Del Colliano

Experts warn radio the time to bring in younger demos is now

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 6:20pm

Fred Jacobs and Jerry Del Colliano both note this week that radio's "systemic" ambivalence towards the younger set will likely eventually have disastrous results for AM/FM radio.

Jacobs actually refers to "Generation Z's" (today's under-18s), Del Colliano "Millennials" (young adults), but they make a similar point: "When radio loses generations of listeners, its relevance in the world of media options is going to be called into question," Jacobs wrote in his JacoBlog. Del Colliano says what most broadcasters are doing now, in terms of attracting younger demos, is a "losing formula... driving the essential next generation away from radio."

So, what do broadcasters need to do?

"If you want to know what you’ll be doing in a couple of years or so, study teens," Jacobs wrote. To illustrate, he cites the increasingly popular Snapchat photo/social platform -- mostly ignored by radio.

On his Inside Music Media blog, Del Colliano cranked out ten action steps for broadcasters to better speak to teens and young adults, including reformulating the approach towards "morning shows," reinventing radio's "formatics," and building content designed around a "two minutes or less" attention span.

"Fix what's on the air, buy more years and then personally escort your newfound Millennial listeners to your next business -- digital content," he advised.

Jacobs concludes: "Because if you don’t do the research and take the time to listen and learn from Gen Z, you lose powerful insights into what may be right around the corner – your corner."

Read Fred Jacbos' JacoBlog here, and register for Inside Music Media here.

Music radio can survive Google music streaming, says Del Colliano

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 11:55am

Jerry Del Colliano in his Inside Music Media suggests Google is "looking to deliver a deathblow to music radio" with it to-be-announced-today streaming music service.

But Google's will be a subscription service. Sources say there won't even be a free option. And that's radio's opportunity, Del Colliano suggests.

Being "the curator of music discovery for free." Radio can't compete with the customization and on-demand features online services from well-funded companies can offer. But radio can continue to be the "music authority for popular genres."

But, should these services successfully pull away radio listeners, as Colliano says is their intent, music subscription could become the norm for discovery for new generations of fans.

"Damage radio and a streaming subscription becomes as essential to a Millennial as a subscription to Netflix or Hulu," he warns. "It's about being the Netflix for music."

Subscribe to Inside Music Media here.

RAIN Analysis: Industry's future is as much broadcasters' as Pandora's

Friday, March 9, 2012 - 11:30am

The last few days have been rather rough for Pandora. Its stock slid after its reported earnings failed to meet its own or analysts' expectations. Even soaring revenues and monumental growth couldn't overcome its expenses that are rising even faster. And while words like "gleeful" spring to mind, suffice it to say that for many broadcasters (and trade journalists), these last days weren't as rough as they were for Pandora stockholders.

At this point in the development of this next generation of radio, it can be argued that Pandora is the online radio industry. Its usage and revenue dwarf the combined achievements of the rest of the industry so far (including broadcasters' online efforts), it's had a successful IPO, it's a player in the automotive- and home-entertainment industries, and so on. For better or for worse, at this point Pandora is the Internet radio industry.

And that's why it's important to share with you a thought (or, at least, remind you of this thought). It's not an original thought. It'll be familiar to anyone who's read Jerry del Colliano or Mark Ramsey. And anyone who's listened to RAIN's Kurt Hanson deliver his "State of the Industry" address at a RAIN Summit has heard it. And anyone who's read an interview with Pandora founder Tim Westergren or CEO Joe Kennedy has heard it too.

First, take a look what financial ratings agency Fitch Ratings said today in a new report called "Broadcast Radio Industry Assessment: Near-Term Declines, Digital Potential" (MarketWatch coverage here). Radio's advertising revenue (aside from "digital") will decline each year. People will spend less time with traditional radio. Internet radio, meanwhile, will continue to grow its audiences, fueled by growing mobile use. But given all that, here's the punch line:

Digital initiatives by terrestrial broadcasters, although in early stages, could provide an opportunity to capture a sizeable portion of digital listening over the next few years. Terrestrial broadcasters' established, high-margin businesses will allow them to fund digital initiatives and provide room to absorb near-term revenue declines before any digital revenue becomes material. 

Stated another way: Internet radio is radio's future -- a future which broadcasters are uniquely-suited to dominate.

Now, if Pandora is (at this point in time) Internet radio, and broadcasters's future is Internet radio, doesn't that mean...

Let's let Mark Ramsey (left) say it: "Pandora is, by a broad definition, radio – whether you like it or not, buster. They are radio and you are Pandora – if you choose to be," he writes today (here).

See, Pandora's two significant disadvantages compared to AM/FM -- low monetization of its mobile audience and unreasonably high royalties on music -- aren't going to last. Regarding the first, Ramsey writes, "Do I really need to remind anyone... that quite a lot of traditional radio’s advertising occurs on mobile devices – namely, the mobile devices that sit in your driveway? Indeed, one of the key advantages of mobile advertising on Pandora is that it’s utterly familiar to any advertiser who has ever placed a radio ad!" As for royalties, let's hear from Jerry del Colliano (right), who writes today (subscribe here):

Pandora will not die from this disease called record industry greed because if Pandora goes under, the record industry loses its number one source of music royalty income stream. So the labels will have to relent over time and give Pandora more reasonable rates. Radio on the other hand is facing a new performance royalty that their own NAB CEO is pushing so while Pandora is likely to get royalty relief down the road, radio is about to get saddled with more royalty fees. Bet on it. 

But, the flipside of that is this: Pandora doesn't necessarily have any distinct advantage over broadcasters. There's nothing Pandora -- or Internet radio -- does, that broadcasters can't do just as well, if they put the resources behind the effort.

So, back to that thought to share: Radio's future is digital. It's online, and it's mobile. Pandora's already doing it (as are many smaller, energetic, and innovative groups). And consumers are already headed there. But Pandora needn't "own" it. Broadcasters are still in the best position to stake their claim.

Del Colliano says, "Follow the consumer and you will never go wrong."

We'll give the last word to Ramsey: "Broadcasters enjoy magnificent scale and marvelous relationships with consumers and advertisers alike. Don’t trash Pandora, learn from them. My advice: Don’t get bitter, get busy."

Read MarketWatch's coverage of the Fitch Ratings report here. Read Mark Ramsey's blog here. Subscribe to Jerry del Colliano's Inside Music Media newsletter here.

B'casters should welcome combo ratings with pureplays, argues Del Colliano: The advantage is still theirs

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 9:00am

Radio industry vet Jerry Del Colliano is another voice in the chorus of experts who say broadcasters are making a mistake by trying to force ratings services to segregate their listening estimates from those of "pureplay" Internet radio (catch up on RAIN coverage here, here, and in today's top story here). He suggests broadcasters' thinking should be guided by how radio will need to succeed in the future: by building a brand that goes far beyond a broadcast tower and PPM.  

"Pureplays are here and radio can co-exist with them. Even, distinguish themselves," Del Colliano wrote in his Inside Music Media blog yesterday. "Pureplay stations can’t do local radio and terrestrial stations can... for the stations that are still live and local, bring on the pureplays, radio will continue to perform well."

So, radio broadcasters, why not launch your own pureplay service? Or two? Get into the low-barrier-to-entry game of Internet-only radio, secure in the knowledge that webcasters can meet your ante and easily go and pick up a broadcast frequency or two. "There is no reason why you can’t own radio stations, iPad formats, paid services, video sites and pureplay music stations based on your brands." NPR has built for themselves a brand and a value that goes way beyond simply "radio stations," and local commercial broadcasters need to follow that blueprint, he suggests. "Agencies are screaming for digital... Smart money is on making strategic adjustments in advance so that broadcast stations will be poised to gain an advantage."

Read more and subscribe to Inside Music Media here.

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