John Dickey Details 'Nash Next' And Addresses Voltair
July 31, 2015 at 10:55 AM (PT)
“NASH will be to Country what ESPN is to sports.”
That’s CUMULUS EVP/Content and Programming JOHN DICKEY, talking exclusively to ALL ACCESS about the company’s umbrella Country brand, while sharing more details about its recently launched“ NASH NEXT” nationwide talent search (NET NEWS, 5/18).
During an ALL ACCESS Power Player interview coming next week, DICKEY expounded on the program his company calls “the largest online talent search ever undertaken.” He discussed reasons why CUMULUS continues to explore the music industry, saying, “No one thought they’d ever live long enough to see a radio company get in to the record business. We are growing and doing more of that; that’s what NASH NEXT is all about … I think this is going to turn a page that will forever make a lasting mark on how A&R is viewed and done in NASHVILLE.” The NASH NEXT contest aims to “raise the bar on talent in our space,” said DICKEY, who added, “This is also going to increase the deal flow of great female artists who will come in to this format.”
DICKEY also shared his thoughts on the ongoing VOLTAIR controversy, saying, “I think it has exposed a flaw in the encoding process and in how that watermark is picked up. NIELSEN’s very well-crafted conference call and response to this was designed to do a couple of things. One, to protect them from a class action lawsuit and have mass defection and problems; two, they need to keep the genie in the bottle and have control over what they’re doing, and take the high road but still swat away people who are taking shots at them. I think they did that pretty artfully. A step in the right direction? Yes. Did NIELSEN do it begrudgingly? You bet.”
DICKEY went on to say, “The industry deserves better from them. We have all suffered over the last four or five years as a result of the deployment of this methodology and the technology that they’ve used, which has been inferior. So, if this is a step in the right direction, then so be it. But I’d like to see a lot more, and I’d like to see a lot more openness. Obviously, the other two things that are ever-present and relate to one another are sample size and the inherent bias that goes with the pager or meter device.”
Our entire conversation with DICKEY will be featured next WEEK on ALL ACCESS.