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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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Fred, I'm curious: How much investment is warranted given that 1) if Apple were to sell 5 million units of the iPad, that would be about 1.6% of the population; 2) radio is still working to monetize streaming in general, while also trying to plan for ballooning expenses; and 3) the maintenance and content demands of apps for iPhone, Blackberry, Droid, etc. continue to mount and pull against still small budgets for web content. I agree that it's an opportunity, but how much does being "in" on the launch benefit the bottom line, in the short and long term?


All good questions. It starts out with having an overall strategy for digital - and for mobile. And every station/company is going to have different priorities, based on variables like budget, position, market size, etc. So there's no one-size-fits-all answer. I will say this - competitors like Pandora are vying to be everywhere, on every possible platform, and given that they are winning the streaming battle at the moment, that strategy appears to be working. I also believe that given the still-embryonic state of mobile - despite its meteoric rise - you cannot simply do an ROI analysis on a new space. Mobile allows broadcasters to purchase beachfront property. Whether stations can afford the upkeep is a good question. But listeners/consumers aren't going to be forgiving if they can't find you in a hot spot they enjoy. You're either there - presenting great content they care about - or they'll go elsewhere.

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