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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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Sony ICF-S10MK2

Fred said...

"And where does radio fit in? Well, we're still there in cars"

"Chrysler announces wireless Internet access in 2009 models"

"As long predicted in this blog and elsewhere (okay, everywhere), it is inevitable that every new car driving off a showroom lot will eventually be high-speed Internet enabled. And the consequences for the radio industry - both good and bad - are profound... Fourth, that tiny whimper you just heard was the final gasp of HD Radio. Time to move on to the real challenges, radio."


When wireless Internet is ubiquitous in-dash, terrestrial radio will be under seriuos assault.

Fred said...

"The incessant HD Radio campaigns and their inability to stir consumers to purchase radios should suggest to us that marketing is about more than just running promos on our own air."

Terrestrial radio is in trouble enough, without the embarrassment and distraction of HD Radio. I have read complaints about the incessant HD Radio commercials, some now laughing at the commercials - spending $680 in unused air-time, with few HD Radio sales (100,000 - 200,000). It doesn't matter how HD Radio is marketed, because no one buys radios, anymore.

HD Radio is far more than just an embarrassment, but is the malignant cancer of the broadcast industry. HD Radio interference to neighboring stations is pitting broadcasters against on another - iBiquity and the HD Alliance are destroying the industry. At least it has failed on AM, and has stalled on FM. So, the fight continues...

Bob Bellin

"...surely there has to be a way to convince the geniuses on Wall Street that terrestrial radio needs to reinvest in its product, its people, and its marketing in order to realize the essence of what this business can truly produce."

Radio should stop trying to convince Wall Street of anything. Wall Street never understood the radio business and radio never grasped Wall Street's gullibility. Each bought into the others line of patter and in the end, the wagon of bullsh*t collapsed under the baggage of results.

Since radio became focused on its stock price, it has declined by every possible measure - revenue, cash flow, earnings, multiples, ratings and of course, stock price.

In fact, radio has underperformed virtually all major equity indices, since the great consolidation panic of the late 90s.

After years of over-valuing radio, Wall Street now has it undervalued to the point where it doesn't matter anymore. What's the difference whether your stock trades at $.85 or $.75?

In the end, Flounder (radio) got sucked in by Delta House (Wall Street) and paid the price. Belushi said it best, "...you f*ck*d up, you trusted us!"

Fred's prescription is on the money, except for involving Wall Street. If the profits increase, so will the stock price and profits won't increase until radio adjusts and reinvests.

Ellyn Ambrose - The Marketing Group

OUTSTANDING PIECE! Thanks for saying it so well.

Bill Oxley

I suggest that radio stations marry their local advertisers and provide them with many additional digital sales outlets for their local products and services.

Nix on those dopey Web sites with lame audio streaming. That's one step above HD Radio, for goodness sakes.

WiMax is here. Soon, broadcasters no longer will own a limited resource. There are 30,000+ audio streams now. With WiMax, it will increase hundreds of times, 'cause everyone can do it.

In a few months, every kid on the block will stream an audio signal that his teenage pals can pick up in their '74 Pacers, so what's a broadcaster to do? Get in bed with local advertisers.

Build Web sites and Web stores capable of selling local advertisers' products and services across a variety of Web sites and Web stores.

Aim your capital resources gun at helping the local merchants sell stuff. Unique entertainment won't provide as much competitive advantage or revenue as helping advertisers sell their wares.

...otherwise, radio's just jerkin' off...

Look, content follows cash. That's the way it's always been. Just do it again. Use your broadcast signal to promote the digital resources

I might know what I'm talking about; I might not. You decide:

I've witnessed my wife's Web store pass the million dollar mark this year...and we recently stopped all internet paid advertising.

We send a periodic newsletter...and rely on keywords and metatags.

If broadcasters were to do the same for their local advertisers (thus, 'marrying' them, as I wrote above) then, their profit engine would restart...

..that's my story and I'm stickin' to it...

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