Following Signs

You've been through life long enough to know it's balanced between predictability and surprise. Three trappings are: 1) Nothing is ever as easy as it first appears; 2) Effort is always "X" times more than estimated for success; 3) Other people seldom see your vision.

Two strikingly similar careers are that of independent musician and running an independent online radio station. With chaos in music distribution, and an equal disruption in broadcast radio after consolidation, we have opportunity. Signs say this new breed of indie artists and independent internet radio station operators must work together for success.

Here's the caution: Having the ingredients to produce a great meal doesn't mean the meal will be great. The outcome depends on reading the recipe. Following signs.

An example: Warning signs were around when the publication "Radio & Records" abruptly announced it was closing in 2009. Its executives chose not to read those signs because R&R was radio's cheerleader. Through its closing it told the industry what it wanted to hear, giving little mention about this new thing called the internet. That kept R&R-backed conventions remaining attractive to others who chose HITS (head in the sand) thinking.

Someone suggested that I take a look at back issues of Radio & Records. I did, from 1996, 2005 and 2008. One neon sign was the number of record industry ads in these issues. In the 1996 Radio & Records there were 28 ads promoting record releases, many full-page. In 2005 there were 5 record industry ads. In 2008 there was 1."

What needs to be done in music and online radio isn't understood. Many players are not following the warning signs and can't see danger ahead.

A recent report from Edison Research shows half of U.S. adults use online radio monthly.

For radio operators that's good news, but only if you read the signs for drawing an audience online. It is different from broadcast. Indie artists' signs say it's time to begin researching how you can better use online radio.

Don't expect immediate payback. You're working for when it's 75% of U.S. adults using online radio monthly.

Digital for indie artists and radio outlets goes far beyond having a WordPress web site or posting show dates and pictures on your social network.

Anyone reading the music landscape now knows there's a whole lotta learning going on. Here are signs announcing the knowledge base required for building an audience today - as an artist or station owner. This is not a complete list but, from it, you can choose which paths you want to concentrate on. It's your future. Chose wisely.

Email Marketing
Subscription-Based Data Gathering
Online Surveys
Domain and Visitor Security
Web Browsers
Online Marketing of Individual Items
Online Marketing Using Bulk Uploads
Search Engines
Domain Name System Relative to Search Engines
Search Engine Optimizing
Search Engine Keyword Ad Buying
Search Engine Content Advertising Networks
Local Search Marketing
Text Advertising
Banner Advertising
Pop Up Advertising
Pop Under Advertising
Flash Advertising
Behavioral Targeting
Internet Advertising Standards
Online Payment Systems (Google Checkout, PayPal)
Web Site Analytics (Google Analytics)
Radio Streaming
Video Streaming
Online Ad Networks
Internet Radio Networks
Internet Radio Advertising Sales
Internet Radio Advertising Auctions
Radio Advertising Insertion into Streams
Synchronized Audio/Video Ad Insertion
Customer Relationship Management Programs
Online Meetings
Video Webcasting
Peer-2-Peer Networks
Social Networks

A final sign: The way you've been doing it isn't good enough anymore. Change, or flounder.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015      eMail to a Friend

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