Not Spotify

It won’t work…


Streaming music companies have a problem: They can’t make enough money to be profitable, though that hasn’t stopped them from consistent and expensive marketing (are you listening, Radio CEOs??):

I know, a minor issue. Your bank doesn’t mind if you run in the red every month does it?

As we’ve already discussed, Pandora’s for sale, Apple Music is working on a total revamp, and Spotify just announced they will produce original video programming.

Is there any evidence that consumers are demanding a new source for video?

I thought not.

So this is more about wooing investors than competing with YouTube or Amazon.

The only way that they have to compete is by way of price, features and exclusive content,” said Larry Miller, director of the Steinhardt School’s music business program at New York University.

Ahh, this is the learning point.

Radio has all the streaming services beat on price. We’re free.

We don’t — or at least so far haven’t — offered cool new features listeners might prefer.

One of the features we already know listeners would love is fewer spots.

Everyone willing to cut commercial clutter in half tomorrow raise your hand.


We probably won’t compete with the streamers on features.

But we can compete with exclusive content if we’re willing to pay for it.

iHeartMedia is actually doing this. Exclusive concerts, artist interviews, song debuts, etc.

Howard Stern is exclusive content millions of listeners are willing to pay for. (For the Millenials in the crowd, he used to be on broadcast radio.)

Radio has to provide exclusive content worth hearing, and that will never, ever be music again.

So let’s stop patting each other on the back about the failures of Pandora and Spotify and step up to the talent plate with some major bucks.

You think Jon Stewart wouldn’t have a huge daily audience if he was on Radio? Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer, Dane Cook, Lena Dunham, George Lopez…?

The list is endless really. We’re just not looking for them.

Interesting, really funny people always attract an audience. They don’t start on TV. TV hires them once they prove their value.

That starting point could be Radio, except for one huge problem.

Radio just doesn’t want to pay for this level of talent.

Jab me in the forehead with a fork.