Better Content

This is how it’s done

“(It) has been free for (users) and supported by ads…so it must offer more to persuade people to pay.

What do you suppose that quote is about?

By every measure, broadcast radio absolutely dominates every other form of listening to audio. In actual numbers of listeners, broadcast radio hasn’t stopped growing; more people listen to radio this year than last.

And how have the people who run broadcast radio companies used this domination to prepare for the future?

They have mostly extinguished on-air talent, refusing to pay for the very best, syndicating mediocre talent because of cost efficiency rather than listener appeal.

Some stations in some markets literally have no live local talent whatsoever. These stations feature voice-tracked content which makes no attempt to relate to local listeners.

In most markets, radio’s share of advertising revenue is flat or declining, and has been for years.

Most of the largest consolidated radio companies carry so much debt that without frequent restructuring they would be bankrupt.

That quote at the top of the post is from the Wall Street Journal. It’s talking about YouTube.

YouTube is dominant in ad-supported online video, but they have missed the subscription side. To get people to pay, they will have to have higher-end content.”

YouTube understands that the future of the video business lies in subscriptions, in providing content so unique and compelling we are willing to pay to see it.

They’re trying to catch up with Netflix and HBO and Amazon and Hulu and they know, without any doubt, that we will not pay $10 a month to subscribe to YouTube Red to watch cat videos.

Pandora has admitted that free streaming music services are not sustainable.

Broadcast radio needs to admit that over-commercialized, uninvolved, music boxes are not sustainable.

We need content worth paying for, in every market.

And until we, as an industry, are willing to pay for that, to pay for the very best audio content available, we will always be vulnerable.