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March 04, 2015


Mel Taylor

Line that sums it all up..... "remember that your job should not be to sell radio, or sell banner ads on your website. Your job is to make your clients rich"


Max Planck the founder of quantum theory said this about scientific revolutions:

"A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

Probably the same could be said about broadcast and digital.

Tracy Ellis

I never comment on things like this, but I felt very compelled to recognize this very insightful post. Your leadership on this topic Eric is incredible! I don't always agree with everything you write, but I've always believed that you are nothing short of a prophet when it comes to digital. I so hope everone in radio will soon undetstand why your message can no longer be ignored. Now is the time to act, we can't wait any longer!

Rod Schwartz

I'm guessing that many radio veterans would agree with Michael's first comment:

"Radio still has the huge audience, still owns local, still owns the infrastructure for creating local content, still has the organization to sell it. We have time and listener habit on our side, at least for a while."

This past Monday, Roy H. Williams quantified what "at least for a while" might look like:

"We’re approaching the end of a golden time when courageous advertisers can invest money in mass media and see their businesses grow as a result. My suspicion is that we’ve got perhaps 5 to 7 more years before retail businesses and service businesses will be forced to begin playing by a whole new set of rules. No one yet knows what those new rules might be, but this we do know: the sharply rising costs of digital advertising are not being offset by a rise in efficiency."

His advice to advertisers: "Buy mass media while the masses can still be reached."

You're a great cheerleader for radio, Eric, and a thoughtful critic as well. Undoubtedly many broadcasters would love to learn in detail about the "under the radar" programs to which you've been exposed, and in fact implemented in your own business(es), to generate significant digital revenue. Will you be sharing the nuts and bolts of these at your next Convergence conference, or some other way?

We don't know what we don't know. If you're able to teach us the specifics, we'd be crazy not to listen.

Michael S. Ameigh

Spot on. But, we need to keep perspective. Radio still has the huge audience, still owns local, still owns the infrastructure for creating local content, still has the organization to sell it. We have time and listener habit on our side, at least for a while.
In our market Pandora is picking off advertisers drawn to hyper-specific targeting, the response to which clients can follow in real time. Very compelling, fairly priced, and Pandora reaches 'digital natives' who don't know a radio from a hand-set telephone. Unfortunately radio has stripped down to being primarily distribution with very little meaningful, nonderivative content production.
In my industry, public radio, very few stations produce compelling content. Produce content or die at the hands of those who do. Podcasting alone is one of the most exhilarating opportunities for radio I have witnessed in 40 years in the business.
Eric is correct. This is happening mostly in the shadows. Turn on some light and get in the game.

Matt Wagner

Thanks for the article Eric. As an agency that works with over 500 radio and TV stations, the question we consistently ask them when they pitch digital to us is 'can you show me someone who has gotten rich from digital advertising'. We love innovative ideas, but radio stations in general, unfortunately come off worse than multi-level marketers who hide digital revenue inside low spot rate high frequency packages that have an overall investment that is not broken down. I've asked a few times why big companies like IHeart, Cumulus, and Townsquare (who want 60% of their revenue to eventually be digital) etc expect us as advertisers to invest into their digital platforms when they can't offer any proven money making solutions and why they can't invest $50-100,000 into someone who can clearly lead that category for them instead of leaving it up to AE's to beg and plead their advertisers to give them money toward digital.

I would LOVE to dig in deeper on the strategies that those companies you alluded to, that can help my clients who spent over $12,000,000 last year on radio and TV to find innovative ways to use this platform.


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