Ron Stone tells Radio Ink that while his goal was to get a commitment from 3,000 radio stations before moving forward, the 2,650 he has now has convinced him the industry wants this organization. He’ll be meeting with attorneys next week to make it official and start forming an IBA Board of Directors.
Stone says there are several broadcasters that have already told him they are willing to serve on the board. “I will select them myself but down the road that will be done by the members, but I need a board put together to make some decisions. Then we are off and running and the hard work starts.”
Once the organization is formed and the board is put together, a decision will be made on how much the monthly dues will cost each station to be part of the IBA. “I want it to be structured so it’s the least amount possible. We have to figure out how to make it fair to the smallest broadcast. It has to be equitable for everyone. I want people to see it as a nominal amount of money given the return they will get from this.
We asked Stone what he wanted to accomplish with the organization.” You put all these stations together and you have an unwired network. An opportunity to go out and represent these stations, to go after dollars these stations aren’t getting from certain clients. To say to clients we have 2600 stations, or whatever it ends up being, that we can put you on, and represent that network the same way Westwood One or Premiere goes out and sells. It’s the same concept. Instead of just giving your inventory away to other people you can get a seat at the table. To me the digital platform the biggest opportunity for revenue. If you can get all these stations on the same platform where you can get in front of brand managers like Colgate toothpaste and say we have 2600 websites, streams, and stations that are on Alexa. We can also make available a 3rd party platform that could target, within a one mile radius, every drugstore in every one of those markets to hit
someone’s iPhone with an ad when they are within a mile of that store. To put all that under one package and walk into a brand manager that wants to reach everybody, not just the top ten markets. That is something no radio station can do right now, but they can if we are all under that one platform. That’s where the biggest opportunity for revenue growth is. Right now, at best we’re all selling a little bit of digital here and there. This would bring new money in. If we put all these stations together under one platform the fees we’re paying for streaming and other costs will come down dramatically, so there’s also a cost savings. Right now you have all these stations who pay for and support individual apps for their station. There’s an opportunity here to create another iHeart or Radio.com type app where all of these independent stations could live on one app. It would give us a home of our own.”
Stone also sees the IBA hosting its own conferences down the road, maybe as early as next year. “My idea of a conference with this group is that you would leave with 6 months worth of training materials for your sales staff. they will be learning stuff they can convert to revenue or cost savings. They don’t need me sitting on stage talking about how great I am.”
Stone says since consolidation happened back in 1996 Independent Operators have had to go along with what has been decided for them. “They’ve not really had a voice. In some ways this can level the playing field. In the future they will have choices.”
For more information about the IBA reach out to Ron by e-mail at [email protected]