WWRS 2012: The Worldwide Radio Summit Is On!
Radio's Future, Digital Issues, Jacobs Media Techsurvey 8 Results Revealed
April 27, 2012 at 5:27 PM (PT)
The WORLDWIDE RADIO SUMMIT 2012's FRIDAY session is underway at the W HOLLYWOOD, with a full slate of presentations and panels scheduled. ALL ACCESS President JOEL DENVER and A&R WORLDWIDE's SAT BISLA welcomed the standing-room-only crowd, with ABC RADIO/DARWIN, AUSTRALIA Group PD ANDREW PHILLIPS greeting the attendees and joking about how many people in the room had gotten plastic surgery since last year's show.
The Future Of Radio
On a panel looking at the future of radio, CUMULUS MEDIA Pres./CEO LEW DICKEY called for more deregulation of broadcast ownership, saying that "radio shouldn't be restricted to five FM signals in LOS ANGELES" when satellite radio and the Internet face no such restrictions. DICKEY, whose appearance included a visit from a process server who served him with papers in the middle of the panel, stressed that the problem with moving radio's business to the Internet is that "barriers to entry are low but barriers to scale ... are very high," asserting that more consolidation is necessary to use the reach of radio to build digital brands, including his own SWEETJACK deals site, which is marketed through both CUMULUS and CLEAR CHANNEL stations. ADELANTE MEDIA GROUP Pres. JAY MEYERS pointed out the "archaic" nature of FCC regulation, calling for a change in the caps on foreign investment. "We need more capital in this business," MEYERS said.
GREATER MEDIA RADIO VP and CHARLOTTE Market Manager RICK FEINBLATT discussed his Talk WBT-A-F/CHARLOTTE's response to the RUSH LIMBAUGH controversy, saying that LIMBAUGH "didn't cost the station any revenue." Citing another GM's assertion that he is "okay paying for a show as long as I'm not buying trouble," FEINBLATT said, "I'm okay paying for trouble if it gets great ratings," FEINBLATT said, but noting that LIMBAUGH's former double-digit ratings among men have fallen and the drop will be a consideration when the station's contract with PREMIERE NETWORKS comes up for renewal in a year. He said that people have posted on the station's Facebook page and about a hundred called the station, but all seemed to be reading from a script and most appeared not to be from the CHARLOTTE area.
CBS RADIO EVP/Operations SCOTT HERMAN touted the success of spoken word formats and the move of some stations and formats to FM, calling the formats "exceptional" and adding that "All-News radio is the best advertising vehicle that exists" but noting that "you have to be in it for a long time" to allow the revenues to grow. "It's exclusive content and local," HERMAN said, and TRITON COO MIKE AGOVINO, the panel's moderator, noted that he has seen online listening to News stations spike with major news events.
PANDORA Pres./CEO JOE KENNEDY touted online radio's growth paralleling broadcast radio's decline as streaming moves from the desktop to mobile. He discussed how visual and audio ad opportunities have developed on the desktop and said he did not see mobile playing out any differently, with the exception of car streaming. He characterized the mobile ad market as developing and noted that his company's mobile ad revenue had quadrupled in the last year.
The panel, which also included CLEAR CHANNEL DIGITAL Pres. BRIAN LAKAMP and BBC RADIO 1 and 1XTRA Head of Music Policy GEORGE ERGATOUDIS, stayed on the dais for a question-and-answer session moderated by PHILLIPS. Asked by KATZ RADIO's MARY BETH GARBER about hiring young talent, MEYERS said that young people still "want to be in radio. They want to be involved ... there is still a mystique." HERMAN noted that his company has added a step in its sales associate program to add a year's paid employment following the internship program to help new account executives develop. ERGATOUDIS said that YOUTUBE is a fertile area for finding talent, but added that many are making too much money that way to be interested in radio.
Prompted by a question from an attendee from NIGERIA, KENNEDY asserted his company's intense interest in expansion in AFRICA and how such expansion is an example of the power of the Internet. The panel also discussed the problem of music royalties (KENNEDY noted that while the Internet is global, copyright and royalties are on a country-by-country basis) and data caps and costs for wireless broadband (KENNEDY saying that audio is a small part of data consumption -- "We're a tiny fraction of the data bill").
Making Money In Digital
Monetizing radio with new revenue models was the topic for a panel moderated by consultant MARK RAMSEY and kicked off by a presentation by RCS/MEDIA MONITORS Pres. PHILIPPE GENERALI showing traditional media -- radio, TV, newspapers -- failing to keep up with the growth in local ad spending, but growth in online spending far outpacing the total, and how pure-play Internet companies get nearly half of that online spending (radio getting a mere 1.8%, while broadcast TV and print directories get 12.6% each and newspapers get 24.7%).
RADIO ADVERTISING BUREAU Pres./CEO ERICA FARBER stressed how critical programming is in the sales effort, noting that the creators of compelling content are radio's most visible sellers. She added that having the option to sell new solutions involving digital elements gives radio unprecedented flexibility and discussed plans to improve training of salespeople in the industry. She was, however, critical of the industry's lagging behind other media and failing to contact important advertisers.
TRITON DIGITAL Applications and Services Pres. CHRIS BELL talked about the use of ad networks for digital sales and the focus on targeting, "something we as broadcasters never had to deal with." He said that the currency moving forward is selling an exact number of impressions rather than cume based on past performance, and discussed registering users and the need to "dis-anonymize" audiences.
FIGMEDIA and PEAK BROADCASTING's BILL FIGENSHU stressed the importance of content, saying that "if we can make a connection with our audience, you can make that audience want more" and possibly pay a monthly fee for it. He used his client NORMAN GOLDMAN's success with a subscription content service as an example of what the radio industry can do.
New UMBEL.COM CEO PAUL KRASINSKI used the example of the BOSTON BRUINS using UMBEL's registration services to find out things about their audience they didn't know before, including that the fans like reality TV, the team's bear mascot, and gaming, which the club used to create its own reality show and Facebook game, thus expanding outside its traditional sponsorship and signage sales realm.
ARBITRON EVP/Chief Sales & Marketing Officer CAROL HANLEY was on hand and she discussed how PPM has brought more accountability to the sales process through monitored audience metrics.
Jacobs Media Releases Techsurvey 8
FRED JACOBS unveiled the JACOBS MEDIA Techsurvey 8, a large online survey -- the largest yet of its kind -- looking at listener preferences covering 12 formats. The study surveyed 57,358 respondents listening to 170 commercial stations in North America, weighted using FALL 2011 cumes.
The survey showed a radical change in media usage showing that cell phone (96%) and Internet (93%) use have supplanted radio and TV at the top of the chart, and social networking has skyrocketed to 85%, with 79% using FACEBOOK, 76% texting, and Twitter at 22% but rising. Smartphone ownership is up to 52%, Internet radio has moved up to 38%, public radio is at 30%, tablets have jumped from 7% in the previous survey to 24%. PANDORA has risen to 18% of the total on its own, ahead of satellite radio, which has leveled off at 15%. Debuting on the list, 9% say they use an in-car entertainment system, and in last place is HD Radio at 6%. An interesting note is that differences between men and women were not pronounced, with few leaning substantially in either direction.
JACOBS outlined usage in each format using "media usage pyramids," graphically displaying the rankings; among the findings is that Alternative fans "do everything" (and are thus hard to program to), News-Talk listeners use satellite radio more, and Sports listeners are more into Twitter.
Asking how respondents start their media day, radio "wins" but TV does almost as well, and 57% "start the day with something else" rather than radio, JACOBS said, noting that this sample was comprised of core radio consumers.
Given a list of reasons why they use AM/FM radio, respondents said they want to hear their favorite songs (53%), DJs and hosts (40%), and then a list of more emotional reasons, like "I like to work with radio," "get in better mood," "keeps me company," and "escape pressures of life." Asked why some listen less, those respondents, after lifestyle changes, said that their MP3 players, PANDORA and "not enjoying AM/FM stations" were the primary reasons. Over 50% of the sample said that "all" or "most" radio listening is in the car, more pronounced with younger demographics and a warning sign in that younger demographics are more likely to be connecting their cell phones to their car stereos to listen to streams or MP3s. In-car entertainment system ownership, on the other hand, is more pronounced with older demos and with News-Talk and Sports listeners, and among those, one-fifth say they listen to less AM and FM radio.
Another question asked of respondents was how they interact with radio most often, and e-mails, websites, streams, contests and FACEBOOK were strong; request lines and events around town were relatively minor. FACEBOOK is the largest social media platform for the respondents, with LinkedIn second and Twitter third; Google Plus and Pinterest (with an almost 100% female following) are showing growth. Respondents did not, however, go often to either stations' FACEBOOK pages or websites, although there was significantly more use of the websites. Twitter following of stations and personalities showed Sports far out in the lead.
Looking at devices, Android has taken the lead in smartphone use among radio listeners with iOS second; Among radio apps, PANDORA was the leader, with iHEARTRADIO second but affected by a lack of CLEAR CHANNEL station participation in the study. Tablet ownership is "big and getting bigger," JACOBS said, with Hot AC and News-Talk leading among those already owning tablets.
Streaming was most prevalent for Alternative, Contemporary Christian and Sports listeners, but strong across the board; most people listen to radio stations via streaming, but PANDORA is a strong second. Asked whether they consider PANDORA to be "radio," 49% said no and 43% said yes. Alternative, Triple A, Top 40, and Rock listeners were most likely to listen to PANDORA, and 47% said that PANDORA's music is better than commercial radio. However, "net promoter" scores -- whether a listener would recommend PANDORA to a friend -- were low, and the leading reason for people to not like PANDORA is that listeners miss the human presence.
"Stop doing 'random acts of digital,'" JACOBS advised stations, suggesting that they focus their digital strategies; he also noted the increase in choices for in-car entertainment and the importance of radio leading in "first occasion" listening as an opportunity for stations, and pointed out the additional opportunity to address the emotional reasons to listen (at work, putting listeners in a better mood, companionship, escape). As in previous presentations, JACOBS also noted the importance of "going mobile" with apps and streaming, and noted PANDORA's weakness in not providing the human element.
Pickin' the Hits
After a luncheon featuring an appearance by PREMIERE NETWORKS and CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WHTZ (Z100)/NEW YORK morning host ELVIS DURAN (including a "10 Questions" session with DENVER), a panel of radio programmers gave their thumbs up/down on a variety of new songs. The Jukebox Jury, moderated by veteran programmer and consultant MAX TOLKOFF, included SANTA MONICA COLLEGE Triple A KCRW/SANTA MONICA-LOS ANGELES MD/morning host JASON BENTLEY, ASTRAL MEDIA Top 40 CKFM (VIRGIN RADIO 99.9)-Adult Hits CHBM (BOOM 97.3)/TORONTO PD CHRIS EBBOTT, CUMULUS SVP/Programming JAN JEFFRIES, BELL MEDIA VP/Programming DAVID COREY, DIAL GLOBAL VP/Country Programming JOHN PAUL, FLUX FM/GERMANY PD MARKUS KUEHN, CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ/LOS ANGELES MD LISA WORDEN, and CBS RADIO VP/Top 40 Programming MICHAEL MARTIN.
More Future Talk
Radio's use of social media on smartphones was the nominal focus of a panel moderated by AUSTEREO/AUSTRALIA syndicated "RADAR" host BYRON COOKE and featuring ACCURADIO's KURT HANSON, P1 RESEARCH's KEN BENSON, LIQUID COMPASS CEO ZACKARY LEWIS, and KUEHN, but the panel took off from a comment by DURAN at lunch about a future when radio will no longer be dependent on traditional antenna-transmitter stations and will be exclusively online, discussing a range of topics involving the future of the business. LEWIS spoke about the future involving the ability to target listeners, even down to the type of device they are using, and proposed targeting as the likely future of monetizing the medium; COOKE raised the issue of personalization making listeners "work" for their entertainment, to which HANSON noted that a good algorithm can make the "job" easier; and the panel discussed monetization (including spot loads on streaming). Getting back to social media, BENSON mentioned the success of RAWLCO RADIO Hot AC CKNO (102.3 NOW! RADIO)/EDMONTON in using audience engagement, and LEWIS raised the need to integrate Twitter and Facebook into station apps, adding that doing so keeps listeners within the streaming app longer, building time spent listening.
Music 'n' Meters
Closing out the day's panels, EMMIS VP/Programming and Top 40/Rhythmic KPWR (POWER 106)/LOS ANGELES PD JIMMY STEAL hosted a session on techniques for programming to the PPM, with CBS RADIO SVP/Programming GREG STRASSELL, CUMULUS SVP/Programming MIKE MCVAY, CLEAR CHANNEL/LOS ANGELES OM ANDREW JEFFRIES, NUVOODOO MEDIA SERVICES President CAROLYN GILBERT, SOUND-OUT President DAVID COURTIER-DUTTON, and AIRPLAY INTEL President RICH MEYER. JEFFRIES said he "love(s)" PPM, which he said "leveled the playing field" for him as he moved to the U.S.; he said that the meters are "an inevitable must" that is "better than relying on memory." MCVAY noted that the problem with the PPM is that there are "too few meters" and, as a result, the best approach is to do mass-appeal formats with big cumes to improve the station's chances at registering. STRASSELL said he likes the meter as a "reality check."
On the research side, GILBERT agreed that the sample sizes are insufficient and MEYER echoed the sentiment. The panel discussed tactics for approaching the PPM in programming (like shorter edits of new songs to minimize the impact of unfamiliar music) and the effect of the PPM on breaking new music (GILBERT said that there has "always been that disconnect" between people's stated desire for new music and their actual behavior in avoiding it). MCVAY said that "it all comes down to making great radio," crediting the meters for highlighting when talent is "phoning it in."
The evening's festivities included a cocktail networking reception and artist showcases at S.I.R. STUDIOS in HOLLYWOOD.