Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk was the Thursday morning keynote speaker at the Radio Show in Dallas. Vaynerchuk, also known as “Gary Vee,” is CEO of VaynerMedia and host of The GaryVee Audio Experience, a top 10 global business podcast. His first successful business, in his early 20s was called WineLibrary. He turned his father’s brick-and-mortar wine shop into a $45 million business. He had a very interesting take on audio and radio’s role in that space.
Vaynerchuk says audio victory is here. Why? Because of all the devices that are now available everywhere to consume audio. “They are all a threat to the time spent with the smartphone.” He added that audio is on the rise because people hate friction. He says people these days want to multi-task. They want to be doing more than one thing and they can do that while listening to audio. They cannot do that with video or other forms of media.
He did caution that this was a dangerous time for the radio industry. “You are underestimating how big voice will be. I’m quite concerned about how you deliver the content.” His message seemed to be, go wherever the consumers are no matter how they are consuming the audio. In other words, don’t agonize over whether streaming or podcasting is going to cannibalize your over-the-air audience.
Vaynerchuk says the Internet is now the middleman, not radio. “Understand how to become the best layer on top of the Internet. We continue to wildly underestimate the Internet.”
Vaynerchuk believes art is now winning, not the pipes that deliver that art. “If you have content, get ready to get paid, he said. “Podcasts will continue to grow. Listening to audio through video products will grow. Any business that digs in its heels and thinks that radio will win is going to lose. You cannot get overly romantic about how the audio is distributed, you will lose. This is the best time to be in the audio content business at a time of delusional delivery.”
Vaynerchuk went on to say that he doesn’t judge how consumers consume content, he just delivers it. “Get thoughtful. The leverage is turning toward the creator. Facebook and YouTube are your competitors. Everyone is a competitor to your distribution. Use history as an indicator to the future.”