It's Day Two Of The Radio Show In Orlando
September 19, 2013 at 1:15 PM (PT)
The 2013 RADIO SHOW, sponsored by the NAB and RAB, continues TODAY (9/19) in ORLANDO.
Ryvicker Gives Radio Stocks An A
WELLS FARGO SECURITIES analyst MARCI RYVICKER kicked off a breakfast session with good news for station owners, giving the industry an "A" for its stock prices rising 86% year to date, as opposed to the STANDARD AND POOR'S index up 19%. RYVICKER ran through WELLS FARGO's projections for various metrics measuring the economy, including rising interest rates and growth in new housing starts, and relatively stable gross domestic product, which portends 2-3% advertising growth. Radio is showing just 1% growth; RYVICKER noted that newspapers' decline seems to be slowing, indicating stabilization of the market. Her talk also addressed the changing audience and the rise of social media in all demographics.
CEOs Look At State Of Industry At Leadership Breakfast
The annual Leadership Breakfast featured CONNOISSEUR MEDIA's JEFF WARSHAW, who said his company has been having "an incredible year"; NRG MEDIA's MARY QUASS; ALPHA/L&L's LARRY WILSON, who asserted that market size is less important than quality of content; and, CUMULUS' LEW DICKEY. The discussion included the launch of iTUNES RADIO and competition from online radio, WILSON's return to radio ownership ("I got married and my wife said, ' you gotta go to work'") and his concern that young people aren't getting into the talent side of the business (or, speaking later, into radio investment), competition from satellite and digital (QUASS said that there are more opportunities for broadcasters -- "I'm jazzed that there are so many ways to reach our communities"), and the need for FM tuner chips in cellphones (QUASS said, "We need to be on the devices people are using. 'Out of sight, out of mind' is a big problem").
DICKEY, addressing new competition for radio, said that there are three methods consumers use for audio consumption -- radio, music stores and mix tapes, and likened PANDORA to mix tapes and iTUNES to record stores. He said that SIRIUSXM is the only direct competitor for radio and explained his plans for RDIO to compete in the digital space and WESTWOODONE (which he compared to television syndication, creating programming to be sold across the radio landscape).
WARSHAW warned that "if we don't put out fantastic programming" and maintain community involvement, radio stands to lose its position in listeners' "hearts and minds." Asked by moderator LEW PAPER about radio's inability to monetize digital, WILSON said "we're in the third inning ... We're learning every day." WILSON noted that there were several people on the sidelines with capital wanting to buy into the business and that he is not necessarily looking to be the biggest player, just wanting to buy the "#1 draft picks" (citing JERRY LEE's ownership of a single station, AC WBEB (B101)/PHILADELPHIA, that competes well against the major groups).
DICKEY added that "equity investors are seeing that this is a very resilient business" and that radio is positioned to "co-opt, not be steamrolled" by digital competition. "The interest in our medium is increasing almost monthly" from investors, DICKEY said. "The buzz on our industry is strong and growing."
JACOBS MEDIA's FRED JACOBS and STRATEGY ANALYTICS' ROGER LANCTOT presented their research on the "Digital Dash" at a RADIO SHOW Super Session on "Radio and the Connected Car"
LANCTOT's research gave an overview of how, while AM and FM radio remain dominant for in-car audio entertainment, Internet options are gaining and are increasingly considered "must-have" by consumers. He noted several difficulties related to in-car connected interfaces but warned that the problems were likely temporary.
JACOBS gave the audience a look at some in-dash systems available today in a video, then showed interviews with auto maker representatives, who stressed safety and customer experience. LANCTOT followed with video of consumers unable to figure out how to use their connected systems, and JACOBS showed a video about training for car dealers.
Looking forward, LANCTOT said that his company projects things like USB and Bluetooth connectivity and touch screens to be ubiquitous by 2020 and knobs to be gone by then. JACOBS added that radio remains an important part of the new ecosystem, a point reinforced by auto makers and others interviewed about the matter.
JACOBS and LANCTOT told radio figures to try driving a connected car, partner with local car dealership to find mutually beneficial opportunities, attend connected car conference to hear and speak with automotive industry officials and let them know that radio people are enthused about the connected car, rethink HD Radio as a way to bring the digital experience to radio as well as deliver data to the car, form an in-car radio industry consortium, develop mobile strategies with the in-car experience in mind, make your stations' streaming experience equal to the competitors, and engage with the technology rather than take radio's in-car position for granted.
Athletes-Turned-Hosts Talk To Jim Rome
CBS SPORTS RADIO's JIM ROME moderated a session with athletes-turned-radio hosts, with ENTERCOM Talk WWL-A-F/NEW ORLEANS' BOBBY HEBERT, CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A/SAN FRANCISCO's TOM TOLBERT, and NBC SPORTS RADIO's AMANI TOOMER on the panel. ROME noted the increasing difficulty in getting athletes to say anything in interviews for fear of getting in trouble, but noted the three athletes were exceptions as players. HEBERT, the colorful former SAINTS quarterback, looking back at his career, offered that in his own case, it's never difficult "to get a Cajun to talk." TOLBERT, who played for the GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS and other NBA teams, said he has found success because "I love sports," doing what he would be doing even if he wasn't working in the business. Former NEW YORK GIANT TOOMER said that it's "not that easy" to be compelling and entertaining using "just your voice," noting that he has had help from producers to get him up to speed.
Responding to ROME's requests for the panel's individual "welcome to radio moment," HEBERT didn't have a specific moment but said that it was more adjusting to the job and allowing his co-host to perform the radio formatics duties, characterizing his role as "the voice of the fans." TOLBERT, asked if there have been things he's said on the air that he'd want to take back, said that he tries not to say what he wouldn't say to a teammate's face; he added that he's felt like taking back things he's said many times, but never still felt that way two weeks after the fact.
The tension between the sports world and the media world was highlighted when retired CHICAGO BEARS star BRIAN URLACHER, now a TV commentator, said that NFL players fake injuries to slow down the opposing offense, a comment that irked players who charged URLACHER with violating the players' unwritten code; TOOMER said, "There's no code once they're not paying you anymore." However, TOOMER admitted that when the shoe was on the other foot, when he was an active player and former teammate TIKI BARBER ripped quarterback ELI MANNING, he was "upset."
ROME said that he does not root for any team, insisting, "I don't root for anyone or anything other than something to talk about." TOLBERT agreed, adding, "there's always a story, there's always something going on." ROME and TOLBERT compared show prep today (with the Internet and most games available on SUNDAY Ticket, Red Zone, MLB Extra Innings, et al.) with how things were at the beginning of their radio careers (newspapers, including the short-lived THE NATIONAL daily all-Sports paper). ROME stressed the need for sports shows to be "well-produced" and for hosts to "know the room" -- what listeners want to hear, such as HEBERT noting that WWL listeners want only SAINTS and LSU football talk and won't tolerate more than a segment about TULANE.
TALKERS MAGAZINE's MICHAEL HARRISON made his annual presentation on the state of radio, optimistically saying, "We have the power to make this industry something better than it's ever been." HARRISON sounded a theme of reinvention and the need for radio to remain at the center of popular culture. He enumerated ten things he said radio needs to do, including "celebrate radio's radioness"; spread out, formatically; "be a hero every day, in every way"; "strive for localness"; take ownership of the material; eliminate commercial tune-out; maintain an active "skunkworks" (developmental system); learn about intellectual property; integrate radio into the digital age without losing the essential audio basis of the medium; and eliminate debt.
Radical Changes In Local Ad Markets
BORRELL ASSOCIATES founder and CEO GORDON BORRELL, conjuring memories of 1993 to show how radically the world has changed in twenty years, offered a presentation THURSDAY afternoon on local advertising and how radio and other media can survive. He noted the increase in advertising options over the years, with local advertisers getting bombarded with ad sales pitches and consumers passing 5,000 ads per day, actually seeing 285 and recalling perhaps 6, partially because of the habit of people burying their faces in their smartphones. The trend, BORRELL noted, is towards mobile retail purchases, with mobile advertising right at the point of purchase. And he outlined how the shopping experience has changed, with the example of how a six month process of dreaming about,research, and buying a car has compacted into half that time, reducing the time spent researching the purchase (and the time clients' marketing has to influence the buyer).
The expenditures on advertising fell precipitously in the mid-2000s from ten years earlier, but promotions spending (from a separate budget line) rose at a rapid rate. This, BORRELL said, is good news for radio, because radio "revolves around promotions." And radio did better than other traditional media in driving Facebook Likes and comments. The end result, he said, is the need to morph the business to go after additional digital sales opportunities, although BORRELL said that "you won't die if you don't morph... but you won't grow anymore." He suggested that radio sales be handled by radio sellers and digital sellers be hired to take care of the digital side.
Recapping Wednesday's Action
ALL ACCESS had the industry's first coverage of WEDNESDAY's RADIO SHOW activities posted YESTERDAY (NET NEWS 9/18) as events were happening, including:
* FCC's Clyburn Announces AM Revitalization NPRM
* Branding for Talent 101
* Labels, Radio, and Artists, Working Together...
* State Farm Talks Radio
* Programming and Digital: Bringing Different Worlds Together
* Telling Stories
* Farber, Smith Address the Gathering
The NAB Marconi Radio Awards Reception, Dinner & Show is scheduled for THURSDAY night.