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Caesar Syndrome in the Radio Industry


It happened again last week because I have this thing for not letting BS stand in the way of an improved radio industry.

I was reading words knocking Pandora, saying that "P" wasn't this and it couldn't prove that. The article spent more time bashing Pandora than it did extolling what radio was. To me that's a sure sign of fear, and I emailed the author to let them know.
"You don't bash your competition. You sing the praise of your product. It's a Sales 101 mantra that still applies, even with today's digital dynamics."

The reply was as expected; not addressing issues with fact, but opinions on Pandora's methodology, and my caliber of knowledge. To quote what followed a patronizing "...I think even a smart guy like you..." was "This is a sales issue and obviously one that you don't really know much about...."

In reply, I touched the hornets nest stating I knew more about sales than this person knew about digital. That was evident in their 660 words focusing on instructing radio sales staff to tell clients how bad Pandora was, instead of how good radio is.

It took ten minutes to receive a reply. I was no longer a "smart guy," but had degenerated in run-on sentences to someone who "...should end your exposure of your lack of knowledge in this area by not responding it has just become widely unattractive."

I was communicating with another person within the radio industry who can't be mistaken, won't fathom how they could be wrong, and believes they hold the knowledge of digital even when their words clearly show (to someone who is versed in digital) that this is not their strong suit.

And here is where the sting comes: The radio industry has suffered at the hands of similar persons for years. I call them Caesars.

If any one of these folks had had the foresight to begin the digital hunt a decade ago, there would be no need to tell the world how much Pandora was not; radio would own the online audio space.

To the Caesars in radio, please readjust your thinking. Pandora is not the enemy; Radio's lacking of digital knowledge, which Pandora has, is.

The audacity of GMs and higher-ups in radio to assess a digital world based on their limited knowledge of that world is causing flat revenue in radio.

Recently RAB pointed to the radio industry's increased digital revenue. If you think the current digital revenue increase is a good sign, imagine how high it might be had anyone taken the time to understand digital audio when first told it was coming in 2002. (And plenty of people said it was coming.)

The one point lost on radio industry Caesars who continue to bash Pandora is this: Pandora's online active sessions were more than 3.6 times that of all broadcasters' online active sessions combined (of those reported in Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics last month), and "P" did that without promotion of "visit our web site" ad nauseum. Had my Caesar from last week taken time to study the spreadsheets I sent, this would be obvious. They didn't. Nor did they look at the conversion matrix. Couldn't have in the limited timeline of our conversation.

At this stage of my life I'm unaffected by being called names and having my knowledge challenged. I've proved my worth and am happy.

On the other hand, people like the one described above are in a group that's taking radio down the wrong road. For evidence, look at the past decade. Relative to where they sit, I have no compassion for people who pat themselves on the back when what they need is a swift kick in the ass.

You don't bash your competition. You sing the praise of your product. It's a Sales 101 mantra that still applies, even with today's digital dynamics.

What's questionable is whether Caesar will one day understand how they are dismanteling what thousands of radio industry veterans worked for decades to build - and that their old way of doing business-by-BS is extinct.








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