Ad-blocking has been a hot topic of late, since Apple released an easy way to block ads on their iPhones and iPads.
Online advertising was supposed to be better than advertising on broadcast stations, whether radio or TV, since it purportedly only aimed ads at you that you were predisposed to want to see.
It was hard to keep a straight face while typing that.
Here’s what’s actually been happening to online ads:*
AdBlock Plus has been downloaded more than 400 million times already.
This might be good news for Radio if we gave a flip about the ads we run on our stations, both quality and quantity, but we don’t.
That’s why we put spots in 10-unit clusters. That’s why we game PPM by moving spots from higher potential listening hours (7am and 8am, for instance) into lower ones (6am) even if that means we’re playing an unlistenable number of spots in that hour.
We don’t care if anyone hears the spots on our station as long as the revenue is in the books.
That’s why we let sales people write copy and use the receptionist as emergency voice talent.
Why would so few stations have a real Production Director, someone with real creative chops who could work at any ad agency in town?
We don’t care what our spots sound like.
Rather than feel smug, secure in the knowledge that online and mobile ads are on shaky ground, we should see this as a real opportunity for Radio to shine.
Our production costs are so much lower than television’s, and knowing we still have tremendous reach, it’s an opportunity to invest in the production of spots people actually want to hear.
I know that sounds ridiculous right now, but so did a self-driving car 5 years ago.