CRS In Action: Keynote Address
February 8, 2016 at 3:26 PM (PT)
The CRS 2016 Keynote Discussion, “THE NEW VIEW FROM THE TOP,” took place MONDAY (2/8) afternoon, immediately following opening ceremonies. WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE Pres./CEO JOHN ESPOSITO, SONY MUSIC NASHVILLE Chairman/CEO RANDY GOODMAN, iHEARTCOUNTRY SVP/Programming ROD PHILLIPS, and COX MEDIA GROUP EVP/Radio BILL HENDRICH joined moderator CHARLIE MORGAN to talk about the changes in the industry and where they see the future as they look from a new perspective.
HENDRICH started the discussion by sharing his vantage point on the relationship between Country radio and record labels since returning to the format after nine years outside of Country. He stated the strongest asset to our industry is still the relationships and one-on-one interaction that happens daily between radio, records, and artists. He cited the current economic struggles of both radio and labels as the biggest obstacle to overcome in the near future. GOODMAN echoed the sentiments of HENDRICH on the topic of revenue, stating that each label and station group is doing their best to turn profits and increase revenues year-over-year. GOODMAN also cited the need for artist development on the label side, as he has made this his number one priority since returning to SONY MUSIC NASHVILLE six months ago.
PHILLIPS spoke to the attendees about revenue, also, sharing that while radio is still a leader in profitability among most business models, the best way to continue increased revenue and profitability is by looking outside of traditional terrestrial radio, focusing instead on growing multi-media and event revenue. ESPOSITO shared GOODMAN’s sentiments regarding talent development, pulling from his history of turning around a struggling WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE operation.
Overall, the panel concurred that radio is still the healthiest medium currently available, but that from the top, it is becoming increasingly important to view non-traditional media as competition. From a business model, everyone still feels good about the business of broadcast radio, as well as the talent pool from which we have to choose. With continued relationship building and artist development, and continued focus on content creation and entertainment, radio and records will succeed in continuing to drive revenue and profitability.
“We have to stay relevant, interesting, and compelling to bring them to the radio when they can get the music anywhere,” said PHILLIPS. “If we were able to back up to three years ago and the things we had access to, or the things that were taking our attention, we would probably be shocked at how much it has changed. It’s hard to go to through that in three years. But what is it two or three years from now? We have no idea. But it’s going to come quick, so we have to be really, really entertaining.”