Worldwide Radio Summit Session Mulls Radio's Music 'Balancing Act'
April 29, 2011 at 3:48 PM (PT)
Afternoon sessions at the WORLDWIDE RADIO SUMMIT in HOLLYWOOD kicked off with a panel on music radio's task of balancing playing new music versus playing "the hits" in a more competitive age, featuring ENTERCOM's BILL PASHA, MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO Triple A KCMP (THE CURRENT)/MINNEAPOLIS PD JIM MCGUINN, EMMIS VP and Top 40/Rhythmic KPWR (POWER 106)/LOS ANGELES PD JIMMY STEAL, and WESTWOOD ONE SVP MAX KRASNY, with ABC RADIO/DARWIN, AUSTRALIA PD ANDREW PHILLIPS moderating.
PHILLIPS, whose sarcasm drew frequent laughter from the audience, posed a variety of tough questions to the panel, from why listeners need a voice to play them music to the best make-out song. STEAL noted the value of curation, KRASNY talked about the need for a "trusted voice," PASHA brought up the entertainment factor and MCGUINN discussed the "social role" of hosts.
STEAL's assertion that passion is what makes great music radio was received with general agreement, and the discussion ranged from the quality of hip-hop to the value of the image of being first on new music (PASHA said that stations have been proclaiming "new music first" from the days of MARCONI; STEAL noted that PPM figures confirm that playing an unfamiliar song causes a dip in ratings) to the music industry's release pattern in an age when songs hit the Net before a label is ready to work them.
PASHA also took a shot at PANDORA's churn rate, noting the number of people who sign up but rarely actually use the service; STEAL added that "there are things about PANDORA we don't want to emulate," ticking off "no personality, no promotions, no community involvement."