SCBA to lead education initiative "arming" radio sales teams to compete with web radio pureplays

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Issue Date: 
Jun 25 2012 - 11:45am

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SCBAThe Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) is leading a new effort to give radio ad sales teams tools to compete with Internet radio pureplays. The education initiative will reportedly provide information to sellers whose clients are asking about webcasters like Pandora.

Such Internet radio services "are competitors," Bonneville-L.A. VP/GM Peter Burton told Inside Radio, "and we have to know our competitors... Pandora’s voice is louder than our voice and they have an entire sales team out there with a consistent story. The radio industry in general has not put together a consistent story with any kind of frequency."

The SCBA -- working within what Inside Radio calls "radio's richest revenue market" -- will collaborate with former president and current EVP of Katz Radio Group Mary Beth Garber. She says it's important to work towards "arming people with the info they need about the differences between Pandora and radio and the real facts."

Inside Radio reports Katz has been working with Bridge Ratings to study Pandora. Bridge Ratings has recently released studies investigating ad performance on various music platforms and listener perceptions of online music services. Katz has also recently commissioned the Unviersity of Southern California "to study the relationship between air personalities and listeners."

Other broadcasters are taking another path. Hubbard Radio director of sales in the Chicago cluster, Craig Volpe, told Inside Radio, "We're doing no training of our sales people on Pandora... We're not going to give it that kind of attention."

Meanwhile, Pandora "shows no signs of slowing down efforts to improve sales," writes Inside Radio. Pandora CFO Steve Cakebread recently said, "What you’re going to hear from us over the next year or two is constant discussions and expansion of our sales force to participate in those markets that we don’t participate in today."

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