(By Gary Berkowitz)
- The big groups will start to break up once they realize that radio is a local media that needs “local care and tenderness.” Investors will lose patience, and station sales will be made to local operators.
- Somebody will figure out radio’s next revenue model. The era of eight or 10 commercials in a row will end, and we will get into a whole new system of presenting advertisers’ messages. Long, hard-to-listen-to clusters of ads will no longer exist.
- Radio will figure out how to monetize demos other than 25-54. Preteen stations will pop up as well as 50-plus formats.
- Since it will be owned by local operators, radio will go back to 24/7 operation. This will increase the need for talent, and also give new talent a chance to get on the air in overnights and weekends.
- More and more stations will drop Nielsen ratings. Since radio will move to a local model, results will matter more than ratings. Programming pressure will be on sounding great, getting results, and being out in the community.
- Programmers will look back at the golden era of Top 40 radio and adapt many of its practices. Great DJs and exciting imaging will once again be a part of every radio station.
- DJs will matter more than “10 in a row.” Good ones will be in demand. Salaries will once again rise.
- Programmers will realize the power of strong jingles for branding their image. Memorable and fun jingles will reappear all across the nation. Smart programmers will listen to PAMS cuts and ask “How do we take the idea behind these and make it work today?”
- Radio will go back to being more “full service.” Information will be a big part of that mix. Many stations will go back to news all day long.
- Realizing that commercials can be a tune-out, radio will adapt programs that test and improve the quality of commercials. Jerry Lee of WBEB/Philadelphia is ahead of the curve, as he is doing this now.
Gary Berkowitz is president of Detroit-based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations. Contact Gary at 248.737.3727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.