Forecasts, Warnings, and Comments - 10

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: 15 years into radio online and all there's to show for it are thousands of jukeboxes on steriods, and a few hundred thousand podcasts. Revenues will stay soft until ad sales stop using a CPM pricing.

In 2017, as we watch Millennials change how the majority of consumers consume audio, be aware of just how difficult it has become to get attention for your program or song.

The question I'd most like to hear is, with a new corporate-friendly administration appointing a new FCC Chairman, will net neutrality be maintained as it was conceived?
Here are some observations made over the years.

Ken Dardis
Comments from Ken:

Feb. 4, 2013

Of those online radio stations started over the past decade, only a small handful will create - have created - something that's different, worthwhile of returned attention by an audience large enough to matter. The rest play songs, or talk topics that interest the owners.

April 18, 2013

The problems faced by radio - online and off - are all a result of not having an objective that relates to being online...

The difference between what was and what is follows these facts: Ad agencies are still getting up-to-speed on the best ways to use what the internet gives them. There is no standardization on requests for proposal, affidavits of performance, invoicing, or accountability.

June 3, 2013

Consider that today a person in Pretoria is as close as one in Peoria; either can buy your song or client's product online.

July 13, 2013

You may be an indie artist, internet radio operator or advertiser, but everyone shares two goals that are most important - drawing attention and giving reason for an audience to return. The "how" in accomplishing each is usually mangled.

August 16, 2013

There's no shortage of internet based companies willing to help an artist stand out from the crowd, but with this comes a warning that nearly all carry more rhetoric than action. Try matching column "A" with column "B" to get a sense of how the music community is pitched by these services.

"A" "B"
Audio Rokit
Cash Music
CD Register
East Coast Digital Radio
Hale Promotions
Indie Charts
"Get your music discoverved and start climbing the charts."
"Create a promotional message to reach new audiences on Facebook and Twitter."
"Your song will be submitted to over 7000 radio stations, including; Major FM..."
"We're working with musicians to build a free and open platform of tools they need..."
"The most powerful band website platform..."
" save musicians time and hassle when sending their material to music companies."
"Artists: sell your music & merch directly to your fans."
"...a direct radio promotion service to make your music available to radio station DJs"
" automate much of the traditional PR process and maximize client placement..."
"Your #1 Online DJ Network!"
"...podcasting/blogging network specializing in marketing and promotion of Urban Music."
" synch licenses for use in online video productions, apps..."

Add a few hundred other web sites claiming similar features to see how artists can, quite easily, be taken for a ride without proper research - and who has time for research?

Sept. 18, 2013 Shifting mindset to serving a global market is, IMO, the most difficult item an independent artist deals with.

Oct. 14, 2013 I've created a spreadsheet that helps determine how to set Per Inquiry pricing for the radio industry. The beige-colored rows are where you plug numbers into the cells that fit your station, and where advertiser needs are set. The green row is where you set the discount (off your station's average CPM rate). The rose-colored areas do automatic calculations.

(Click to Expand)

Nov. 18, 2013 The internet has been positioned as a tool for the up-and-coming musician, though many use it wrong and artists seldom equate the internet with the opening of competitive floodgates.

Dec. 10, 2013 You can spend little time reflecting on what was done in 2013 in the radio industry - online or off - because there was so little accomplished.

January 6, 2014

The radio industry seems to want to stay in yesterday. It's best described in an article today by one major radio consultant showing dismay over radio executives lacking in attendance at CES. I was hired to speak at The Consumer Electronics Show in 2001. Back then I wrote: "CES is all about capturing your listeners' time. Look at what's being offered at this year's event. Start planning ways to compete." Nobody in radio listened, and it's obvious they're still not listening.

January 9, 2014

You don't need anyone to say that music, as a career, is different than it was twenty years ago. I'd bet you don't really care what it was like back then. You live now and realize that the music distribution system is broken.

indie artist music

January 14, 2014

...I suggest a layering of song distribution, where no single song is ever withdrawn from being given a shot at reaching an audience. When airplay on one station or social media source begins to wain, that same song will be new on another. Unless the music IS DATED by lyrics, in our new media world, a song will always be "new" to a group of people who haven't been exposed to it before.

January 21, 2014

The thought of being held accountable to advertisers, addressing youth's desire for on-demand content, even simple items like getting the LCD information readout right on the dashboard tuner are still not addressed by the radio industry. How many stations in your area give information on the receiver?

January 23, 2014

Many indie artists sit in a time warp when believing their music is so good that people will stop and listen on request - or that all the artist needs to do is post a song on social media.

January 28, 2014

In my tracking of services that help artists reach their dream, I count 54 web sites. I know not all that exist are on my list, so the actual number is much larger. Each service has its own hook, sales position, and reasons why they are the ultimate answer for indie artists to reach popularity. It's only my opinion, but each has as much chance as what comes from Audio Graphics; 362 radio stations have requested 5,097 RRadio Music artists' songs.

indie artist music

February 4, 2014

Considering the competitive nature of online music today, thousands of bands are vying for the programmer's time. This makes an indie artist's biggest problem finding the person who's in a position to make decisions on which songs a radio station plays, then getting them to give you the minutes it requires to listen to your music.

February 5, 2014

marijuana ad sales

Online, the radio industry is in a position to serve medical and recreational marijuana ads by either geo-targeting specific listeners or addressing all. There's nothing to hold anyone back, and there's a sprouting industry that's looking for ways to get word out...

February 10, 2014

No longer does a radio station compete against a handful of competitors fighting for a piece of the local market. Online, radio-like options are in the tens of thousands. They include audio sources that radio industry trades have long argued "are not radio." (Who cares?)

February 13, 2014

indie artist music

Claiming your station has a presence on Facebook with thousands of likes is a meaningless way to use your programming and positioning statements.

More Forecasts, Warnings, and Comments:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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