Nothing From Nothing

Leaves nothing

To listen to most analysts today, you’d think mass media was just waiting for the coroner to pronouce its death.

A small sampling:

  • The internet has changed everything, forever.
  • Consumer-created content is king today.
  • We’re in the Long Tail Age where everything must be free or fail.
  • No one buys music anymore.
  • No one reads anymore.
  • No one watches ads on TV anymore.

Ok, there’s an exception to every rule, but you get the point. (And even now, when the ads are targeted, relevant and compelling, people watch.)

I’ve been saying for years that great content will increase in value as every Schmoe with a Flip or Autotune makes a video or CD.

Just because anyone can post a video on YouTube doesn’t mean everyone will want to see it.


For every cute kid playing the ukelele that garners millions of views, there’s a million videos seen by no one but the creator and his family, though I’m sure they’re beaming with pride.

This poor guy is probably a great singer, but his is the example of the Long Tail in actual use. No one cares!

Here’s the math that counts: zero times zero is still zero.

Your station already has hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of eyes and ears on it every day. You don’t think that’s an advantage?

Who has the better chance of selling their music, CD boy above or U2?? But if U2 puts out a crappy CD filled with terrible songs recorded in their bedroom they surrender their advantage.

It’s time to ramp it up, and make sure what people see and hear when they visit your station is better — awesomely better — than what they can see or hear online without commercials.

It’s time to admit that we shouldn’t be running so many spots, especially when we know how bad most of them are. (And they’re bad because we don’t pay to write and produce great spots, not because that is impossible.)

It’s time to admit we can’t make 40% margins anymore, and be happy with 10% as any other business would be.

It’s time to be relevant, to be entertaining, to be compelling and memorable, to offer value in exchange for time.

That’s always gonna win.