2015 Worldwide Radio Summit Backstage Podcast: Interview With Fred Jacobs, President Of Jacobs Media
September 15, 2015
Here's episode two of my podcast from the fifth annual Worldwide Radio Summit at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in California. The multi-day conference, hosted by All Access and A&R Worldwide, is an opportunity for radio broadcasters to gather together and exchange ideas. (You can find details on the 2016 conference here.) I was backstage at the event, recording interviews with leaders in the radio broadcasting industry, including air talent, executives, record label representatives, and more.
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Episode #2: Fred Jacobs, President of Jacobs Media
My second interview was with respected broadcasting consultant Fred Jacobs, the President and Founder of Jacobs Media. After a couple of years programming the legendary WRIF in Detroit, he launched Jacobs Media, where he invented the Classic Rock radio format. It exploded in the 1980s, and is still growing strong today. Jacobs Media also developed The Edge Alternative Rock format. In recent years, Fred and his brother Paul launched jacapps, a sister company that develops mobile apps for media companies.
Now in its eleventh year, Jacobs Media's pioneering Techsurvey study explores how radio listeners use different technologies. The company has branched into other formats as well, with a Public Radio Techsurvey and a Christian Broadcasting Techsurvey. This led the company into the "connected car" space; this fall, Jacobs Media and Radio Ink will host the third annual DASH Conference in Detroit. The event connects people in the radio and automotive industries.
Among the topics we discussed:
- Fred started his career in research by working for Frank Magid
- Fred programmed the legendary WRIF in Detroit
- Fred's first Classic Rock station was WMMQ in Lansing, Michigan
- Jacobs Media launched The Edge Alternative format in the late 1980s
- Paul Jacobs helps Jacobs Media clients with radio sales
- Tom Calderone, who went on to become the President of VH1, started as an Alternative Rock consultant at Jacobs Media
- The End in Seattle has a bold commercial policy
- The Jacobs Media Techsurveys leverage radio station email databases to provide insight into how listeners use technology
- Jacobs Media launched a mobile app company, jacapps, after Apple launched its app store
- Jacobs Media hosts the annual DASH Conference which connects radio executives and connected car professionals
- Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto are two key operating systems in connected cars
- When Wired asked Jon Stewart about the distribution of The Daily Show, he replied, "I make the donuts; I don't drive the trucks."
- Revenue growth is going to come from sources "other" than spot revenue: events, digital, merchandise, etc.
- Matt O'Grady from Nielsen says, "You can't monetize what you can't measure."
- Nielsen is introducing a software development kit (SDK) to measure streaming
- Pandora has led the way in terms of data collection
- NPR is learning a lot about its audience through the NPR One app
- 2% of radio listeners own a smart watch in the latest Techsurvey
- More listeners on a weekly basis are going to YouTube and Netflix than Spotify and Pandora
- Serial has inspired binge-listening
- Steve Goldstein has launched Amplifi Media focusing on podcasting
NOTE: I am now the Digital Dot Connector for Jacobs Media, which means Fred is my boss. But he wasn't at the time that I conducted this interview.
Under the Hood
Looking to create a podcast for your own radio stations? With each episode of this podcast, I am also including some tips…
Once you have uploaded your audio file to a podcast host like Libsyn, Blubrry, or AudioBoom you will want to submit the RSS feed for your podcast to podcast directories. By far, the most important place to submit your show is iTunes (the second is Stitcher). Because iOS devices ship with a native Podcasts app installed and Android devices do not, the vast majority of podcast listening happens through iTunes.
This short video will show you how to submit your podcast to iTunes…
Next week, I'll share my conversation with the man who founded both the radio syndication giant Westwood One, and the podcast network Podcast One, Norm Pattiz.
Special thanks to my producer, James Clausen.