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Radio Exec Says "Suckers Invest in Pandora"

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(2/16/2011 8:13:57 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I can see Mary Beth's point of view and also agree with Will. Mary Beth should keep in mind that 20 years is a blink: 20 years ago was 1991 (doesn't seem so long ago does it?). Will's point is well taken as no business can survive unless the income matches or preferably)exceeds the outgo.

In days gone-by programmers were respected for their knowledge and optimized their stations for maximum listening - and impact for the advertiser. When all spots are clumped together like a big pile of... no individual part of the pile gets noticed - and it all stinks.

So radio may not be working as well as it once did for the advertiser. That's a big part of what will ultimately be radio's death knell - it won't work! And if it won't work, they won't buy... take it from there.

Locally popular live jocks with live reads are still probably delivering results, but where is that happening - and where's the next generation - San Antonio?

Real remotes, where a listener can meet the morning show as they do an actual on-air break, instead of the street team and pre-recorded crap, still has some panache - and might generate some sales for a client, but not much - and it sounds awful to the listeners who couldn't care less. And I haven't seen a viable replacement yet.

I wish I had a magic wand and could take us back to the day, but I don't and no one can (you have The Telecom Act to thank for that). And besides, you'd want your iPhones back and a haircut.

Face it, it's not around the corner, but the continued degradation of radio is certainly only a couple of blocks away; unless big changes are made to improve the product and raise the revenue - not lower the costs, they're already at rock bottom and look where it's gotten us.

- Dick Downes
(2/16/2011 6:21:05 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I hate to keep harping on this one issue, but it seems that most of you here are missing the point. Broadcast radio stations are (for the most part) businesses. They run on money generated from ad sales. When the revenue threshold falls below an acceptable level (i.e., the station spends more than it takes in), the station goes away. Welcome to America.

I gather that very few of you here have ever sold a radio ad, and I’m guessing for the few of you who have been involved in sales, it’s been a while (including Ms. Garber). In case you’ve had your head in the sand, things have gotten beyond ugly in that realm.
If you like your local stick, start buying ads on it—and convince your friends to do the same. Go on, give it a whirl, and please report back. Heck, don’t even worry about buying ads, just cut them a check like the legions of NPR fans do.

The fact that Pandora has a plan to bury broadcast radio is not the only concern. There are many other services LIKE Pandora out there, and my crystal ball says there will be many, many more. Honestly, the “broadcast radio will never die” crowd simply does not comprehend the draw of smartphone technology, which puts internet radio capability in the dash of every car RIGHT NOW, and also greatly speeds the communication of local info (school closings, weather, local news—even breaking local news). Lost? Ask someone with a smartphone. Want an update on urban traffic flow? Ask someone with a smartphone. Looking for a restaurant? Looking for a car dealership? Looking for tires? Want your tax return done? Hmm…

There will always be “radio”—it’s just going to be delivered through a different device and data plan. Remember analog phones? They went bye-bye pretty fast when the technology changed. In a very short time, everyone who now has a basic cell phone will have a smartphone—and they will likely make the current iphone 4, Android, and Windows phone offerings look like boat anchors in comparison. They’ll enjoy GPS, a wide variety of apps, music—and a huge selection of radio. Your local stick, dear to you as it may be, will have a very, very hard time competing with that FROM THE STANDPOINT OF AD REVENUE.

Confused? Ask one of the many radio reps in your city who now has a different job.

@Phil, what exactly is the name of your company?

- Will Baumann
(2/16/2011 4:45:03 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I totalally agree with Mary Beth Garber regarding local radio stations versus Pandora. Our company specializes in Generational Marketing and research, and I can tell you that Pandora will never have the appeal to regular radio listeners,especialy the Boomer generation.

There is a place for Pandora, but it's not replacing local radio. It will join into the mix of entertainment. I would like to see the demo's on this, and then I could convert them to generations.

- Phil Goodman
(2/16/2011 3:00:12 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I had a comment about this that became a bit long to post here, so I'll leave the link:

- Tom Webster
(2/16/2011 1:19:35 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Ms. Garber—your silence is deafening. I understand that you’re probably a busy executive, but please further enlighten us.
- Will Baumann
(2/16/2011 9:14:36 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Ms. Garber,

It's obvious you were not at the 2011 consumer electronic show (CES) and you haven't been to Detroit in a while.

Jake Sigal, CEO
Livio Radio

- Jake Sigal
(2/16/2011 4:32:16 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Pandora a threat to "traditional" radio? Of course it is. I have friends who already use their computers or smart phones to listen to Internet radio in their vehicles because over-the-air doesn't give them what they want. I also find it so funny that all the "insiders" use the "Jack" format as their measuring stick when I've been doing a wide variety format for decades, a format I was assured by the big time execs there was "no market for" when I first used it on my "Jack On The Radio" show in 1969. No market? If that's the case, then Pandora is on the losing end of the game. Between us, I think America's pretty much ready for variety, and I've got over 42 years of experience to prove it.
- Chief Jack Hawk

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