Arrested Development

Exclusively on Netflix

As my friend, Mark Ramsey, so frequently points out, content needs to adapt to the way consumers want it.

Radio can hope that commercial-free, subscription-based models fail. It can point out that limited commercial models like Pandora and Spotify aren’t making money, but that sort of misses the point.

We all know consumers don’t like most commercials.

Since that is a fact even the Bain guys get, the appropriate response is:

  1. Produce commercials as entertaining as the product within which they’re consumed.
  2. Produce content so unique and remarkable consumers are willing to endure commercials to consume it.

#2 is the reason you need some strong branding (see, personalities) beyond music, because you will not be the only outlet for the music you play unless you play music no one cares to hear. And that’s not likely to create the revenue you’ll need to keep your job.

So, it’s interesting that Netflix announced they would be resurrecting the TV show, Arrested Development. It will only be available for streaming to Netflix members, beginning in 2013.

HBO was the first to create “must see” TV, and their “can’t miss” show this season is The Newsroom:

Try this.

Go to iTunes and hit “Podcasts.” Check out — and by that I mean, actually listen — to several.

Know what brands you’re gonna see there? NPR, ESPN, Freakenomics Radio, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Rachel Maddow. Yes, Adam Corolla too.

While listening to podcasts is tiny now, I met people in a San Francisco listener panel last week who have substituted podcasts for live radio. They download them to their iPhone, pipe them through their car speakers, and consume what they want when they want.

If there is no spoken content on your station worthy of downloading and hearing later, your station is burning to the ground and you just don’t know it.

Netflix is becoming a TV network.

What is your station becoming?