Music:
"The quality of your Indie artists far surpass those of Music Submit." - Scott Schlafman, KCHW.org