Busy Day Closes Out Worldwide Radio Seminar 2014
April 4, 2014 at 5:44 PM (PT)
The WORLDWIDE RADIO SUMMIT offered another full day of events at the HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT HOTEL on FRIDAY (4/4).
Knowing the PPM Participants
NUVOODOO President CAROLYN GILBERT and EVP/Research Analysis LEIGH JACOBS opened the day with a presentation on reaching the people who carry NIELSEN AUDIO PPM devices. GILBERT and JACOBS offered results from the company's third annual Ratings Prospects Study to show the differences between "normal people" and meter participants.
The study found that the top reason for both diary and PPM participants to be part of the ratings is the money: being paid was by far the number one reason, followed by influencing changes in radio and TV programming. Predictably, higher income correlates with lower ratings participation; heavier listeners, however, are more likely to participate, and participants are more likely to spend more time with social media (and vice versa). Ratings prospects tend to also enjoy contests (and among them, interest in prizes isn't necessarily correlated to the value of the prize -- a $1,000 Visa gift card gets almost as much interest as a million dollars, $100,000, or $50,000 cash), and many don't want to be bothered by phone calls.
The research also showed that slogans that offer a benefit -- "songs you like to sing along with," "songs that make you feel good" -- work better than slogans that offer "the best variety of the 90s, 2K and today." The respondents also complained about small playlists, and felt radio stations are not very interested in what they think of programming.
Also noted in the research is that online streaming services like PANDORA, iHEARTRADIO, and SPOTIFY are making inroads.
Optimizing Social Media
JACOBS MEDIA Dir./Digital & Social Strategies and ALL ACCESS columnist LORI LEWIS hosted a panel on her specialty, social media. The panel included two prominent talents -- ENTERCOM Rock KISW/SEATTLE morning host B.J. SHEA and COX MEDIA GROUP Talk WHPT (102.5 THE BONE)/TAMPA afternoon host MIKE CALTA (the artist formerly known as COWHEAD) -- along with COCA-COLA Global Interactive Marketing Strategist CHRISTY AMADOR, and ISLAND RECORDS SVP/Rock Promotion CHRISTINE CHIAPPETTA .
Starting with a video of COCA-COLA's viral promotion using enormous vending machines and trucks dispensing free soda, soccer balls, and surfboards around the world, and AMADOR advising, "Do something memorable, exciting and think of it as content," the panel discussed the power of the personal touch -- SHEA calling out names of notables in the audience to illustrate that point, while CALTA noted that social media allows fans to follow him throughout the day -- and the danger of not using social media.
SHEA offered his show's parody of actress ALISON PILL's accidental topless tweet to her then-boyfriend, actor JAY BARUCHEL, with a tweet of the show's STEVE THE PRODUCER in the same pose, drawing the response from BARUCHEL, "dear God," as an example of how social media enables a dialogue between the public and celebrities. LEWIS noted that social is personal -- Facebook is "not where people come to see us," she said, but instead where they come to see family and friends and stumble upon radio pages, while Twitter is primarily to follow interesting people.
On lessons learned in social media, CHIAPPETA cited the hashtag as something necessary to spread posts socially, and AMADOR advised that "if you don't have anything to say, don't say it." SHEA said that he realized after spending too long to answer every social media contact that he needed to hire help for that job, because he wants to respond to every post and email.
Panel Looks At The Future
What's coming next? jacAPPS and JACOBS MEDIA's PAUL JACOBS hosted a panel on radio's future and the challenges and competition ahead. "We have the ability to take our hundreds of thousands of listeners and move them" into ancillary media, JACOBS noted of radio's cume advantage, adding, "I'd much rather be here (in radio) than the newspaper business."
EMMIS President/Programming RICK CUMMINGS discussed how the PPM exposed problems in programming, the difficulty in finding new talent, and his company's brands; XFM/LONDON Deputy Programme Director/Head of Music MIKE WALSH spoke about his company's national brand; COX MEDIA GROUP EVP/Radio KIM GUTHRIE noted that national programming doesn't always work and added that her company was previously tightly programmed with pre-approved liner cards and she prefers a more human touch, with local talent "the real secret sauce." But consultant MARK RAMSEY said that localism is not the primary element: "It begins with the quality, not the proximity," and added that PPM data is "not good for acquisition (of audience), only retention." He also noted that the media business has moved from a top-down model to consumers demanding what they want.
On the revenue side, JACOBS asked whether radio is in position to diversify its sales position, and he and RAMSEY agreed that radio has to start "thinking like lean start-ups." RAMSEY challenged CUMMINGS' concern about finding talent by noting that "there's talent all around us" on the Internet, citing CHRIS HARDWICK's use of social media and the Web to build a successful career.
The panel spent time on the measurement issue, with GUTHRIE raising again the issue of measuring headphone listening, noting that her stations do well in app rankings but the success is not reflected in NIELSEN. And JACOBS brought up the connected car, leading CUMMINGS to insist that because technology takes a long time to gain currency with the public, "we have time to get this done, but we need to make it a top priority."
On what radio looks like in five years, WALSH said that radio stations will be brands, not stations, an opinion echoed by BBC ASIA NETWORK Head of Programmes MARK STRIPPEL, while GUTHRIE said that younger audiences will need to be served with different talent, RAMSEY discussed adapting brands to better serve the consumer, and CUMMINGS, after joking that he has "no idea" about the future, asserted that human nature won't change and people want what they want while doing as little as possible to get it. RAMSEY added that while people talk about customization, the media still is about serving up what most people want most of the time, and GUTHRIE agreed that people don't want to work to get their entertainment, preferring to have someone else do the work for them -- she called DJs "the first curators... we're doing it, this is what we do."
CUMMINGS praised his boss JEFF SMULYAN for getting the radio industry together to fight for getting FM chips into cellphones and developing the NEXTRADIO app. RAMSEY suggested that radio needs to develop closer relationships with its consumers, noting that unlike the competition, radio doesn't compile lists of emails of its users. STRIPPEL raised the issue of developing a stronger visual element to streaming on mobile and extending brands to video and other platforms, and GUTHRIE stressed the importance of finding new talent. And WALSH supported risk-taking as necessary for the industry to continue to develop.
How To Make Hits
A midday panel on the process of making a hit record moderated by THE MUSIC BUSINESS REGISTRY's RITCH ESRA included EVERCLEAR's ART ALEXAKIS, BMG CHRYSALIS NORTH AMERICA's ZACH KATZ, ATLANTIC's PETE GANBARG, and CAPITOL's GREG THOMPSON discussing the different impacts of different formats on the success of records, misconceptions of what labels do, setting up a song to build a hit, doing more with less, and other topics.
Picking the Hits
After the International Awards Luncheon (see separate story for details and winners), the annual panel picking "The Next Big Radio Hit" featured some of radio's top programmers and audience members using PINNACLE MEDIA WORLDWIDE's digital meter system to vote on a selection of singles from around the world. Included on the panel were CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 KIIS-F/LOS ANGELES' BEATA CZECHOWSKI, MUSIC CHOICE's DAMON WILLIAMS, SOUNDOUT's DAVID COURTIER-DUTTON, RADIO ONE's JAY STEVENS, EMMIS VP/Programming and Top 40/Rhythmic KPWR (POWER 106)/LOS ANGELES' JIMMY STEAL, CLEAR CHANNEL Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7)/LOS ANGELES' MIKE KAPLAN, XFM's MIKE WALSH, and EON MEDIA's ROB GRAHAM, with A&R WORLDWIDE's SAT BISLA, co-host of WWRS, moderating. And PAUL OAKENFOLD dropped in and offered his opinion on a GUY SEBASTIAN single.
Giving the Listeners More Control
LISTENER DRIVEN RADIO's DANIEL ANSTANDIG hosted a panel on "crowdcasting" initiatives like his own company's service, with his LDR INTERACTIVE colleague VICTOR CABALLERO, CLEAR CHANNEL Classic Rock format leader and WAXQ (Q104.3)/NEW YORK PD ERIC WELLMAN, RIVIERA BROADCASTING Dir. of Operations MARC YOUNG, and CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WIHT (HOT 99.5)/WASHINGTON and Top 40 WZFT (Z104.3)/BALTIMORE PD MARK MEDINA. The panelists discussed how talent interfaces with listeners through online and social media, working with sales, and other aspects of programming.
Talent Panel Closes Out The Session Schedule
After founder JOEL DENVER presented a look at the newest features and services here at ALL ACCESS, including the consumer-oriented ALL ACCESS MUSIC site and the new ALL ACCESS DOWNLOADS system, and offered a preview of our new video section, RANDY LANE hosted the final panel of the conference, the talent panel. Headlining the panel were CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 KDWB/MINNEAPOLIS morning man DAVE RYAN, CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 KHTS (CHANNEL 9-3-3)/SAN DIEGO morning team FRANKIE & GEENA, CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH 101)/LOS ANGELES morning host GARY BRYAN, EMMIS Top 40/Rhythmic KPWR (POWER 106)/LOS ANGELES night host J CRUZ, CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 KIIS-F/LOS ANGELES night host JOJO WRIGHT, CLEAR CHANNEL and PREMIERE NETWORKS host KANE, and DJ/producer PAUL OAKENFOLD.
The panelists related stories about their biggest mistakes (J CRUZ admitting to saying "if you're a pussy, don't come down here" during a remote at SIX FLAGS; KANE had a knife pulled on him by a guest, a hooker, on the air), discussed the music vs. talk debate in the PPM universe, endorsements, and more.
RYAN staged a bit in which an audience member faked being a former member of his show objecting to his characterization of the show as "all about the team" but quickly admitted that it was staged for the panel and meant to illustrate the idea promulgated by LANE of "augmented content," defined as "things that aren't real meant as entertainment."
A wine tasting networking reception & hors d'oeuvres are being held at the hotel's Blossom patio by the pool at the HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT, hosted by the show's creators, A&R WORLDWIDE & ALLACCESS MUSIC GROUP, with music from RCA artists MAGIC.