Forecasts, Warnings, and Comments from Ken Dardis

Oct. 13, 2000

Traditional media hasn't responded to how people use new media, except to try placing the old way of doing things on the Internet. It hasn't worked, and won't work, because folks use the Internet in a different way than they've ever used radio, tv, or newspapers. The message behind the warning is old media needs to do a better job of fitting in. Simply shifting the way we gather an audience, without shifting the content or delivery style, will not fit the two-way interactive nature of new media.

Oct. 27, 2000

Conducted by Roper Starch for AOL, the study concludes online commerce has become a daily activity for millions of people. Through a phone survey of 1,004 Internet users, 56% say they shop online. That's up from 31% in 1998. 80% said they research products online (a good reason broadcast advertisers need a presence on your station web site).

Nov. 9, 2000

Then, there are 'Sellphone' ads - using GPS - that target your walk down the street. The market is set to explode to $750 million by 2005... so be warned, wireless [cellphone] ads are coming to either entice you to buy or steal away your clients.

Dec. 19, 2000

Arthur Andersen now says one-third of company executives feel the Internet marketplace plays a 'crucial' role in their overall e-business strategy, and 50% feel the marketplace will offer a chance for competitive position 'within 12 months'.

Jan. 3, 2001

Radio sales execs need to understand the (relative) simplicity of gathering user data, collating it, and using it. It is a tool that will become more common in the future.

July 18, 2001

When do you go over your station's web site logs? Then, once you do, what action is taken to respond to what those logs tell you? Now there are attempts to establish an e-metrics system which sharpens response of site visitors: page visits, duration of visit, anything the user is willing to tell you. Sometimes you must revamp what's there to improve browse-to-buy ratios (all users are buying something, even if they use time as payment).

June 24, 2002

Those of us who watched radio stations being bought like trading cards over the past five years have repeatedly asked "How are they going to pay for this?"

Jan. 22, 2003 needs to tie closer to local [vehicle] dealers, and sell them on radio being best at exposing their web site.

Feb. 7, 2003

Today we have 14.5 million college students in the US, 13.4 million online. If you are not currently learning how to reach them using the Internet, you will be out of this industry tomorrow.

Mar. 28, 2003

For the younger set the Internet is more than a source of information or entertainment; to them it's a social gathering place.

March 28, 2003

Today is different. Not only are the biggest of the big finding it easier to justify placing ads on their web sites, we also have clients call to ask "how can I buy ads online?"

March 31, 2003

Like millions of educated people across America you've probably increased time spent online, the number of sites visited, and the credibility you give to what is found online. You have become an habitual net user. Don't think advertisers haven't noticed.

April 2, 2003

To take a broadcast signal and place it online is not the attraction. To do something with the program online that makes it different than its broadcast counterpart is why people listen to Internet radio.

May 30, 2003

Radio will never be replaced but it's going to find it more difficult to stand out in the future. Where music was radio's attraction, today the public is developing a habit of finding its songs online.

June 4, 2003
Get music, or text yourself to death is the new cry from those promoting cellphone technology. Noting that Nokia has just signed with Warner Music International to bring packages of music to cellphones, and the glowing report of using them to respond to television programs with text messaging, you'd think the little gadget will soon be anchored to our ear.

June 11, 2003

While the John Hogans and Michael Powells of the world defend radio's diversity, "quality" programming, and localism, they better start paying attention to the following theme that's catching the public's ear: radio sucks! Sorry. That's not my statement but the underlying story being echoed in many publications, chat rooms, corner bars and cars. Nearly every major paper has carried an article on radio recently, none that I've seen was positive.

August 11, 2003

Getting from the Forrester statistic that 15% of US households are broadbanded to the 55% it says will be connected by 2008 means there are going to have to be some drastic changes in what's offered.Again, agreed. There will be. This broadband rush has only just begun.

Feb. 16, 2004

Here's where agencies get out from the responsibility of providing response by shifting it to online publishers. That's a precedent which turns the whole concept of delivering an audience on its head, while absolving the agency of their duty to create response-oriented campaigns.

April 26, 2004

While parents try and explain what a "36-hour erection" is to their tween, look at the ad industry's track record and you'll understand why America has an illegal (and legal) drug problem. The media'smessage is take a pill and you're fine.

June 16, 2004

Those in a media's audience want to be spoken to and told the truth about what your product is, how they can get it, andhow buying it will affect them. ... Today's audience wants you to be you: This means communicating in a language other than 'adspeak.'"

June 28, 2004

Patience is required until online radio gets on the radar screen of media buyers. This will happen soon because articles are published every day that speak of the selection found with radio online, and how the quality of programming is far superior to what's found on local airwaves.

Aug. 17, 2004

One telling sign is that over 50% of the businesses described above feel "the Internet will enable them to be more successful in their local market...." In comparison, only 35% felt that way in 2002. (Study conducted jointly by The Kelsey Group (TKG and ConStat, Inc.)

Aug. 17, 2004

Another sign is that 48% of your potential radio advertisers now have their own web site, and they feel about 15% of sales are attributed to it. Study conducted jointly by The Kelsey Group (TKG and ConStat, Inc.).

Sept. 30, 2004

Search engines are the index of the internet. With upwards of 90% of users going to a search engine when they go online, being properly indexed in Google, Yahoo!, MSN and AOL Search is a requirement. Yet, few radio stations are listed when a format search is done.

May 13, 2005

"It's All About the Audience" centers on what radio is doing online, and what it needs to do to grow. Answers to questions about the psychographics, listening habits, online activities, and the online radio audience's perceptions about advertising and programming are included. (Click to download report.)

Click to Download

Oct. 4, 2005

Has anyone in the executive suite of a radio group acknowledged that their decision to buy too many stations (at ridiculous prices) was the start of radio's demise? Do they ever discuss how the industry's objectives have changed over the past ten years?

Oct. 10, 2005

"Online" has become synonymous with "information" and, as this becomes apparent to more local businesses, look for their advertising dollars to move there with greater speed.

Dec. 5, 2005

The online radio industry should watch the podcasting world; it's moving to the same style of aggregate community that online stations did for selling ads. The result will be competition for an audience that the independent internet radio industry is having trouble selling today.

Jan. 6, 2006
Wonder why the public is believing that they can do news better? Blogs, podcasts, newspapers, broadcast, and professional journalists all seem equally incompetent. We are hearing and seeing mistakes from broadcasters that never would have made air fifteen years ago...

Aug. 7, 2006

Radio needs to clean up its advertising act and regain lost credibility. It needs to start producing commercials using better copy, with better execution. Radio needs to start telling clients what is wrong with a commercial when that client squeezes 80 seconds worth of copy into 60.

May 24, 2007

SoundExchange already announced its intentions of pursuing broadcast radio for the same performance fees.

Aug. 17, 2004

Another sign is that 48% of your potential radio advertisers now have their own web site, and they feel about 15% of sales are attributed to it. (Study conducted jointly by The Kelsey Group (TKG and ConStat, Inc.)

Sept. 21, 2004

Independent online stations aren't making any noise. They are not creating any reason for users to seek them out and stick with them. They don't give publisher of newspapers and magazines anything to write about. They exist in a world that's expanding a few people each day, listeners who are scattered around the world - which is an undesirable group for any but the international advertiser, and they'd rather buy CNN or Fox.

Dec. 8, 2004

As for "Less is More," Clear Channel is correct in that a thirty-second commercial properly constructed is just as effective as a sixty. It's the poor quality of creative that is/has been holding back acceptance of shorter duration commercials.

Feb. 13, 2005

In a day when nearly 75% of the population goes online for details, radio needs to make an adjustment that accepts it as a bullet-point media. It's done that for news, entertainment information, weather, and traffic. Now it's time the industry does the same for commercial loads.

April 18, 2005

There is a whole generation that's attached to its cell phone. Now that we're seeing radio show up on it, watch how quickly listening to radio on your cell phone defines the person whose pocket it's in.

July 8, 2005

For those wondering what one looks like, here's a snippet from an old Google algorithm: "PageRank or PR(A) can be calculated using a simple iterative algorithm ... We assume page A has pages T1...Tn which point to it (i.e., are citations). The parameter d is a damping factor which can be set between 0 and 1. We usually set d to 0.85. There are more details about d in the next section. Also C(A) is defined as the number of links going out of page A. The PageRank of a page A is given as follows: PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + ... + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))"

Oct. 10, 2005

"Online" has become synonymous with "information" and, as this becomes apparent to more local businesses, look for their advertising dollars to move there with greater speed.

Oct. 20, 2005

Another bit of logic on why advertisers are making an increasing move to the internet is reflected in the latest RRadio Network survey of online radio listeners. 7% more persons this year than last reported they will be shopping online this holiday season.

Feb. 23, 2006

Radio air talent should be required to interact with listeners via station chat rooms [the emerging social media]. Moreover, this should be an added daily shift of, minimally, 45 minutes.

March 23, 2006

Radio serves two clients, the audience and the advertisers. For the first ten years of its existence, online radio has catered to only one of these groups. Unless it finds a way to better serve the advertisers, online radio stations will continue to play lots of music as they die off from not paying their bills.

April 6, 2006

What radio needs to do is ask for help from people who are not tainted with today's radio mindset. But, more important than asking for that help is actually listening to what's being said.

May 25, 2006

Impressions can be bought anywhere today, at a rate which those media that depend on impression delivery will find not viable within a few years.

CPM is falling. Accountability is growing. Combining these two items means that if the radio industry, TV, or print want to keep profit margins within reasonable levels, they all will have to alter current ways of selling.

May 25, 2006

With RRadio Network's recent Survey 36 returns, online advertising has taken the lead; 27.2% of 1,131 respondents claim that it delivers to them the most effective advertising.

June 27, 2006
...witness how radio, as an industry, is still delivering "what it wants" in an era when the public is demanding what it wants.

Oct. 3, 2006

Has radio become little more than an audio track? Is "how" it's heard becoming a deciding factor in an advertiser's decision of where to feature their audio ad?

Oct. 10, 2006

Mark Cuban knows how to get the most bang from an unproven buck. He showed that by accepting over $3 billion dollars from Yahoo! for a few years ago. A few days ago, he was asked if Google should buy YouTube. Cuban's response, "They'd be crazy."

Oct. 30, 2006

This story was birthed in Denver a few weeks ago, after I went into a Radio Shack to see their selection of HD Radios. Being from Cleveland, I haven't had the chance to look at an HD Radio 'cause no local retailer carries them here. Walking into that store in Denver was a letdown; Denver Radio Shacks don't have HD Radios either.

Feb. 5, 2007

At many radio web sites only an email address (or a dreaded form) is listed on the page that explains advertising rates. Why any advertiser would spend money with a company that wants to keep itself hidden, until it can verify the sender of an advertising request, is an answer I'm still failing to come up with.

May 22, 2007

Re: The Pictured Above
Had he decided to become involved, the stations this radio group VP controlled would have shared in the names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and company names submitted for entry. Plus... this radio group would have become acquainted with, and introduced a digital radio/internet advertising system to local businesses. Radio would have become known as an innovator. Instead, when asked if his stations wanted to become involved in this online and kiosk-based contest that gathers data, the reply was "Not interested."

June 21, 2007

Radio has never (and still isn't) gone online with a presence that matters. The hard economics are that creating and maintaining a web site properly costs far more than any station can afford.

Dec. 20, 2007

"For a better summary than I could write [on Performance Royalties], check out Ken Dardis’ post." - Tim Westergren, Pandora
You will start this day seeing headlines about how SoundExchange and internet radio have come to an agreement, of sorts. Sounds like the calvary has arrived, doesn't it? But, let's not start popping the champagne corks just yet because there's a little more to this than what's in the headline.

Dec. 20, 2007

Instead of using Arbitron and Nielsen guesses on how many people are in the audience, learn how to sell and analyize online ads using metrics that matter. Advertising buyers have one foot in this today.

Jan. 8, 2008

Here's the scary part for executives in radio, television, and print (especially those who have failed to move their media forward): Advertisers are finding that if they spend $2000 they can directly connect it to $10,000 worth of sales through numerous online metric and analytic programs.

March 18, 2008

There are maybe five to six years before local merchants, who make up 70%-80% of radio's revenue, begin to move larger amounts of their ad budgets online.

Aug. 19, 2008
There are thousands upon thousands of streaming radio stations that are not included in the numbers you see from comScore and Ando [now Triton Digital]. A few of these non-reporting station audiences would make what's reported by these two firms appear weak.

Dec. 23, 2008
No longer is media's responsibility to just deliver an audience. Now it must deliver results too. That's a demand which is coming from advertisers and agencies, and why 2009 will go to whomever provides the tightest set of numbers to back up their claims of media superiority.

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 16, 2009

Radio has a problem! On one side we have CEOs who sit and follow. They are fearful that any move made won't be good enough because they don't understand how the world has changed.

On the other side sit those radio industry CEOs who think they know what they are doing, believe in their vision, and waste everyone's time talking about what they are going to do. It doesn't matter what these guys say - they are all guys - you know their Armani Suits get soiled when looking at radio's 2008 revenues.

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?

April 19, 2010

Radio is local. Local business owners interested in using this medium to reach their community need to find more radio related information online; when doing a search for anything related to radio advertising, radio ad buying, radio advertising creative, and radio's documented success. As of this morning, I found very little created by a radio group or other radio industry organization. This needs to improve.

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.

click for more data

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, " 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...

July 7, 2010
This business of introducing quality musicians - and it is a business - is in upheaval. Apple, Google and MSN are all moving to fill the void as they expand their systems to brand themselves online destinations for music new and old.

Aug. 2, 2010
Since radio industry trades want to concentrate on Panodra, those who read the stories are left with an impression that it (Pandora) is the only 800-pound gorilla. Here's where I see the problem, though. We have a number of 400-pound gorillas running around which don't get mentions.

Aug. 11, 2010
I'm wondering how executives in the typewriter industry responded when they saw the world changing. No, there's no need to wonder. We all know how those companies fared. Same can be said for the film and picture developing industries. All failed to change, and all are a memory.

Sept. 8, 2010
...there is less evidence that broadcast radio stations are interested in expanding audience reach. Proof is in the amount of energy and money spent trying to get the word out that a station exists online.

Oct. 11, 2010

If we keep hearing "we're in the radio business" with nothing said about being "in a changing radio business," CPM, TSL, and revenue figures will remain flat.

Nov. 11, 2010

While this is not an apples-to-apples comparison, please digest these figures from an Audio Graphics/Borrell Associates survey of 1,309 online radio listeners, concluded in November 2009. It asked, Which of the following do you think will become totally obsolete and disappear as a result of the Internet? The answers for demos 18-24 and 34-44 look like this:

Dec. 21, 2010

Speaking of online data in a world where media buyers demand a growing map of metrics showing campaign progress or failure, the whole of the radio industry - online and off - still ignores the call. Few are the numbers of people in radio who push this industry towards an accountable relationship with advertisers, even though it's possible to do with over the air campaigns, and easy to do with advertisers of radio web sites.

Jan. 3, 2011

Why must your radio station have a web site if a single page will do? An online radio station only needs to be functional for its users, and easily maintained by its creators.

If no data is being mined for analysis, why spend money on the window trimmings? You'll still have a functional online radio station.

Feb 3, 2011

Everyone may be focusing on Pandora because it's the 800-pound gorilla, but I urge you to take a look at what is surrounding radio.

March 15, 2011

Unlike in the broadcast radio industry, an internet radio station is first chosen not on its sound but written words appearing in a search engine return or radio station portal. And, from what I'm exposed to by internet radio station owners who request a listing at RadioRow, there is lttle thought given to explaining what purpose an online radio station serves.

April 13, 2011

If radio is serious about gaining ground by growing its online audience, it's not going to be done simply by saying a radio station's URL more often over the air. Search engine optimization must be integrated into radio's daily online agenda.

May 18, 2011

I've been doing, and writing about, search engine optimization since 1999. That's when I chose that it wasn't being online that mattered; it was being found online that became my primary objective. This curiosity took me to picking up the phone in that year and calling Google. Thinking it was this big company, I was hoping to find someone willing to talk about how a search engine works. You might say I found the person. Sergey Brin picked up the phone....

June 2, 2011

The radio industry is no longer isolated on a dashboard where a program is waiting for a person to simply push a button. A growing base of audience is listening through the internet, and it's up to you to make sure they easily find the way to listen.

June 6, 2011

There is no reason why any market's radio group cannot help a local merchant sell products through the internet. To leave this action up to local web design firms, search engine optimizers, or keyword ad buyers will be like walking away from billions of dollars in future revenue.

June 9, 2011

What happens at your radio station when an email goes out to registrants? Is it a silent blast meant only for those whose addresses you already have, or is the email's content publicized on the air as an invite for others to "sign up and receive"?

June 13, 2011
As the person who introduced the concept of aggregating online radio station audiences for sale to advertisers, in 2002, I'll continue to say that a station's stream by itself is worthless to an agency or advertiser. It's only when you bring multiple streams together in the same sales package that a critical mass of listeners can be reached. Nothing has changed since this aggregate sales concept was first explained.

June 17, 2011

There are many services that offer people an ability to build a radio station online. But there are no classes given on how to make that station a business.

July 6, 2011

In July 2010, we asked 1,043 internet radio listeners to answer this simple question: "Lately, I've been finding most new music on...." Here's how they responded.

Terrestrial radio stations using their web site to rebroadcast over-the-air programming are missing a huge advantage. Instead, they should be using their web site to expose new music.

July 15, 2011

For nearly a decade, radio failed at conveying reasons why consumers should try HD Radio. With few exceptions, promises of "new stations between stations" are still unfulfilled. Pounding the audience with commercials for another few years is not going to increase demand, and radio shouldn't embarrass itself by fumbling this football again. Resuscitating HD is not the answer when euthanasia is called for.

HD Radio is as dead as AM Stereo and Quad Sound, but broadcast radio is not dead. So, instead of a relaunch, why not try producing better on-air and online product?

July 29, 2011

This isn't the 1980s anymore. To argue that Pandora is not radio, or that the numbers offered by it are not "true" reports of its audience's listening patterns, only falls on radio industry ears.

Young media buyers are looking closely at what new media offers, and Pandora is on the top of that heap.

Aug. 2, 2011

For watchers of Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics, take notice on how many of these do not use this service.

Aug. 11, 2011

Over the past year I have been methodically posting to Facebook and Twitter, tracking those posts back to page visits, and turning those page visits into dollar amounts. Doing some basic math gives a fairly accurate picture of time spent posting to revenue generated from posting, and I'm prepared to say that - as I've been doing it - the return on investment is not worth the effort.

Now comes the caveat. Because this past year has been spent setting up a measurement system and a systematic way of posting, I very well may be approaching it wrong. So, to be certain that my hypothosis is correct, my next step will be to alter how I've been doing the posting to see if it will push an improvement in results.

Side Note: 4 years, and three different approaches to using social media have shown there is one efficient way to do social media.

Aug. 22, 2011

We now have a push to place smartphone and internet connectivity in vehicles, so there will be no cavalry coming over the horizon to save radio from what's ahead this time.

Sept. 7, 2011

Couponing online is a fast-fizzle fad that will end up making money for only a few companies. If radio station account execs try selling this concept, and it shows the same level of negative feedback as we've seen in the first go-around with companies who are adept at digital, do you sincerely believe that radio will make this market grow?

Sept. 19, 2011

In today's AdAge article titled "What's the most social of all media?" - they left out "radio." (Free subscription required to read.)

For everyone who's bellowing how far the radio industry has come since consolidation, I believe this indicates how much farther radio must go. The absence of radio from the list may be Freudian on the author's part, but it is a very real indication of where radio currently fits into a marketer's plan.

Oct. 5, 2011

In the 18-54 demo group, 69% say "home" is where they read their first emails of the day.

Nov. 11, 2011
Apps? For a radio group they make sense. For an individual station? I can't find the math that shows enough of an audience will use a single station's app to make the cost worthwhile - even if we don't take the brief shelf life an app has into consideration.

Nov. 23, 2011

Radio industry executives are still trying to mold the internet for their use, instead of finding which of the internet's applications can be best used by radio.

Dec. 7, 2011

Last week we had our cable TV disconnected. The first day was filled with as much angst as when I walked away from cigarettes.

By day three, though, the wife and I were watching "BBC News" along with "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Shuffling between the iPad and PC, we started pulling in programs and movies that were formerly found on our cable package (which we were about to be charged $150+/month with the latest increase)

Dec. 28, 2011

With mobile beginning to affect youth's use of broadcast media, radio stations targeting this group will need a mobile presence equitable to what the major mobile players spend dollars to achieve.

Jan. 3, 2012

...let's focus on how relevant "local programming" is in a world where the internet connects you to hundreds of "local" web sites listing thousands of "local" items - and each can be accessed when the consumer wants to have "local" served to them.

Jan. 13, 2012
...being online is becoming an isolationist action, through no fault of your own.

Feb. 3, 2012

There are a number of problems surrounding an indie artist who's looking to get noticed online. In no particular order they are:

getting word out about your music
getting radio programmers to take time and listen
motivating station programmers to add your song
tracking an individual station's audience response
to your music
having word spread that your song is generating
listener response

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.

Feb. 23, 2012

While marketers are chasing down the use of analytics and metrics in consumer contact, the radio industry continues to recruit individuals who lack this knowledge - and it appears the industry really doesn't care if its account reps understand how an ad campaign works, either.

March 13, 2012

Anyone keeping up on the push by Cumulus to break into the deals craze? Anyone know if Clear Channel's involvement in this rather late copying of online deals is making a difference? These are open questions with no answer at the moment, but let me outline why I think this will end up like the bust of the late 1990s.

March 15, 2012

Do a quick visit to multiple broadcast radio web sites. See how you can shave 50%, and more, of what's crammed onto the home page and still end up forcing your audience to work at comprehending what's in front of them. Bloated web sites are the norm in the radio industry.

April 3, 2012

For the tens of thousands of individuals who sat back watching as a few dozen radio executives walked away with multi-million dollar annual salaries, there's a feeling that floats high in the throat when you go to stretch your budget and make your monthly bill payments; could radio now be a scam?

April 5, 2012

To the indie artist, getting airplay on a broadcast radio station is a dead issue today. On the other side of the speakers, for listeners in the 12-34 demos, it's an almost intuitive act to search for new music online.

April 10, 2012

Instead of heeding the warnings and creating its own solutions to digital marketing for radio, industry executives began this bashing of Pandora. The exclamations were - and still are - laughable: "Pandora is not radio!"

April 10, 2012

Here's the reality: If the radio industry puts faith in the ability of this type of targeting ["Zonecasting"] at the expense of fine-tuning its online targeting and accountability, advertiser apathy shown over the past few years will look pale compared to what's ahead.

April 12, 2012

Note that the CC numbers are inclusive of all [its] online listening, not just what's provided by its [company owned] iHeartRadio. What's also important is this: unlike past attempts at comparing Pandora to the radio industry as a whole, the chart at least compares Pandora to only one company within.

April 17, 2012

Time spent understanding how to implement is one part of the equation that's not being considered. The other is that true "analytics" of data is like chess; it takes moments to learn but a lifetime to master. The third reason is that all technology-centric companies have a head start on radio that's measured in years.

May 7, 2012 To stand out you must be unique, easy to comprehend, and easier to respond to.

June 4, 2012 Radio made its money being the sole occupier of audio entertainment on the dashboard. Now Detroit, Japan, Korea, and European auto manufacturers are redesigning that area of the vehicle. The monopoly is ending.

July 16, 2012 Who is it that owns ""? How about ""? Or, ""? It's not anyone in the radio industry. Nor do any radio groups own "," "," or ""

Take this one step farther. As was mentioned in a May 2009 Audio Graphics article, names like ",,,,,, or even the mother of all radio industry names," are missing from any radio group's portfolio.

Even the term "," owned by Fisher Communications of Seattle Washington, sits idle with no redirect leading to any of Fisher's Seattle radio properties. Pardon me, but that's just stupidity in action.

August 12, 2012 Use the HD Radio fiasco as an example. If the radio industry couldn't conceive a campaign that convinced the masses HD Radio was worth shelling out dollars for, why would anyone think it (radio) is capable of creating a campaign for a product that's not "radio"?

Sept. 20, 2012 Radio is long past the stage of uncovering an industry unique digital approach. That should have been worked on a decade ago.

Truth be told there are dozens of online audio companies that will soon become an extreme irritant to radio industry execs...

Oct. 16, 2012 "A/B Testing" and "ROI" are in the process of replacing "reach and frequency." Given the learning curve required to feel comfortable using these new terms, the radio industry still has about five years left before an ad over-the-air is worth less than a targeted banner.

Nov. 19, 2012 I see a drastic rise in the numbers of people visiting this radio portal [RadioRow] by mobile device.

Jan. 10, 2013
And then we have apps, a buzzword meaning "my station is showing how technically advanced it is." How many local fans will actually use an app to access a single station is a question nobody wants to address, though. Also, there's this radio industry problem...

March 28, 2013

If there's anything learned since Rush Limbaugh brought a trove of attention to the radio industry with words that bashed a 30-year-old woman, it's that you can't say anything about the man without his supporters labeling you a Communist or a person who is trying to derail the Constitution.

March 26, 2013

" is a word that is not assigned by a manufacturer or industry. It is used by consumers to describe something that delivers audio as content."

April 1, 2013 appears that the radio industry is still chasing down a promotional laden look that confuses. Frankly, most online radio stations need to have about one-half of whatever they offer deleted - or dispersed into a hierarchy of links off the home page.

April 3, 2013

Here's a simple theory I've carried for a long time: I believe that artists should be paid for airplay, but only if they have attained a level where their music is a drawing card. If not, then they are putting the station in a position of risking tune-out by the very audience the artist wants to be exposed to.

April 4, 2013

The above represents the "Percentage of Average Active Sessions Resulting from Stream Starts." Through it you can tell if people are sticking around after tuning in...

April 9, 2013

Defining where you fit is not as easy as it sounds if the public has not heard your sound and the (analog) radio industry won't play your song.

Long live internet radio. It may be a much wider choice of stations with fewer people listening to each, but at least indie artists have a better chance of getting into rotation on a playlist.

April 11, 2013

Data at hand are the numbers you pull from logs and analytics programs, which allow math to be used in assessing performance.

"X" number in the audience exposed to "Y" number of commercials produced "Z" visits to a landing page.

Number of conversions on that landing page divided by the visits delivers your conversion rate.

April 15, 2013

While stations and artists depend on having quality content, each is dependent on being in the right place at the right time. That is better said as "being discovered is easiest when being sought."

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.

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.

July 31, 2014

Step farther into "digital" and you do "A/B" testing of headlines, banner ads, and link positions to improve numbers on each.

July 15, 2015

Society is operating with an "I'm going to pay less to you, or get it from somebody else" mindset. And the most frightening thought of all, it's working.