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Radio Exec Says "Suckers Invest in Pandora"

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(2/15/2011 5:59:34 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
@Davis--I'm guessing you're not involved with selling radio ads, and don’t use a “so called” smartphone. Am I right?
- Will Baumann
(2/15/2011 5:55:47 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Boy, I love radio with my heart and soul, and that's why it pains me when our industry makes damaging pronouncements like this. Putting your head in the sand is not a strategy.

I have tremendous respect for Mary Beth, but she is really hurting radio by dismissing real threats. And Pandora and streaming radio via mobile and the Internet is a very real threat that should be addressed, not dismissed.

It is odd that she makes light of SiriusXm when that company's revenues have grown by $1.2 billion in the past five years. The entire radio industry hasn't grown by $1.2 billion in the past five years; it's contracted by that much. And SiriusXM is now profitable. Pointing to satellite radio as an example of a failed competitor scares me.

I also don't find it consoling by assuming that just because Pandora doesn't do something now it means they can't do something later. We need to consider the possibility that Pandora can both localize their service and add personalized production elements. The Jack comparison is apt. How hard is it to hire a Howard Cogan and take phone calls to integrate with a Pandora stream?

As for the car, my daughter listens to radio via her cell phone with her earphones. She doesn't even care what I put on the car radio any more.

It is important to assess an industry's competition. When a satellite company can take some of your prime talent assets like Howard Stern and generate a profit, it's best not to ignore them. Likewise, when a company like Pandora is growing as fast as it is, it's best not to ignore it either.

Have we all forgotten The Innovator's Dilemma book from 10 years ago? It's still as important today as it was then. The disruption of streaming audio is real. Radio has the assets to truly take advantage of it, but if they just sit back and ignore it, there is a very real danger in being overwhelmed.

- Jim Kerr
(2/15/2011 5:44:53 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Yes---there are some people who are so disconnected from society that they literally live within their so-called "smart phones" and yes, there are children that play video games all day long to the exclusion of everything else. So what? Radio---local radio---reaches more people than ANY other medium---including the internet. The facts don't lie.

The only problem radio has is that it has been around for awhile---and it is being taken for granted. In case you haven't noticed, we live in a world where, if you weren't careful---or weren't too bright, you might think that Lindsey Lohan was more important to society than the Smithsonian. You hear about Lindsey more, right?

Critics and pundits---and everyone else---want their "10 seconds of fame" (remember when it used to be "15 minutes of fame?)

Think about Howard Stern. When is the last time you heard anything about him? It was when he was on local radio---when he went to satellite, it was as if he dropped off the face of the earth. Why? Becasue local radio has listeners. It isn't outrageous unless someone is listening.

When you brush aside the "fluff" and if you actually take the time to study what the broad majority of the public actually does----you understand the power of radio and its enormous impact on society---now---and for some time to come.

Who earned $54 million last year? Rush Limbaugh. Someone must have been listening---and to AM radio---a medium that some would have you believe was dead 35 years ago.

- Davis
(2/15/2011 4:59:38 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Interesting comment thread. I’ve added my thoughts below; but I wonder—how many from the camp of “radio will never die” are from the technical, or on-air talent side of things rather than from the sales, or sales managment side?

How many of them own a smartphone?

Mary Beth—I noted in your LinkedIn profile you’ve been the President of the So Cal Broadcaster’s Assn for more than 12 years, so I guess it’s been a while since you were in the sales trenches. You probably remember a $20 spot as being deeply, deeply discounted. I think that same spot is $3.99 now (or worse) for many markets, and fixed operational costs have not gone down.

Will Baumann
Recruiting Consultant
Richland, WA

- Will Baumann
(2/15/2011 4:51:59 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Funny how many people who say they abandoned radio long ago, comment on RADIO stories on a RADIO publication...about RADIO. How's that "seeya, radio" thing working for you? Seems to me you're still interested.
- Regis Phlco
(2/15/2011 4:47:03 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
i agree with your math. the numbers don't lie. the real need right now in the market is for every broadcaster to have an online stream presence, via desktop as well as all the mobile phone apps, so that they can reach their listeners in more ways, increasing their value in their market.
- kerry brewer
(2/15/2011 4:31:18 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
LOL Shes Soooo funny. NOT!! The ONLY time I listen to mainstream radio is when I dont have CDs with me. I DO NOT want to hear DJs or commercials!! I only want music. And mainstream will NEVER have that. I cant wait to be able to afford a car with internet radio. That time cant come soon enough for me!!
- John

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