Radio Sucks. But It’s Free

Have you heard? Radio is free!

In case you missed it, there’s no charge for AM/FM radio. Now, 100 years later, stations will start touting their ‘freeness’, like it’s a revelation. It’s a reminder that while radio sucks, at least you don’t pay for it.

Like there’s no other reasons to listen.

Sadly, it’s a desperate plea. Come for the canned playlists and robotic DJs. Stay for the dated jingles and commercial clutter.

Radio is free, proving that you get what you pay for.

Here’s My Take. Unless it saves money, people don’t respect what they get for free. I learned that when my radio station handed out hundreds of free t-shirts. That weekend, I saw my neighbor waxing his car with our shirt. He’d never do that if it wasn’t free.

Instead, radio needs to take a leadership role and entice fans with what’s next. Unveil innovative, new ideas.

For example…

One of my favorite ideas is Quick Hitz. Research shows that most pop songs are disposable and people rarely listen to the whole song. So, why not cut the tunes in half? Create a radio format that plays two-minute versions, for those with a short attention span. Stations could play twice as many songs, a musical sampler platter. 

Ten years ago, Mike Henry of Paragon Media Strategies launched Quick Hitz in Canada. It was an immediate success. But American record labels threatened to sue. Mike recalls how they “broke the formulaic mold of traditional radio formats, and artists would have received MORE income. Maybe we were ahead of our time.”

Is the time right now?

Won’t somebody spare us from the best variety from the 70s, 80s, 90zzzzzz?

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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