Worldwide Radio Summit In Full Swing
Full Coverage Of Saturday's Sessions and Award Winners Monday
May 4, 2013 at 10:04 AM (PT)
It's a busy day at THE ROOSEVELT HOTEL in HOLLYWOOD, as the WORLDWIDE RADIO SUMMIT has a full slate of events TODAY (5/3).
Opener Looks At Digital Landscape
After an opening presentation by LISTENER DRIVEN RADIO's DANIEL ANSTANDIG, the opening panel, moderated by KENRADIO BROADCASTING Founder/Pres./host KEN RUTKOWSKI, featured SLACKER Pres./CEO JIM CADY, CBS RADIO Local Digital Media Pres. EZRA KUCHARZ, CLEAR CHANNEL DIGITAL Pres. BRIAN LAKAMP, and BBC Hot AC RADIO 2 and Triple A 6MUSIC Head of Music JEFF SMITH discussing the changing digital landscape for radio.
RUTKOWSKI challenged the panel by noting that his polling of people at his gym turned up no use of radio or broadcasters' apps; CADY noted that the top question a car stereo installer told him people ask is how to connect their smartphones. When RUTKOWSKI told CADY that SLACKER is "not radio," CADY countered that it is radio, just on a different delivery method, with radio clocks and programmers from terrestrial radio; LAKAMP said that listeners have a social-level relationship with radio personalities that is different from customizable streaming choices (including his own iHEARTRADIO's custom radio offering), while KUCHARZ stressed creating a community ("not just three songs in a row") and asserted that artists can tell you where they were when they heard their songs on the radio for the first time, but can't do that for PANDORA. And LAKAMP insisted that at CLEAR CHANNEL, "we don't have a digital strategy, we have a brand strategy."
KUCHARZ said that he thought that satellite radio's growth is stagnating, although CADY said that SIRIUSXM "seem(s) to be doing well ... if you deliver quality content ... people are willing to pay for it." LAKAMP disputed RUTKOWSKI's comment that CLEAR CHANNEL "works slow," offering examples of how the company moves on initiatives and adding that he "wouldn't be working here" if it wasn't that way. KUCHARZ added that CBS moves fast as well, considering itself a "content company" rather than a radio company.
In a Q&A session, RUTKOWSKI asked the panel to say what their product is and what they sell, and after the panelists did not directly answer the question, RUTKOWSKI noted that GOOGLE considers its product the users and said he was concerned about the companies' "old media ways." After he noted how NETFLIX and AMAZON are developing their own content, KUCHARZ countered that the companies are partnering with established producers, adding, "it's hard to create new content." And CADY noted that adding personalities to his streams substantially increases Time Spent Listening.
The Latest Data From Arbitron: Country Is Hot
ARBITRON's RON RODRIGUES presented information from the ratings service's "Radio Today 2013: How America Listens to Radio" study, showing Country and News-Talk continuing to lead all formats in AQH share; the fastest-growing are Country and Top 40, driven by young listeners. Country turns out to be the #1 format among 18-34 adults, ahead of perennial demographic leader Top 40. He also brought along some more information from the "Infinite Dial" study, showing the rapid growth of smartphones (10% owned smartphones in 2009, 53% in 2013) and that Top 40, Rock and Urban listeners are most likely to own smartphones (and over 60% always have their smartphones within arm's length).
Cumulus' John Dickey Defends Consolidation, Says More Is Coming
Making money with radio content is a major issue addressed by the RAB's ERICA FARBER and a panel including her RAB predecessor, JEFF HALEY, now Pres./CEO of MARKETRON, along with CUMULUS EVP/Co-COO JOHN DICKEY, ARBITRON EVP/COO SEAN CREAMER, CLEAR CHANNEL Alternative KYSR/LOS ANGELES GSM DAWN GIROCCO, and FLUX FM/GERMANY Managing Partner MARKUS KUEHN discussing the future of radio sales and integrated selling. (FARBER joked that she was happy that most of the attendees were still in the room because sales topics sometimes clear people out of a panel.) The panel was highlighted by DICKEY's assertion that the industry will be benefited by more ownership consolidation, which he said would be a good thing for the business.
DICKEY started the session by saying, "you can't make money without being creative," and GIROCCO said that finding good salespeople is akin to finding a good morning show, with candidates needing to be versed in social media. DICKEY said that salespeople "have to be a lot smarter about how to approach the job ... you have to be well-rounded," adding that salespeople in the past didn't always understand what they were selling. He also said that the industry needs to quantify what it's selling, from radio audience size to events and digital content. (CREAMER, whose company has an obvious stake in that matter, agreed, saying that "if you can't quantify it, you can't monetize it.") "We're in the audio content business, we're in the content business, period, and we need to think of it this way," DICKEY said, noting that his company and others are distributing content in many different ways.
HALEY noted that the manager of the hotel where the convention is located gets daily information about the occupancy and rates at every hotel within a certain radius, anonymized and that the same kind of information could be served to radio management to help them know how they stand within their competitive category.
FARBER asked GIROCCO where the growth areas are, and GIROCCO touted improvements in inventory management across a cluster or company will help grow revenue.
DICKEY admitted that "as an industry," radio has not done enough to increase its visibility. He noted that SIRIUS and XM spent a large amount on marketing, both to consumers and to WALL STREET, to launch and to get a negative image placed on terrestrial radio. He said that more consolidation is "inevitable" and will help the industry survive and grow. "There's been too much fear in this industry about scale," he said, adding that the mom-and-pop era of radio has been "romanticized" and that "progress is progress for a reason ... consolidation is a good thing for our industry." He said that programmers, facing fewer jobs, need to understand the sales aspect of the business more, working with the company to develop more sales and revenue action. "Sales and programming are coming closer together, not further apart," DICKEY said.
CREAMER said he is "bullish about radio ... advertising should follow audience, and our audience is growing." He noted that radio has gotten less for its audience size than other media and that offers a growth opportunity for revenue, and added that if the industry "embrace(s) mobile, we will be successful for a long time."
Jukebox Jury Convenes
After a lunchtime interview with ALL ACCESS' own JOEL DENVER talking to PREMIERE NETWORKS' BOBBY BONES about his big move to NASHVILLE and the Country format, a panel of top programmers gathered to cast judgment on "The Next Big Radio Hit," offering their opinions on clips from several new songs. Consultant MAX TOLKOFF moderated a group that included CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ and Top 40 KAMP (AMP RADIO 97.1)/LOS ANGELES OM GENE SANDBLOOM, CUMULUS SVP, Corporate Programming JAN JEFFRIES, SPARKNET RESEARCH Pres. KEN BENSON, BORDER MEDIA/SAN ANTONIO VP/Programming MARK LANDIS, FLUX FM/GERMANY MD MINA RUEBSAMEN, YMF MEDIA Urban WBLS/NEW YORK OM SKIP DILLARD, CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE Triple A KCSN/NORTHRIDGE-LOS ANGELES PD SKY DANIELS, and MBC GROUP/DUBAI Group Dir./New Business - Audio & Music MOHAMMED AL MULHELM.
The Power Of Branding
COLEMAN INSIGHTS Pres./COO WARREN KURTZMAN headed a panel looking at the importance of brands, with consultant ALAN BURNS, CLEAR CHANNEL/LOS ANGELES VP/Programming ANDREW JEFFRIES, MULTIBRAND MEDIA INTERNATIONAL's BILL PASHA, CPR's PAIGE NEINABER, KUEHN and AL MULHELM on hand. JEFFRIES said that he looks at a brand as "a friend," noting that a brand is "useless without a relationship;" NEINABER added that "a good brand has fans." BURNS outlined some of the customer experience elements that go into a strong brand, while PASHA said that having an effective brand involves "knowing who your customers are."
The panel discussed brands they admire (WHOLE FOODS, PUBLIX, THE GRATEFUL DEAD, LEGO) and why some stations don't brand well (BURNS said they lack empathy, and PASHA said that that branding in developing nations where radio is relatively new is often better than that in developed nations; he said that U.S. radio branding can be "a mechanical afterthought"). NEINABER challenged the audience to tune into a radio station and see if, without cues, they can tell where a station's from; he remembered tuning into KMEL/SAN FRANCISCO in 1992 and thinking about how it sounded like the BAY AREA despite never once actually saying that they were located there. He later strongly suggested that stations respond to social media posts or "fire everybody," with BURNS recalling the figures from TECHSURVEY 9 that 61% of social media fans of stations are conditioned not to expect to get a response from their interaction with the stations.
How Great Radio Is Made
Following MTV NETWORKS' ROGER COLETTI's presentation on the VH1 CLASSIC show "ON TAP" with NIK CARTER, CUMULUS' MIKE MCVAY hosted a panel on music and programming (and research) with CBS RADIO To 40 KAMP (AMP RADIO 97.1) APD JOHN MICHAEL and EMMIS VP Programming and Top 40/Rhythmic KPWR (POWER 106)/LOS ANGELES PD JIMMY STEAL joined by NUVOODOO's CAROLYN GILBERT, RADIOCRUNCH's ANTHONY ACAMPORA, and RCS/MEDIA MONITORS President PHILIPPE GENERALI. The talk covered what makes radio unique (STEAL noting that radio has talent to curate music and share experiences with the audience, unlike, he said, PANDORA and SLACKER RADIO), programming to the PPM (GILBERT saying that stations should consider the psyche and motivation of the people who accept the meters and carry them around), effective research when a significant portion of the population no longer have landline telephone service, sameness in programming (ACAMPORA lamenting the loss of diversity as two or three stations in a market duplicate formats to chase the same audience, leaving some formats, like Alternative, out in the cold, although he also noted that radio broke more new artists this year than ever), sample sizes (GILBERT noting that the loss of a single meter respondent can change the ratings in some major markets), and other topics.
Full coverage of Saturday's sessions and WWRS Award winners Monday in Net News at AllAccess.com!