Hey, it's not just radio. Everyone in media - from newspapers to ad agencies - is going through the same process of redefinition. What will be the shape of the media landscape in two years, five years, and beyond?
Paul and I recently attended an investors' conference, hosted by the firm that handles our company's profit sharing fund. They are one of the most conservative companies out there, which has worked well for our fund, especially during the dot-com bust.
One of their big recommendations for '06 - and beyond? Apple Computers. Their reasoning is simple - the iPod has become the category killer for mp3 players, and there's no end in sight. (Our new Technology Poll says the same thing - of all the media we tested, iPod growth is through the roof - and growing.) And the boost in Apple's brand has led to a resurgence in the sales of iMacs. This from the company that used to invest almost solely in old business, like GE, Clorox, and Bank of America.
Things are not so rosy in the advertising world, where they're struggling to figure out the shape and form of the message. The New York Times reports that at the annual media conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, more than 1,400 agency types got together to deal with the dilemmas facing their business (and ours).
A big conclusion? The Neo approach to consumers is the secret sauce. This translates to catering to the new technology users whose gadgets and choices have grown exponentially.
A great quote that smacks of NeoRadio - giving the consumer a seat at the table - was offered by former COO of MTV Networks, Mark Rosenthal. His answer: "Religious, relentless focus on the consumer - that was the mantra that drove our business. If you understand that and are so microfocused on that, you cannot go wrong."
Whether you think HD Radio is the answer or perhaps feel it's heading toward cell phones or you feel that traditional terrestrial radio will come out of this in great shape, this consumer focus is something that needs attention at most radio stations. That was the impetus behind NeoRadio in 2003, and it's why we still believe those values are important today. Even with a multitude of choice, consumers will still gravitate to the brands that treat them well and include them in the process.