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: Emerging artists need online exposure, but they also need effecient ways to build a following. How an artist communicates with a fan has changed. If "hitting the big time" is a goal, not using technology puts an artist at a disadvantage.
One question I'd like to see discussed: When will indie artists see that a fan will pay them more than spins on a radio station?
Here are some observations made over the years.
Comments from Ken:
Jan. 5, 2009
The act of playing a commercial is only half the equation now. How many people responded to the commercial is starting to be a valuable answer to have. In 2009 it will be even more important as advertisers seek proof that reaching your audience is putting money in their pockets.
Jan. 8, 2009
Showing clients how to better use the internet for marketing merchandise, coupling on-air mentions with online response, and becoming the go-to people for helping small businesses buy keywords in local search were some of the approaches suggested to radio execs.
Feb. 17, 2009
This brings a new metric to radio, "Revenue Per Visitor." It's a mathematically certain way to show whether each audience member makes you money, or costs you. The formula is Revenue Generated/Visitors = Revenue Per Visitor.
March 17, 2009
The end result for indie artists and internet radio will be an opportunity to make stars, while proving to record industry executives that labels are no longer needed.
April 20, 2009
It's ironic that one of my first observations when checking into a Las Vegas hotel for this NAB was the clock radio on the desk, which featured an MP3 docking station. Few radio industry executives would have found this amusing; a more troubling thought is that many radio execs probably didn't even notice this little sign of progress.
June 4, 2009
The radio industry is at a very important crossroads where its only salvation is to make major adjustments - meaning to walk away from what was, and begin learning what is and will be.
July 6, 2009
From its onset, the Radio Heard Here campaign (like its cousin HD Radio) has been an easily-identified failure. Each shows how little the radio industry knows about using its own product, advertising. Poor writing is matched with a cliche-style poetic delivery lacking relativity for the listener.
July. 14, 2009
We've recently read that Interpublic's Magna Group has adjusted its forecast for local radio revenues to a loss of 21.8% in 2009. Whatever it is that radio needs to do, the industry will not turn on a dime. Yet we've seen no indication that any radio industry CEO is making adjustments to real-world competition. This YouTube video is outside of what old-school radio broadcasters consider a proper alignment of programs, i.e., a jock playing songs for six-hour shifts, voice-tracking, or stale topics regurgitated on talk radio stations by host and audience.
This is from Dave Carroll, a United Airlines customer who was not impressed with its customer service... 2.7 million views of this have already happened. (By today, Dec. 31, 2014 it's had 14,455,675 views.)
Sept. 29, 2009
Youth need to be brought into the executive suites at radio stations again, and listened to for guidance. God knows, the way the old farts have been doing things isn't working. Give the younger set a chance to connect with their peers.
Oct. 10, 2009
Not much time is spent discussing the importance of radio offering "services" to area businesses - services that help business owners understand the internet and digest all the new numbers it provides.
Feb. 19, 2010
Are you prepared to spend time learning how the internet works, and how your radio station web site can better quantify an advertiser's campaign? Do you have an inclination to uncover ways radio can use the internet in harmony with listeners and advertisers?
Does your future include a web site offering A/B testing or featuring non-music topics relative to your audience? Does the web site break free of the typical radio station design? Do listeners leave feeling they've gained from visiting it? These are all items that now need to be learned. You're not just broadcasting to Kansas anymore.
March 17, 2010
YouTube has announced a new "Musicians Wanted" initiative, which solves two often-discussed issues from the musician and consumer sides: 1) How do I get my music heard? 2) Where can I find new artists?
May 13, 2010
The main thrust of the Audio Graphics/Borrell Associates survey is that fewer than 5% of 1,011 respondents had ever received or used a coupon sent via cellphone.
Could it be that the cellphone is so attached to oneself that there's a rebellion brewing against ads forced, as [our 28 year old son] Jeff says, "...in my face, in my space."
Advertising on hand-held devices could prove to be a little more than the masses will accept, forcing mobile advertising to fall short of its hype for the next few years.
June 7, 2010
...the audience wants to hear new artists, and it likes being exposed to new music. A person will purchase music online if given the chance...
More Forecasts, Warnings, and Comments: