Forecasts, Warnings, and Comments - 9

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: Aesthetics and functionality are seldom considered, and "wow" never lasts.

In 2017, my ability is held back by an inability to see through a youth's eyes. If growing Audio Graphics was a priority I'd hire someone young and let them run the show. Being retired gives me the luxury of plodding along; maintaining AG web sites is now my retirement golf game.

Though, a question I would like to hear discussed is Why aren't twenty year olds being allowed to drive the digital train - with guidance, of course, but not interference?
Here are some observations made over the years.

Ken Dardis
Comments from Ken:
March 15, 2012



Do a quick visit to multiple broadcast radio web sites. See how you can shave 50%, and more, of what's crammed onto the home page and still end up forcing your audience to work at comprehending what's in front of them. Bloated web sites are the norm in the radio industry.




April 3, 2012


For the tens of thousands of individuals who sat back watching as a few dozen radio executives walked away with multi-million dollar annual salaries, there's a feeling that floats high in the throat when you go to stretch your budget and make your monthly bill payments; could radio now be a scam?



April 5, 2012


To the indie artist, getting airplay on a broadcast radio station is a dead issue today. On the other side of the speakers, for listeners in the 12-34 demos, it's an almost intuitive act to search for new music online.



April 10, 2012

Instead of heeding the warnings and creating its own solutions to digital marketing for radio, industry executives began this bashing of Pandora. The exclamations were - and still are - laughable: "Pandora is not radio!"



April 10, 2012

Here's the reality: If the radio industry puts faith in the ability of this type of targeting ["Zonecasting"] at the expense of fine-tuning its online targeting and accountability, advertiser apathy shown over the past few years will look pale compared to what's ahead.



April 12, 2012

Note that the CC numbers are inclusive of all [its] online listening, not just what's provided by its [company owned] iHeartRadio. What's also important is this: unlike past attempts at comparing Pandora to the radio industry as a whole, the chart at least compares Pandora to only one company within.





April 17, 2012


Time spent understanding how to implement is one part of the equation that's not being considered. The other is that true "analytics" of data is like chess; it takes moments to learn but a lifetime to master. The third reason is that all technology-centric companies have a head start on radio that's measured in years.



May 7, 2012 To stand out you must be unique, easy to comprehend, and easier to respond to.

June 4, 2012 Radio made its money being the sole occupier of audio entertainment on the dashboard. Now Detroit, Japan, Korea, and European auto manufacturers are redesigning that area of the vehicle. The monopoly is ending.


July 16, 2012 Who is it that owns "RockRadio.com"? How about "TalkRadio.com"? Or, "ListenToRadio.com"? It's not anyone in the radio industry. Nor do any radio groups own "RadioStations.com," "SellingOnRadio.com," or "AdvertisingOnRadio.com."

Take this one step farther. As was mentioned in a May 2009 Audio Graphics article, names like "HoustonRadio.com, DetroitRadio.com, DenverRadio.com, LosAngelesRadio.com, MiamiRadio.com, PittsburghRadio.com, or even the mother of all radio industry names, NewYorkRadio.com" are missing from any radio group's portfolio.

Even the term "SeattleRadio.com," owned by Fisher Communications of Seattle Washington, sits idle with no redirect leading to any of Fisher's Seattle radio properties. Pardon me, but that's just stupidity in action.


August 12, 2012 Use the HD Radio fiasco as an example. If the radio industry couldn't conceive a campaign that convinced the masses HD Radio was worth shelling out dollars for, why would anyone think it (radio) is capable of creating a campaign for a product that's not "radio"?


Sept. 20, 2012 Radio is long past the stage of uncovering an industry unique digital approach. That should have been worked on a decade ago.

Truth be told there are dozens of online audio companies that will soon become an extreme irritant to radio industry execs...



Oct. 16, 2012 "A/B Testing" and "ROI" are in the process of replacing "reach and frequency." Given the learning curve required to feel comfortable using these new terms, the radio industry still has about five years left before an ad over-the-air is worth less than a targeted banner.


Nov. 19, 2012 I see a drastic rise in the numbers of people visiting this radio portal [RadioRow] by mobile device.




Jan. 10, 2013
And then we have apps, a buzzword meaning "my station is showing how technically advanced it is." How many local fans will actually use an app to access a single station is a question nobody wants to address, though. Also, there's this radio industry problem...








March 28, 2013

If there's anything learned since Rush Limbaugh brought a trove of attention to the radio industry with words that bashed a 30-year-old woman, it's that you can't say anything about the man without his supporters labeling you a Communist or a person who is trying to derail the Constitution.



March 26, 2013

"...radio is a word that is not assigned by a manufacturer or industry. It is used by consumers to describe something that delivers audio as content."



April 1, 2013


...it appears that the radio industry is still chasing down a promotional laden look that confuses. Frankly, most online radio stations need to have about one-half of whatever they offer deleted - or dispersed into a hierarchy of links off the home page.



April 3, 2013

Here's a simple theory I've carried for a long time: I believe that artists should be paid for airplay, but only if they have attained a level where their music is a drawing card. If not, then they are putting the station in a position of risking tune-out by the very audience the artist wants to be exposed to.



April 4, 2013




The above represents the "Percentage of Average Active Sessions Resulting from Stream Starts." Through it you can tell if people are sticking around after tuning in...



April 9, 2013


Defining where you fit is not as easy as it sounds if the public has not heard your sound and the (analog) radio industry won't play your song.

Long live internet radio. It may be a much wider choice of stations with fewer people listening to each, but at least indie artists have a better chance of getting into rotation on a playlist.




April 11, 2013

Data at hand are the numbers you pull from logs and analytics programs, which allow math to be used in assessing performance.

"X" number in the audience exposed to "Y" number of commercials produced "Z" visits to a landing page.

Number of conversions on that landing page divided by the visits delivers your conversion rate.




April 15, 2013


While stations and artists depend on having quality content, each is dependent on being in the right place at the right time. That is better said as "being discovered is easiest when being sought."





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