Forecasts, Warnings, and Comments - 7

Over 20 years of writing articles my goals were to report digital's impact on broadcast, to aid internet radio, and to help indie artists. Comments were not based on guesswork. Words came from the trenches, from real-world experience or from research provided by credible companies.

An observation: There are three groups of artists 1) rising, the new who seek exposure; 2) established, drawing acts which stations play to keep listeners listening; 3) sinking, one-hit-wonders and others looking to sustain while the public moves on to other choices.

At the same time we have three groups of audio outlets 1) Large companies setting industry standards; 2) Small-to-medium sized operations existing due to wishes and hopes of owners; 3) enthusiastic amateur driven stations and podcasts.

In 2017, it will be apparent that 1) large stations and groups are nearly impossible for new artists to get airplay on; 2) there are so many smaller audio outlets, the new norm is any one's audience - at any given time - will number in the tens, or hundreds; 3) competition for artists and audio outlets has magnified to make nearly everyone a spec in this new audio consumption pattern.

One quesion I'd like to hear discussed: How can indie artists and independent audio outlets cooperate so each gains from the other's existence?

Here are some observations made over the years.

Ken Dardis
Comments from Ken:
July 7, 2010
This business of introducing quality musicians - and it is a business - is in upheaval. Apple, Google and MSN are all moving to fill the void as they expand their systems to brand themselves online destinations for music new and old.

Aug. 2, 2010
Since radio industry trades want to concentrate on Panodra, those who read the stories are left with an impression that it (Pandora) is the only 800-pound gorilla. Here's where I see the problem, though. We have a number of 400-pound gorillas running around which don't get mentions.

Aug. 11, 2010
I'm wondering how executives in the typewriter industry responded when they saw the world changing. No, there's no need to wonder. We all know how those companies fared. Same can be said for the film and picture developing industries. All failed to change, and all are a memory.

Sept. 8, 2010
...there is less evidence that broadcast radio stations are interested in expanding audience reach. Proof is in the amount of energy and money spent trying to get the word out that a station exists online.

Oct. 11, 2010

If we keep hearing "we're in the radio business" with nothing said about being "in a changing radio business," CPM, TSL, and revenue figures will remain flat.

Nov. 11, 2010

While this is not an apples-to-apples comparison, please digest these figures from an Audio Graphics/Borrell Associates survey of 1,309 online radio listeners, concluded in November 2009. It asked, Which of the following do you think will become totally obsolete and disappear as a result of the Internet? The answers for demos 18-24 and 34-44 look like this:

Dec. 21, 2010

Speaking of online data in a world where media buyers demand a growing map of metrics showing campaign progress or failure, the whole of the radio industry - online and off - still ignores the call. Few are the numbers of people in radio who push this industry towards an accountable relationship with advertisers, even though it's possible to do with over the air campaigns, and easy to do with advertisers of radio web sites.

Jan. 3, 2011

Why must your radio station have a web site if a single page will do? An online radio station only needs to be functional for its users, and easily maintained by its creators.

If no data is being mined for analysis, why spend money on the window trimmings? You'll still have a functional online radio station.

Feb 3, 2011

Everyone may be focusing on Pandora because it's the 800-pound gorilla, but I urge you to take a look at what is surrounding radio.

March 15, 2011

Unlike in the broadcast radio industry, an internet radio station is first chosen not on its sound but written words appearing in a search engine return or radio station portal. And, from what I'm exposed to by internet radio station owners who request a listing at RadioRow, there is lttle thought given to explaining what purpose an online radio station serves.

April 13, 2011

If radio is serious about gaining ground by growing its online audience, it's not going to be done simply by saying a radio station's URL more often over the air. Search engine optimization must be integrated into radio's daily online agenda.

May 18, 2011

I've been doing, and writing about, search engine optimization since 1999. That's when I chose that it wasn't being online that mattered; it was being found online that became my primary objective. This curiosity took me to picking up the phone in that year and calling Google. Thinking it was this big company, I was hoping to find someone willing to talk about how a search engine works. You might say I found the person. Sergey Brin picked up the phone....

June 2, 2011

The radio industry is no longer isolated on a dashboard where a program is waiting for a person to simply push a button. A growing base of audience is listening through the internet, and it's up to you to make sure they easily find the way to listen.

June 6, 2011

There is no reason why any market's radio group cannot help a local merchant sell products through the internet. To leave this action up to local web design firms, search engine optimizers, or keyword ad buyers will be like walking away from billions of dollars in future revenue.

June 9, 2011

What happens at your radio station when an email goes out to registrants? Is it a silent blast meant only for those whose addresses you already have, or is the email's content publicized on the air as an invite for others to "sign up and receive"?

June 13, 2011
As the person who introduced the concept of aggregating online radio station audiences for sale to advertisers, in 2002, I'll continue to say that a station's stream by itself is worthless to an agency or advertiser. It's only when you bring multiple streams together in the same sales package that a critical mass of listeners can be reached. Nothing has changed since this aggregate sales concept was first explained.

June 17, 2011

There are many services that offer people an ability to build a radio station online. But there are no classes given on how to make that station a business.

July 6, 2011

In July 2010, we asked 1,043 internet radio listeners to answer this simple question: "Lately, I've been finding most new music on...." Here's how they responded.

Terrestrial radio stations using their web site to rebroadcast over-the-air programming are missing a huge advantage. Instead, they should be using their web site to expose new music.

More Forecasts, Warnings, and Comments:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10

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