Category Archives: Radio

Radio Station Strategy

Netradio My buddy Walt Koschnitzke posted a story yesterday on ASB about a new internet radio device that will use Wi-Fi and be able to pick up thousands of internet radio stations. When you couple it with the advent of regional broadband access, it will likely be bigger than XM and Sirius in terms of changing the way we listen at home and in our cars.

So, what’s a local radio station to do? In the very small markets, the station’s lament has always been that the FCC only gave us one AM and one FM license. How will I possibly compete?

Here’s my suggestion: Audio servers don’t cost near as much as FM transmitters, lawyers and engineers. Buy more audio servers. Keep broadcasting your mainstream formats and then start integrating your locally-produced content into niche format internet-only streams.

If I prefer classic country, but I like hearing local news and weather, you could produce such a stream and insert local ads as well. It’s a new revenue stream that’s just an upsell to your existing advertisers. You should also be able to measure it more accurately than your broadcast stations. You should be able to get incremental revenue out of your advertisers on a cost-per-listener basis. Use the adwords model and charge just a few cents per listener. What advertiser would refuse? 

How about a stream that just re-plays your local sports broadcasts? Edit them down to eliminate half-time and excessive time-outs and insert local sponsorships (these can even be different sponsors than on the original broadcast).

If you stick to your locally produced content and locally produced commercials, you also eliminate the sticky mess of union agreements on the talent side of the national ads.

Stupid Radio Ads

I’ve been on the road a lot lately. Not flying. Driving. This means a lot of radio. I don’t have XM (yet) so I’m still listening to terrestrial AM radio for talk programs.

I am sick of lame radio ads that try to get me to remember a phone number by simply repeating it over and over again. I remember the name of the sponsor ONLY when the number starts playing.

If you’re going to do it right (you do want to do it right, don’t you?) you should try to get me to remember the number when I think of the sponsor’s name. I know, it’s a subtle difference and it’s much harder to do.

All you have to do is remember Ivan Pavlov’s dogs. The taste of meat didn’t cause them to ring a bell. The sound of the bell caused them to remember the taste of meat.

I don’t want to remember your stupid phone number. I have too many numbers to remember as it is. Give me a reason to remember you and when I need your number, trust me I’ll find it.

If you want to write better radio ads, go learn from the best.

In fact, the phone number ads and all the political talk finally squeezed me out. I spent the last two days listing to this.

How to Improve Your Radio Ads

radioThis post [Radio Marketing Nexus: Dumb Questions about Radio Advertising] got me thinking about radio ads.

I’ve written thousands of them. Really. To be honest, most of them were bad. Most were about transactional business, full of hype and sounded like just about every other ad on the radio. It wasn’t until I learned a few secrets that I started doing it right and that’s a part of what eventually led me away from the radio business.

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