Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"If at first you don't succeed, sit down and ask what you have learned. Improve your approach and try once more. Maybe make a third effort. Then do something else...Most of the people who persist in the wilderness leave nothing behind but bleached bones." Peter Drucker

Too many stations have set themselves up for failure in the fall sweep. Old school rules apply in these cases. If what you are doing fails to produce a winning result in two books continuing to do the same thing expecting a different outcome is irrational, negligent behavior. If the PD can't break a two share, can't deliver winning numbers to the sales department after two books, get a new PD. Stop playing double down on clearly bad hands.

Today's image: Fall colors at the state capitol in Madison. Thanks to Roz Almond via The Isthmus Pool @ Flickr

Sean Ross thinks out loud about rhythmic AC and the reasons behind the take rate of the format (Seattle, LA, St Louis, San Francisco, Denver). Sean offers five thoughts including...

4) Because, Los Angeles notwithstanding, there's nothing similar in the space. Jack- and Bob-FM did better if you had a weak Hot AC or an older/harder Classic Rock in the market. Movin' and its brethern deal with music that's been entirely missing from the radio;

Read Sean's What Starts A Land Rush At Radio here

Bravo Sean - another well written piece. My sense is playing MIA music will not produce a sustainable competitive performance. Like any other version of oldies, and that's what it is - yet another jockless oldies reboot - the appeal is front loaded. The novelty of hearing a library of neglected tunes attracts strong initial sampling and peaks quickly. The "format" needs, in the least, the strong localization that is best delivered by live/local talent, unique staging dynamics - a presentation with real attitude beyond the cute feels good liners, and current music (cutting off titles after the year 2000 is patently stupid). If the music you play is your only raison d etre you have failed to establish an effective barrier to entry. In those cases the best physics wins, it was ever thus - the rim shot class A as R&D lab for the full market class B.

The competitive life cycle in music formats remains

  • Playing titles no other station is playing
  • Playing titles others are playing but playing them in a unique and different way (contrast)
  • Setting the station apart as live theater, bringing the station to life between the titles
  • Consistently extending the reach of the station, a fresh "made daily" approach getting the radio station involved, deep into the drama of daily life, 24/7
The single most important attribute - give them reasons to believe: if they missed listening to the station today...they missed something, they "feel" out of touch, they know nothing will "satisfy" their needs except connecting via the station. The station becomes a part of their life, a habit, a needed part of their daily routine. Jockless oldies stations need not apply, they lack the depth of any real emotion, the substance of community, the shared experience of living in the moment. Great stations are companions, they relate on a deep personal level, they entertain and inform, they have a soul.

These rhythmic AC launches smell of "herd instinct" at work...again, take the wayback machine to July 2005 here

AOL CEO Miller speaks at MIT, David Berlind has you covered - The long tail is real here

Microsoft takes on MySpace. Read all about Wallop, thanks to Dawn Kawamoto here

Robert Scoble debuts his brand new show "Scoble Show", here, congrats and cheers Robert!

Favorite wastes of bandwidth: By popular request, re-feeds for my UK friends (thanks for the emails!). Mind reading made simple here. Addictive cyrkam airtos game here