CBS Radio's Dan Mason Talks Digital At RAIN Summit
April 11, 2011 at 11:41 AM (PT)
CBS RADIO Pres./CEO DAN MASON joined RAIN SUMMIT founder KURT HANSON for a "fireside chat" in LAS VEGAS TODAY (4/11)
MASON said that "I'm in a much, much different place then I was five years ago," noting that CBS stations did not stream and the company now offers streaming through RADIO.COM and owns LAST.FM as well. MASON said that the company looks at streaming not as something that will be immediately profitable but will be successful in the long term, and added that he expects that streaming to the car "will happen." He also said that the company plans to relaunch MP3.COM next month.
"I have a much clearer understanding where broadcast radio fits" with digital media, MASON said, asserting that "one will not replace the other" but can work in tandem, such as his company's integration of customizable streaming audio service LAST.FM with its broadcast brands.
MASON said that the third most popular stream for CBS RADIO is the Gospel HD2 channel of Urban WJHM (102 JAMZ)/ORLANDO, behind only Sports WFAN-A/NEW YORK and Alternative KROQ/LOS ANGELES. He said that "the brand is more important than the format" in streaming, with KROQ, WFAN, and Triple A WXRT/CHICAGO as examples. He estimated that stations are "50-50" in local versus out-of-market listening via streaming.
On royalties, MASON said that the company's position "from a terrestrial standpoint... (is that) radio has served the radio industry well for a long time, we bring promotional value, and... we shouldn't have to pay a royalty." But the company pays a royalty for its digital assets and MASON, supporting the NAB's negotiating efforts, said, "If the NAB can bring about a resolution... we'd like to put that behind us."
On HD RADIO, asked if the company has seen any success with its multicast channels, MASON said he could not point to any ratings successes and "there needs to be a lot more infiltration" of receivers before ratings successes are seen. But he did point to the company's success with Sports on FM, and said that spoken word on FM is generating younger audiences.
MASON said that his typical radio listening day starts at his home in WASHINGTON listening to the local Sports WJFK (106.7 THE FAN) morning team THE SPORTS JUNKIES for about an hour-and-a-half, then switches to hear Classic Hits WJMK (104.3 K-HITS)/CHICAGO's EDDIE AND JOBO, then listens to LAST.FM (a YARDBIRDS channel).