It's Day Three Of The Conclave
July 20, 2012 at 10:53 AM (PT)
The 2012 CONCLAVE LEARNING CONFERENCE is wrapping things up on day three TODAY (7/20) at The DOUBLETREE PARK PLACE in MINNEAPOLIS, with LEARNING CONFERENCE badges presented by ALL ACCESS.
Erica Farber: Be Positive About Radio
The day's schedule began with RAB President ERICA FARBER interviewed by the conference's Agenda Chairman and COLEMAN INSIGHTS President/CEO WARREN KURTZMAN about how she was recruited to join the RAB. "I still believe in this business," FARBER said, adding that while she recognizes the challenges the industry faces, "I still feel very strongly (about the business) and see tremendous opportunity."
"The definition of radio is changing," FARBER said, noting that consumer usage and technology has changed and "we have to play catch-up a little bit." But FARBER added that the changes offer opportunity and that public perception of radio is still strong. In addition, she pointed to changes in how the business is structured, with large and small station owners having different goals and missions.
Asked about what radio needs to do to improve sales, FARBER said, "We need to call on advertisers." "It is still a problem. We are not making sales calls. We don't know what to say." On the PPM, FARBER said that "for the first time... we're thinking about what people are doing while they're listening to us.... all PPM is doing is allow us to see that." Pointing to the shift from the diary method of quarter-hour listening to the more more specific meter figures, she said, "we're getting found out a little."
FARBER said that since joining the RAB, she has learned that the organization is a "tremendous resource... it is not our father's RAB. It has definitely moved forward," but needs, she added, to let people know how to use it. And she asked those in the industry not to use the term "terrestrial radio," because it was, she said, coined by satellite radio and used against the broadcast industry. She counseled radio people to be positive despite the industry's problems and create a "buddy system" to allow venting without airing the complaints in public or the media ("these ARE the 'Good Old Days').
Digital media, she said, offers opportunity for radio ("we are the original social media. We were FACEBOOK before FACEBOOK"); she advised stations to register visitors to their websites and predicted that stations would get more into video. "There's going to be more," she said. "It's very exciting."
RAIN Summit Midwest Takes Over
The annual RAIN Summit MIDWEST took over the rest of the session schedule for the event, starting with RAIN founder KURT HANSON's talk about his theory that radio is entering its fourth "Golden Age," with statistics showing rapid growth of online listening and an explanation of the economics behind streaming. A panel on multi-platform stratifies followed, with MARK KASSOF, SAGA's STEVE GOLDSTEIN, and iBIQUITY's RICK GREENHUT voicing optimism about HD RADIO (GREENHUT called it a "disruptive technology," while KASSOF said he expected that the industry's success getting the service into cars will help it become successful). GOLDSTEIN talked about using analog translators to rebroadcast the programming from HD multicast channels to help the formats gain traction, and questioned whether people want rebroadcasts of standard radio stations online, which he said amounted to about 2%, or prefer new and different choices); He said that the experience of listening online is "horrible" but that his company will shortly try a 100% simulcast, including spots, of its terrestrial signals online. The discussion also covered the expansion of radio sites into video and use of HD2, streaming, and translators to offer niche programming, and GOLDSTEIN noted the success of podcasting as something that radio stations should emulate ("we've left audio on the table").
knowDIGITAL President SAM MILKMAN offered a presentation on using FACEBOOK to engage listeners, discussing the results of a study of 30 listeners who "liked" a station's page. The listeners said they liked the station, CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ/LOS ANGELES to feel connected, to be cool, and for a specific contest or ticket sale; they said they wanted information about concerts, events, and music news, but didn't want polls, listener comments, or other "fluff." Listeners also expect morning shows to have their own pages, and will decide "in a millisecond" if they will read a post.
SLACKER RADIO Senior Radio Program Manager MAT BATES joined HANSON for a chat about his company's offerings and who the service is reaching, while VALERIE GELLER offered tips about using social media for show prep. A panel on streaming strategies included ABACAST's MICHAEL DALFONZO, TUNEIN's KEVIN STRALEY, LIQUID COMPASS' TYLER BROOKFIELD, and CUMULUS/DETROIT's RON HARRELL, And ED SCHINDLER of DMR INTERACTIVE offered tips for effective digital marketing using various self-service platforms (like Facebook and Twitter). Closing the sessions, CHICAGO radio legend and current podcaster STEVE DAHL (joking to the audience, "man, you look bored as sh-t") gave a keynote interview, sitting down with HANSON to talk about his experience moving online and his podcast network, touting his creative freedom and discussing monetization ("subscription is really the only way that makes sense for someone like myself") and marketing (word-of-mouth).
The CONCLAVE's FRIDAY luncheon will honor JACOBS MEDIA CEO FRED JACOBS and INTEL AIRPLAYS CEO RICH MEYER with this year's ROCKWELL Awards. A career fair and the CONCLAVE Board of Directors' SUMMER meeting are scheduled to occupy the remainder of the afternoon.