Ignored by Broadcast an Online Radio Advantage

November 9, 2009 I wrote: "What is radio today? This isn't rhetorical. Exactly what do you consider to be the defintion of a 'radio station'?"

I continued: "Online and over-air, there are now tens of thousands of enterprises that call themselves 'radio.' They represent a cross-section of audio, visual, and interactive experience."

A major portion of internet radio's advantage comes from broadcasters ignoring most all online stations. Broadcast execs stick with arguing that Pandora isn't radio. Nobody has listened to that except the choir, resulting in the broadcast community remaining clueless on how deep internet radio has spread.

Consumers will always gravitate to online's big names, organizations that have the money to get exposure.

I focus on the thousands of other audio outlets where effort is put into building whatever that person considers an online radio station. The enthusiastic amateur is welcome here.

Let's talk straight: Lacking content is not a problem because radio has boiled down to playing music, then throwing in an ID with a positioning statement. A few individuals are changing that, but nobody in broadcast is paying attention.

Just today, Radio Ink carries an article featuring Kenny Chesney titled "RADIO IS HOW WE REACH FANS." Here are words from its opening paragraph: "...Our Best PD issue went live yesterday and features Country Superstar Kenny Chesney on the cover. Chesney has sold more than 30 million albums (2014’s The Big Revival is his 16th), he has eight Entertainer of the Year awards (four each from the ACM and CMA’s), and he’s the only country artist in Billboard’s list of the top 10 touring acts of the last 25 years. Chesney told Radio Ink relationships with radio stations and Program Directors are still very important today. He says radio is how 'we reach the fans.'"

300 words follow that stroke broadcasters. Not one word reveals Kenny Chesney's "No Shoes Radio," a growing competitor.

"Protect through ignorance" worked at one time, but remaining ignorant today stunts radio's future.

January 2012, these words appeared here: "With its breathtaking simplicity, extremely efficient and effective design, this is exactly what's required from stations wanting to build an online audience. Welcome to the future of radio. Welcome to 'No Shoes Radio.'"

My guess is that few people in broadcast are aware of No Shoes Radio, and radio trades have a desire to keep it that way. It's why most all of what we read about - relative to online - is Pandora. The caveat is in numerous "Podcast One" mentions, which come from its owner's radio industry roots. Stitcher never received equal exposure (and Podcast One appears modeled after it).

While broadcasters are busy ignoring internet radio, the online radio community should be creating new forms of programming and delivering ad campaign ROI metrics. Feed audience and advertisers technology-based solutions that broadcast ignores. Improve commercials and tracking methodologies.

For me, it is most important to drop the word "compelling content" from your vocabulary. This is over-used by broadcasters, yet seldom delivered. It's a buzzword of the weak, the Achilles heel of online radio's Goliath competitor.

Broadcasters believing that they deliver "compelling" is another big reason online radio has more lead than it knows. In some ways it's better than being ignored.

Tuesday February 17, 2015      eMail to a Friend

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