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Pandora VS. Radio. Tons of Comments.

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(2/17/2011 10:12:05 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Ms. Garber's comment poking fun at users of DVR'S not knowing how to use the fast forward is a revealing statement.Arrogance of radio execs,the know it all mind set is in most part what is the underlying cause of radio's problems.Lack of formal education is also a factor. Word of mouth school of broadcasting seems to be the college were most radio types have been educated.For those that have taken the time and invested the money in a good education the rewards will be great. PICON radio stations have always had a place in the community of license.

- vic carr
(2/17/2011 9:46:32 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content

Lady, Your Premise Is Wrong All Over!

The following are the requirements and actions needed to be "counted" through PPM:

Encoder, which is installed at the programming or distribution source to insert an inaudible identification code into the audio stream;
Station monitor, which is installed at the programming source to ensure audio content is encoded properly;
Portable People Meter, which is worn by a consumer to detect and record the inaudible codes in the programming that the consumer is exposed to;
Base station, where each survey participant places the meter at the end of the day to recharge the battery and to send collected codes to a household collection device known as a “hub;”
Household hub, which collects the codes from all the base stations in the survey household and transmits them to Arbitron via the telephone during the overnight hours.
PPM was created for the measurement of broadcast listening. You can be proud of your attempt to expand the purpose and scope of PPM to be a universal measurement of all public media as well as the mix of personal entertainment selections being made.

From the above Arbitron supplied information is the assumption that everything being listened to is "encoded" as required by the PPM technology. It's not happening and it's not going to be happening. You have an absurd presumption that local US broadcast stations have the influence to make all other media in the world have and use an encoder. At one time radio broadcasters could set standards, it's not going to happen with PPM encoding of all that is listened to any more successfully than the broadcasting success of HD radio.

Your personal perception of the inter net certainly is a humorous comparison of red and white radio towers to a growing world-wide infrastructure of entertainment and information. Keep on believing that big steel sitting in a field will preside over what will become a broadband reach into every home.

It's interesting that many of the comments people made about your original writing was that the economics of the local radio business are no longer viable. You certainly have avoided any retort to the fundamental fact that commercial radio is failing.

You're paid to rah-rah for your little part of the world. Rah-rah no matter how self-destructing local radio has become.

- Jim Schlichting
(2/17/2011 7:06:07 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Way to go Mary Beth!
- Spike Santee
(2/17/2011 5:29:54 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Wasn't it Mark Twain who said, "The rumors of my death have been highly exaggerated"? I'm always oblivious to these statements that 'Radio is dead'. Radio is free. Free is good. You don't need to subscribe to anything to receive a station. No monthly fee to connect. Nada. Just turn it on and it's there. There will always be market for the LOCAL connection of radio. What radio needs most NOW is some innovation that encourages Listener loyalty. In other words... loosen up and ENTERTAIN, and keep it close to home.
- BIG John Libynski
(2/17/2011 5:12:21 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Mary Beth... thanks for taking the time to bring all the facts and accurate behavorial observations together. Bravo. Now that the wave of "catch-up" has is headed into the beach... Here's to the next wave of investment in innovation that's comin' over the horizon. - WyattWatters Entertainment & Consulting, N. Potomac, MD.
- Jeff Wyatt
(2/17/2011 4:05:36 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Ms. Garber makes some very solid, valid points in her reply, but I must caution that facts can change quickly, especially where the Internet is concerned. I broadcast on the Web (Live365), and after an extended period of my wide variety format being listed at between #200 and 160 among the hundreds of stations they list in my general format, I was suddenly rated this past week at number 10, and just yesterday was rated number 9. Maybe I don't have as large an audience as the top station in some major markets, but if such an incredible jump in status can happen to me overnight, it can happen with a music provider like Pandora. It may also not be out of the realm of possibility for a number of other Internet radio sources.
- Chief Jack Hawk
(2/17/2011 1:36:18 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
@Mary Beth--nice, well-crafted rebuttal. The points you make are for the most part, quite valid. You've done a great job of addressing almost every counterpoint--except the broadcast radio advertising revenue math model that we all know is broken. My take: There probably isn't a single GSM in broadcast radio who hasn't been forced to run spots at rates below the break-even point just to improve cash flow enough to meet payroll, or the payment on the station's line of credit. Do we blame this on the economy, or the fact that spending by corporate America on internet advertising has outpaced that spent on broadcast radio advertising in the last few years, or that there are plain and simply too many sticks in almost every market? Notice I didn't even mention Pandora. Yet.

I just returned from a local Chamber of Commerce function this evening where I talked about our lively dialog on Radio Ink with some friends. They're local business owners, and for the most part are happy with the results they get from broadcast radio--but here's the kicker: They say they're paying less than $3.00 for spots on rotation (including drive time) on nine stations. Who's putting their kid through college on that math model? I'm guessing the sales rep is deciding to "heat, or eat" this month--unless of course her account has been "housed" which would probably be a kindness because she would likely be making more on unemployment. We are, in effect, talking about an industry that already can't take care of it's own people--a crushing reality you seem unwilling to address.

There are a wide array of projections/extrapolations for smartphone numbers and utilization methodologies put forth by Apple, Microsoft, trade pubs and user groups and I think that most of us here understand that this technology will have an impact on broadcast radio. All of these projections point to a very steep curve in smartphone utilization and content development. Nobody's crystal ball is perfect. You can stand on the numbers you've mentioned all you want, but we KNOW they're going to morph southward--the only questions are how much, how soon, and how many dollars they will take away from broadcast radio. Even if Pandora fell off the end of the earth, something like it (perhaps even bigger and uglier) would take its place in a heartbeat. I understand it's your job to promote the value of broadcast radio to your constituents (broadcasters) and a fair amount of "making round sounds" goes with the territory; however, ignoring the giant gorilla while poking fun at his potential investors isn't going to make him go away. He's here for your wallet.

As some of you know, I'm a recruiter; I have a fairly strong interest in communications technology. My interest is strong enough to have spent a week in San Diego last month at the USNI/AFCEA West conference, where the current and future state of DOD communications technology is showcased. The show had around 400 technology exhibitors and they were predicting roughly 12,000 attendees. Almost all of this showcased communication technology is internet based. All I can say is "wow". When this stuff (and the people trained on it) make their way into the civilian market, you're going to see an even bigger and faster paradigm shift. That's just an opinion, though.

- Will Baumann

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