August 9th, 1999
Can you hear it?
Its not a bird. Its not a plane. It sure as hell ain’t Lois Lane. Its a freight train coming from somewhere in outer space and it has nutty name like “CDXM.” That’s right , worse than the four letter of the competitions’ call letters strewn across an Arbitron diary.
What could it be?
Hundreds of commercial free stations beamed directly into your car and home. No fuzzy mess when approaching a skyscraper or toll booth. No fuzzy mess as Smash Mouth wails on “All Star” while you drive I-95 from Miami to Orlando and back. It’s absolutely crystal clear with tons of choices.
Satellite radio is steaming down the tracks. The World Wide Web is racing into your home with another four letter word, and we’re not talking about “cume’.
It’s MPEG via cheap, high-speed cable net access in digital stereo (MP3) nonetheless! Will it be the radio terminator? Are you going to be at McDonalds in less than one year? Or are you going to be back?
How do traditional broadcasters with some of the most creative people in the world stop this beam from knocking our industry into oblivion? Easy. Get off your asses now or you’re going to get stung by the Millennium bug. Y2K is coming. Don’t become the next eight track player.
If you’re station is not on the internet:
You’re obviously smoking something the rest of us can’t buy.
You’re so old, you’re definition of the information Super Highway is a CB radio.
You’re so lost, you think Streaming Audio is a Sony Waterproof boom box floating down the river next to a tire tube filled with a keg of beer and sorority babes.
Lets’ go. Make every contest geared toward your homepage. The 100th email into your stations inbox, with your positioning statement correctly written, wins the weekend trip. You just killed two birds with one webstone. Your company collected the listeners’ personal information and direct email address upon registration. An added backdoor bonus is that you now have a database of 18-34 year-old women.
They love coupons
What do you do?
How about “Net Monday.” Email the specific demos and have them go to your site, hit the print key and what do you know? They have free lunch coupon from Wendy’s. Tuesday, the same group can print a discount coupon from Blockbuster. Wednesday?
Hey, you figure it out.
Are you getting the point? No? Well, I’ll take the extra value meal and supersize my fries. I’m starving today! Unleash the creative talents of your jocks. Microsoft, MSNBC, MSTRAVEL, etc. pay millions for content. You have what the biggest worldwide corporations want: talent and content. Radio is filled with starving stars.
With the advent of companies like Webradio.com and CDRadio.com, your listeners may have 50,000 choices within the next three years. Why should they tune to your stick in the mud? Your audience may choose the Bo and Zoe show at BOZO.com because your jocks have nothing to offer. It’s CONTENT, stupid. Make your talent work for their money. No more crutches. No more bullshit.
The time and temperature is posted at every bank corner in the USA. Lotto numbers are in every 7-Eleven window. At BOZO.com your audience could end up living Nirvana, breathing Aerosmith, sniffing in Oxygen Clubs, surfing the net, daytrading stocks, mastering the Sony Playstation and getting wired into anything and everything else the Web has to offer.
Technology has created a lifestyle. Unless you move quickly, the last of the dinosaurs that are commercial radio stations will be killed off by the Webosaurus and the Satellite Rex. You need to capture your audience and create a major cult following now.
Can you do it? Are you going to be up to the task? 10-IN-A-Row ain’t gonna cut it any longer. Satellite will have the best quality dead air ever. Become personality driven. Don’t let the readable, writable more music easy path lead you down the road to destruction. If you don’t get off your ass, the Internet will put your heavily leveraged station out of business.
It takes talent. Do you have it? Can you motivate your staff to deliver it? If you build the content, the audience will come.
If not, that’s fine, too. Just remember, when I pull into the drive-thru, give me the Happy Meal. I’m feeling really good about the future.