Ace & TJ Find Gold At The End Of The Digital Rainbow
November 22, 2011 at 3:55 AM (PT)
While the ACE & TJ SHOW will begin negotiations, as of DECEMBER 1st, for a new broadcast home since their exit from mornings at CBS Top 40 WNKS/CHARLOTTE, (NET NEWS 5/20), they've continued to be successfully syndicated on a handful of medium and small market stations.
During this time, ACE & TJ have found a surprisingly lucrative life outside of the larger markets -- thanks to an aggressive digital strategy. In fact, the template, devised by the morning duo and 7 TO 8 MEDIA Pres. ADAM GOODMAN, is now being made available to all interested parties.
According to GOODMAN, The ACE & TJ SHOW will surpass the $30,000 in digital-only ad sales in NOVEMBER, and they're bullish on an even better DECEMBER. They're currently selling spots on the live stream; on their 24/7 second stream which loops the show over and over each day; and within their downloads available at ACETJ.COM and iTUNES.
Revenue is also incoming from banners and promotions on ACETJ.COM, as well as their 35,000-person-plus list in FACEBOOK and 40,000 person-plus Listener Club. "Thank you" elements to this client are incorporated into the radio program within the digital feed -- and not the terrestrial feed.
In fact, not being on the radio in their longtime CHARLOTTE home base has created about an 80%-plus digital listener base from that area. "We were actually astonished at the numbers of people who have followed the show to its current digital home in CHARLOTTE," ACE said. "We were fortunate to get some great publicity after the move took place and that certainly helped along with the Pay-Per-View event we did on our website immediately after CBS removed us from the building prior to our previously, mutually agreed upon date of leaving.
"In an effort to better serve everyone and give them what they want we have given them these VARIOUS methods to get it. We find the ‘time shifting’ of the show is invaluable now so we deliver live but then also in a second and separate live stream looping the show over and over after it airs AND the ease in downloading the show through the site ACETJ.COM and the Apps we have as well as the ease in access through iTUNES."
Other points of interest ahead -- as AC & TJ and ADAM answer questions.
ALL ACCESS: The clients' reaction to being on the digital feed?
TJ: Anytime you start up a new project, especially one as unique and "ahead of the curve" as The ACE & TJ Button we were concerned about getting any clients, much less keeping them. When were thrilled and honored when so many of our previous clients signed up immediately to be a part of The ACE & TJ Button. We prayed they would all not cancel after the first month, but the audience they wanted was exceeded each month as well as the rates being so much lower than the radio rates. Measuring their reaction by cancellations, we had 15 clients in OCTOBER and all renewed for NOVEMBER. We have 23 clients in NOVEMBER and so far ALL are ready to renew for DECEMBER.
ALL ACCESS: Is there a team involved to get this going each day?
GOODMAN: Our web master is RICK ROBERTS (via telecommuting). Ace & TJ as well as YANKEE PETE get content created in-house; our production is done by BREEZEKAT in-house, with several sales people in several cities out-of-house. ACE & TJ do a digital hour each day from 10-11a that’s not on the radio -- and that inventory is what continues to draw new people to ALL the digital product. Many shows won’t be able to do this kind of extra work and production but once they get that time, it can be very valuable.
ALL ACCESS: Is there a ‘show vs. station’ dynamic that this creates?
GOODMAN: Absolutely not -- if set up right. The stations have something that the shows don’t and that’s the ability to find advertiser interest on a local level, which is where 95% of our digital revenues have come from. If there is NEW inventory, the stations will love it but it ONLY sells if it’s set up by the performers so there is value created by accessing it and the numbers match client expectations for buying digital spots. NO good station with a major show should do it without the cooperation of the show. They’ll surely miss a giant revenue potential by only creating limited value and not enough inventory with value.
ALL ACCESS: Describe the amount of advance work to get the digital operations running.
ACE: We first started thinking about this almost eight years ago. We started planning this when we redid our contract three contracts ago with CBS. Almost simultaneous to syndication starting, we added many of the building blocks of these digital products that are what they are today. We were podcasting in 2004, going after iTUNES subscribers in 2005, FACEBOOK ‘likes’ in 2008 and distribution in Apps in 2011. This is all part of the "master plan" that led us to create 7 TO 8 MEDIA almost four years ago as an outlet for these and other projects on the horizon. There’s a lot more to come!
ALL ACCESS: What's next for digital for your show?
TJ: Mostly digital video from here. Of course, we’ll proceed with improving the audio projects we have going at this time but video is the main point of growth for us in the coming years. It’ll be a complement of video to the programming, including LIVE feeds and features created FOR the digital audience. With the video additions, we also will be using listener-created elements to allow radio family members to see each other’s web video.
ALL ACCESS: What are some things another show can do now that could help them begin to get something this huge for their show?
GOODMAN: We always suggest you begin to get a good archive system set up for the site you have now. We also know the value of your own Listener Club and/or the access to listeners through FACEBOOK and social media. The "toys" like your own live stream, 24/7 loop, apps and site delivery design require planning and money, so those usually get looked at second, but once you get the base set up, you can hopefully more than make up for the costs with the income it’s generating.
We encourage other shows and stations with major shows to allow us to share our template and begin to succeed with digital revenues through personality radio.
Contact GOODMAN at (203) 341-0111 or AGoodman@7to8Media.com for more information.