My Best Columns Of 2015
December 8, 2015
2015 was a big year for me. I joined Jacobs Media as the Digital Dot Connector, where my role is to help radio stations with their online strategies. I hosted All Access' first podcast series and helped them launch a Podcasting section. I spoke at the NAB's Radio Show and Nielsen's Audio Client Conference. And along the way, I managed to write a weekly column in this space here.
Of course, it's that time of year when radio folks start compiling year-end countdowns. So I figured I'd write one of my own. Here are my best columns of 2015, just in case you missed any:
I am a TV junkie. I easily spend over 20 hours a week binge-watching shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. And I'm an absolute snob about it. You'll never catch me watching The Real Housewives of Kim Kardashian when there are great shows like The Walking Dead, Orange is the New Black, and Master of None available. But I've wondered why radio isn't experiencing a similar renaissance. So I offered some theories...
9. How To Aircheck Your Podcast (Rivet Radio Blog)
In radio, we all know how important it is to aircheck. But most podcasters don't have a Program Director who can give them feedback. In this guest column, I reveal one of my favorite online tricks: using Amazon's Mechanical Turk to aircheck yourself. It's a great technique for both radio DJs and podcasters.
Having conducted numerous interviews myself, I am very conscious of the interview styles of other radio professionals. I am acutely aware that my style is closer to the let-the-spotlight-shine-on-the-guest style of Fresh Air host Terri Gross than the let-me-bear-my-soul-warts-and-all style of WTF's Marc Maron. So when I heard that Maron, who specializes in getting his guests to reveal their dark neurotic secrets, had interviewed Gross, I couldn't wait to hear the result.
(Incidentally, one of my other favorite radio-related podcast episodes of the year was also by Marc Maron. He got a lot of press coverage for scoring an interview with President Obama, but as a broadcaster I found the episode that followed even more riveting. In it, Maron and his producer talk about how the Obama interview came together. It offers insight into the fascinating relationship between on-air talent and the producers who have to figure out how to manage them. Listen to it here.)
I am a podcasting evangelist. I believe that on-demand audio entertainment has a huge future, and I think radio companies ought to be leveraging their expertise to lead the way in this field. So why aren't they?
I write a lot about how radio stations can use the internet to grow their audience, but they can also use it to generate more qualified sales leads. Forget about prospecting; I show you a better method for generating leads in this column.
In my role as Jacobs Media's Digital Dot Connector, I talk a lot about using a Content Marketing strategy. That's all fine and good in theory, but what does it look like when the rubber meets the road? One real-life example that I return to over and over again came up when Led Zeppelin released its first new song in over 30 years.
4. The Race To Dominate The World Of Podcasting (Jacobs Media Blog)
I've been involved in the podcasting world for over five years, but when I joined Jacobs Media, I also started to learn about an area that Fred and Paul Jacobs are experts in: the Connected Car. Over time, different aspects of the audio entertainment world started to merge into one coherent vision of the future -- a future dominated by a looming battle between Apple and Google. I laid out that vision in a recent column on the Jacobs Media blog.
There are a number of different metrics for measuring your station's social media efforts: likes, shares, retweets, favorites, etc. But one stat matters more than any of the others -- and you won't find it in your social network's dashboard.
Joel Denver of All Access allowed me to record a series of audio interviews with radio industry leaders backstage at the Worldwide Radio Summit in Hollywood last Spring. I published the interviews as All Access' first podcast series. I loved every conversation I had, but I chose to kick off the series with Smulyan because he was eloquent on so many topics. He happily recounted crucial moments in broadcasting history, like the launch of WFAN in New York. He gracefully addressed the loss of Los Angeles morning host Big Boy to a crosstown competitor. And he shared why it was important for his company to stand up to Indiana Governor Mike Pence's efforts to discriminate against members of the LGBT community. This interview showcased everything I love about our industry.
There's nothing like a provocative title to generate clicks; but the issue at the heart of this column is a crucial one. While most stations are concerned about companies like Pandora and Spotify stealing listeners, the more immediate threat is coming from somewhere else...
Thanks for reading my column. I wish you the best in 2016!