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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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« Why Research Matters | Main | Statement Of The Obvious »


Steve Poley, CELLit

Radio fills the important community between galactic Google and the personal world of MySpace. It's valuable for merchants and personal for listeners. Try to be Google or MySpace and fail. Be radio and succeed.

bill oxley

That's the best radio article I've ever read.

Jeff Schmidt

Couple of articles popped up recently that shed light on some of this.

From the NY Times - an article about how Google decides to bail on a project.

Bottom line:

"All of the shuttered projects failed several of Google’s key tests for continued incubation: They were not especially popular with customers; they had difficulty attracting Google employees to develop them; they didn’t solve a big enough problem; or they failed to achieve internal performance targets known as “objectives and key results.”"

Read the whole thing here:

And from Business Week - how Google. after bailing on Radio & Newspapers is staying in the game with TV ad buy program

From the article:

"Given the coming convergence of TV and the Internet as well as advertisers' hunger for Web-style measurements for their TV commercials, chances are good that Google will stay the course. But it faces a tough slog. A range of companies are also developing technologies that do a better job of allowing advertisers to target TV viewers. Then there is traditional media's deep-rooted suspicion of Google. "They're the pretty new girl in high school," says a senior ad sales executive. "We hate them for that."

I appreciate the point you make Fred, in reminding radio people that what we do isn't as simple as it may appear. We could all use a boost of self-esteem.

But what I find most interesting in all this is the difference in postures taken by Radio, and by Google.

For the last 2 years, Google has been taking on the risk of learning new things, experimenting, trying things that have never been done, and looking for new ways to do what it already does.

In those same 2 years - the Radio industry has done none of those things.

If I were asked to summarize the most important difference between new media and old media - that would be it.

It's cultural.


Bill/Jeff, thanks for the comments. Jeff, you've nailed a point we've talked about extensively in past posts. Companies like Google, Amazon, & Apple are always asking "Why not?" They aren't afraid to try new things & to fail. In radio, we've playing defense at a time when consumers relish new things. Innovation, unfortunately, is not valued, which is why we sound essentially the same.

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