Forecasts, Warnings, and Comments - 11

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: "Marketing" is one skill needed on both the station and indie artist side of our fence. Yet most, in either group, show signs of weakness in understanding how marketing is done online.

In 2017, those who thought they knew how to market in traditional ways will understand they are missing vast amounts of knowledge about marketing online.

Still needed is a deep discussion on analytics, and assigning metric attributes advertisers can use to track an over-the-air campaign.
Here are some observations made over the years.

Ken Dardis
Comments from Ken:
February 17, 2014


Hitting a home run is an appropriate metaphor here. You create. Plan. Launch. Then sit and wait for throngs of fans to begin passing around whatever the content is that you think is brilliant. At some point it occurs to you that this is not going to happen, and certainly not every time. So you mope about failure. Don't.




February 20, 2014

Exactly what is it that you deliver to the consumer which they cannot find elsewhere? That's a question every person who considers themselves "creative" should ask.



February 25, 2014

The online aspect of measurement that has been ignored by the radio industry is accountability - as in how many people were exposed to your message; how many people responded to your message; how many people who did respond bought your product or service.

indie artist music




March 5, 2014

I've said this dozens of times since first becoming involved with purchasing advertising online: You can buy CPM for as low as 64 cents.

indie artist music



March 5, 2014

To emphasize the "parameters" collected by Google Analytics and many other digital platforms, examine this snippet of code: Within this incomplete segment of code (below) are 18 data points; the one designating that the browser is set at "English" is circled.

indie artist music





March 13, 2014 Email is effective when used with the recipient's experience in mind.



March 23, 2014


There has never been a time when more opportunity is offered to such a wide range of programmers. That terrestrial radio is just beginning to understand how vast this online audience is - and how it IS possible for the masses to transition away from the broadcast side - means we'll be witnessing major radio industry groups moving to "get it fast." And that is their Achilles heel.



March 26, 2014


The internet brought about prolific music discovery, ubiquitous access to songs, and a value per song that's worth less than at any time when the road to consumers was limited to broadcast radio airplay.

Sadly, the artist vying for attention is not in a position to demand anything.




March 31, 2014



It's talent like this that a radio station can use to entice visits to its web site. It's also a way for the radio industry to begin parsing out new talent, using analytics on views to determine which new artists should be given more exposure.



April 7, 2014

The radio industry needs to get in this digital game in a consistent manner, now, and quit trying to denegrate new competitors. If these companies weren't any good, or they were not delivering content to consumers adequately, they would not be competition.



April 10, 2014

The radio industry, and most indie artists, waste a lot of motion on social media. My guess is that few in either group have done a quantified "what's in it for me" evaluation.



April 17, 2014

What do we do next? The answer is the same for the radio industry as it is for indie artists: Understand What You Need to Understand.



April 22, 2014

...the growth of personalized radio stations speaks to a person's desire to change their own environment - not to follow suit. People are spending energy locating a message of meaning (to them).

...your need to air something worth hearing is greater today than ever. To help, produce a message of meaning over promotion.




May 6, 2014


From a simple search, and a visit to its web site, I let the word out that I was looking for small gas engines. That's one piece of information nobody in the radio industry knew about me.

Home Depot, on the other hand, knew I was in the market. Google - and its ad serving company, DoubleClick - knew I was looking around at "small gas engines," "log splitter engines," "small gas engines for log splitters," and a few other terms I typed in.

This was the first item that told me someone was tracking my recent queries. Time Warner Cable picked up on what I was looking for through its Google affiliation, and served me this:
The radio industry served me the same ads it sent out to how many tens-of-thousands of people - and I'm sure they had nothing to do with small gas engines.





May 13, 2014
You're in a band. You want to be "discovered."

To me, here's the new way to find fame and fortune: Buy a lottery ticket. In today's music market, your chance for success is about the same.




June 3, 2014

The U.S. radio industry may think it is safe on performance royalties - and it may well be for the time being. But, sooner or later this whole payment system is going to catch up with it. Now this is an issue of parity with other music-based businesses, not just a "how much should we pay the artists."



June 18, 2014

On any given day, Audio Graphics' email server blocks approximately 94% of all incoming email - we're talking hundreds of thousands of spammed messages from around the globe. In a morning there may be an additional 300-500 new senders that have to be traced and added to this block list.



July 1, 2014

If you keep track, it's rare to see another name in radio trades on this list of radio's new competition besides those mentioned above.

What you are witnessing is the myopic view radio chooses to take when discussing how large the competitive pool has grown. It keeps those in the business warm and fuzzy inside, not hearing that there are thousands of other services - serving tens-of-millions of listeners. As an aside, while listening to any of these audio sources there's one undeniable inference: the audience is NOT listening to over-the-air radio.






More Forecasts, Warnings, and Comments:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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