Show of hands, who’s excited about radio? Anyone under 30?
Every station rep will boast that 92% of Americans listen to radio each week.
But that’s not true.
People may hear radio, like you see a billboard. But do they actually listen? Without that passionate, emotional connection, radio’s become a utility. Like a toaster.
Live & Local? Hardly. It’s more like Dare To Be Mediocre.
Most stations are flavorless, pre-recorded replicas. All creativity has been surgically removed. So, it’s no surprise that ratings are down. But here’s the real problem…
Radio is losing its relevance.
Here’s my take. It’s time for radio execs to pull up their big-boy pants and re-imagine the business. The long view. Starting with:
* Too many commercials. Stations are choked with clutter. Every inch is sold, sponsored and bartered. Meanwhile, the streaming giants are virtually ad-free. Look, we’ll tolerate short spots clusters if they’re well-written and brilliantly produced. But, dump the looong commercial blocks that artificially inflate ratings, but drive listeners away. Don’t wait until advertisers learn how few people really hear their spots.
Make this a priority.
* Showcase personalities. They’re radio’s only hope. Replace announcers with clever, authentic jocks who share our love for music. Let them inject a fun attitude that makes us feel part of the tribe.
We haven’t had that spirit here since 1989.
* Deliver what streaming services don’t. Have personalities host music programs. Rather than repeating the same songs, package them into cool features.
Shifting from videos to shows is what saved MTV.
* Ax the countdown shows, Two-For-Tuesday and contests at 6, 3, 11, 4, 9 and noon. And while you’re at it, drop the hollow slogans. I love how Z94 plays the best mix with more variety. Said nobody, ever.
Fix the product and the rest will take care of itself.