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Thread: Weasels In the Hen House?

  1. #81

    Re: Conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by SirRoxalot

    So, content is valueless, but radio stations should invest in taking that content to multiple platforms, and expand their investment in those platforms? In other words, they should spend MORE MONEY to disseminate content that HAS NO VALUE?
    I didn't say it had no value. Just limited value. So the best way to maximize that value is offer that content over multiple platforms in order to reach people who have interest in it, but aren't regular listeners.

    You can spend money on a product, have it air once and then it's gone. Or spend money on the same product and have it find life in five different places, making money each time. Which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by SirRoxalot

    WHY aren't they making as great a profit as before?
    Their costs have increased and the ad market has been in decline in all media (not just radio) for three years. Which is why even the New York Times is having a very hard time. As I've pointed out, it has nothing to do with DJs.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirRoxalot

    2. Go bankrupt. You stiff the lienholders, stockholders, and vendors. You go to reorganization and come out leaner, meaner, and with a lot less debt. Your profits can be applied to rebuilding the company, recreating your product, and redistributing through those channels that you deem profitable.
    Radio is not the airline industry. When you say "vendors" you also include advertisers, who they will need in order to reorganize. Not good to screw someone, then drop back for a sales call. That's partly why I say bankruptcy is not an option.


    Quote Originally Posted by SirRoxalot

    What do Yahoo and AOL want from CBS? What can they get from CBS that they can't get from a computer algorithm? Both of them already have on-line radio, and already allow you to create personally customized stations that play what YOU want. What do they need CBS for?
    Do a search for articles on this deal, and you'll get the official answer. Yahoo and AOL wanted to get out of the online radio business. Both were losing tons of money, thanks to the RIAA. I think Yahoo shut down their operation last year.

    Here's one link: http://www.cnbc.com/id/28041255

    Quote Originally Posted by SirRoxalot

    So, you advocate cutting the very thing that separates radio from existing on-line music services?
    The jury is still out if the public sees any value in replacing their unhosted music services with hosted radio stations. Aren't you the one who's been saying that the programming sucks, and has sucked for a long time? But neither Yahoo nor AOL sought staffed stations. They just don't want to have to pay music royalties any more. So now they don't have to.

    And CBS doesn't have to spend as much creating online platforms, because their stations are on two of the biggest. But that leaves all the other companies out in the cold. Which is why I suggest they better shift staffing from on-air to online.

  2. #82

    Re: Conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by SirRoxalot

    After all, music on the radio, after nearly a century of being a primary part of radio programming, needs to be cast aside, right? Just what kind of content will they be providing? Hundreds of talk show channels? Rosie O'Donnell's "variety show"?
    That's a fair question and deserves its own response.

    Three words: Use your imagination.

    The fact is that if the RIAA gets its way, radio stations will be forced to pay as much as 20% of their revenues (not profits) to record labels for the rights to play recorded music. Some of these stations have a 20% profit margin, so all of their profits will be going to Japan and France, who own the copyright. One can debate that whole issue someplace else. But it will be discussed in the Congress this year. I imagine that if it happens, radio stations will be seeking other ways to fill their airtime other than playing and promoting recorded music. These royalties have already damaged satellite and internet radio. They now seek to inflict the same fate on broadcast radio.

    What radio stations need is content they own. Which is not DJs playing records.

  3. #83
    adma
    Guest

    Re: Conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA
    What radio stations need is content they own. Which is not DJs playing records.
    And if that's not possible...well, face it. Maybe we're entering an age where as many as 95% of our existing signals--FM as well as AM--will be going dark, or ethnic/religious/brokered. If you didn't brace yourself for that likelihood, well, sorry.

    Besides, when it comes to "playing records", you gotta face the fact that the genesis of today's "radio sucks" attitudes came when radio started to foul up on that front. Maybe you can trace it back 40+ years to when Rolling Stone etc validated the notion of "rock journalism" and "rock criticism", and suddenly radio was no longer the primary hip medium out there. I mean, sure, Bill Drake's "The History Of Rock & Roll" reached the masses; but "The Rolling Stone Illustrated History Of Rock & Roll" set the canon--maybe it's the difference between an "entertainment" and a "culture" outlook, but in the longer term, even the middlebrow ball wasn't in Drake's court. To try to keep that approach going is like pretending there's still a market for cheesy 70s-style coffee-table books.

  4. #84

    Re: Weasels In the Hen House?

    This thread takes an intersting turn here as it reverts to the "content" discussion.

    If the RIAA has it way and legislation is passed which provides for artists and labels to be compensated at levels approaching 20 per cent, then perhaps local musicians and local personalities will find their way onto the airwaves.

    Be advised that I do not believe that local music is the be all and end all that some musicians might argue, nor do I believe that all local jocks have something compelling to talk about every break for their entire four or five hour show/air shift.

    But...

    I do believe in localism as it relates to good product derived from good writing, good production, good delivery, good talent and good direction as it applies to musicians as well as air talent/personalities has immense value as it applies to creating "product" that listeners seek.

    This is where the heavy lifting begins, especially for jocks and talk show hosts who think they can go on the radio and meander about aimlessly. What and where is the point?! It begins with research, writing and production.

    Over the years, I've had the opportunity to listen to some very good radio personalities in Buffalo, New York, listening as the market descended from a Top 25 market to market #52. Yes, it's been that long.

    There have been and are to this day, local jocks who are every bit as entertaining and informative as John Tesh, Delilah, Kim Iverson.

    The best jocks I've heard over the years are those who understand "getting to the point." If it takes 9 seconds, fine. If it takes 29 seconds and the payoff is worth the 29 seconds, just as well. I liken some jocks to good pop musicians and other jocks to good jazz musicians.

    Talk shows? I've heard some very compelling local talkers that have captivated my interest as much as the big national talkers, Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, Rhodes and Schultz.

    Again, it's a matter of entertainment over ideology.

    Some people think Terry Gross (NPR's "Fresh Air") is droll or boring. I find her style very interesting and entertaining as she lets her guests open up.

    Philadelphia's Michael Smerconish may not be true to the (GOP) party line according to some, but I find his willingness to zig when he's expected to zag, refreshing; and his collegial style is compelling and thought provoking even when I disagree with his summation.

    I agree: Content is and will be king.

    So... who'll in charge of developing the content? Who will have the conviction to believe in the talent and give it a place on the radio? There would be no Howard Stern if he wasn't given a chance to develop and succeed, and eventually become the bankable personality he is today.

    The radio business (whether it's on AM, FM, WiMax, WiFi, Internet) needs smart, visionary, risk-taking, strong, compelling programmers as much as it needs great air personalities.

    To complement the programming, astute sales people are needed to sell the product; men and women who understand and believe in the product are distinctly different than order takers and those who take the path of least resistance. Justifiably, these men and women deserve to be compensated richly and rewarded for their intelligence and skills.




  5. #85

    Re: Weasels In the Hen House?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radknowski

    If the RIAA has it way and legislation is passed which provides for artists and labels to be compensated at levels approaching 20 per cent, then perhaps local musicians and local personalities will find their way onto the airwaves.
    OR the only place you'll be able to hear music are big stations that have big budgets and can afford to pay the royalties.

    And there'll be even more syndication, run by the record labels who supply the content to the radio stations.

    Lots of variables here, and probably all of them will be tried.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radknowski

    I do believe in localism as it relates to good product derived from good writing, good production, good delivery, good talent and good direction as it applies to musicians as well as air talent/personalities has immense value as it applies to creating "product" that listeners seek.
    There has to be a reason why big commercial movies are made in Hollywood and not Idaho.The best theater is on Broadway. The greatest songwriters are in Nashville, and even Jon Bon Jovi goes there to write. If people are talented, they will go to where they can compete with other talented people. Must be present to win. The cream rises, it does not stay where it came from.

  6. #86

    Re: Weasels In the Hen House?

    There has to be a reason why big commercial movies are made in Hollywood and not Idaho. The best theater is on Broadway. The greatest songwriters are in Nashville, and even Jon Bon Jovi goes there to write. If people are talented, they will go to where they can compete with other talented people. Must be present to win. The cream rises, it does not stay where it came from.
    Hmmm... good points... but... Stephen King, arguably one of the best contemporary writers in America writes from Portland (or a suburb thereof). Just 90 minutes up the road, Toronto, Canada has become one of the major film production centres in North America. Same for Vancouver.

    The Oracle of Omaha and Charles Munger prefer to work the market from Omaha. Many of the best run mutual funds (such as they are these days) are managed not on Wall Street but from hamlets in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

    Dylan and Rundgren set up shop in Woodstock (Bearsville) NY. Motown gave us Stevie & Marvin and Philly gave us Gamble & Huff; tiny Muscle Shoals gave us the Swampettes, Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers. Carole King worked on Tin Pan Alley but found she could write, record and produce songs from Big Sky Country.

    Big Ed Schultz does his daily thing from Fargo while Rush chills out in a Palm Beach studio for three hours each day.

    Your point is well-made in that centers of population tend to be magnets for creative and talented people, New York and LA are Meca when it comes to show business. Then again, there's Branson, Dollywood, Disney and Bollywood. I'd argue that there are equally creative, industrious, talented and gifted people throughout America and technology allows them to prosper from their home bases.

  7. #87

    Conundrum 2

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA
    There has to be a reason why big commercial movies are made in Hollywood and not Idaho.The best theater is on Broadway. The greatest songwriters are in Nashville, and even Jon Bon Jovi goes there to write. If people are talented, they will go to where they can compete with other talented people. Must be present to win. The cream rises, it does not stay where it came from.
    Where do you get this stuff? How much time have you spent around musicians and artists?

    The reason that big commercial movies are made in Hollywood - and NY, Toronto, Vancouver, Budapest, London, and Bollywood - is that they have the infrastructure, expertise, and sheer numbers of technicians, actors, extras, CG artists, and myriad other people required to create the product. What do you need to create a radio show? One or two people, and a couple of thousand dollars worth of professional equipment? In fact, a lot are created with a lot less than that.

    Broadway has great theatre. So does Chicago, Toronto, LA, and a host of other cities around the country, and around the world. For every starry-eyed wannabe that goes to NYC, there a plenty of talented people who have no desire to go there. There are plenty of successful playwrights who won't go near either NYC or Hollywood. There are more great songwriters outside Nashville than have ever lived there. Some of them have worked there for some period of time, some have never written a single stanza there. On one hand you tell us that record companies are growing more irrelevant. On the other hand, you're telling us that they're going to control music on the radio. Meanwhile, more and more artists are creating independent record companies and distributing their music via the web, bypassing the major record companies.

    If people are talented, they go where they can fullfill their vision. The best radio is not in NY, LA, and Chicago. The best radio FOR NY may be there, the best radio FOR LA may be there, and the best radio FOR Chicago may be there. We've seen time and again that success in one of those markets doesn't guaranty success in any of the others.

    Increased syndication may come to pass, but it won't be because it's superior programming or gets superior ratings.

    As far as the CBS takeover of Yahoo and AOL on-line music services is concerned, it looks like both Internet services found that they couldn't sell enough advertising to offset the costs imposed by the RIAA increases. So, CBS is taking on a money-loser, converting Yahoo to the CBS model, and hoping that the additional Yahoo listeners will bring in enough revenue to make their attempt worthwhile.

    Yahoo Music head Michael Spiegelman's quote is very telling:

    "A lot of the economics around Internet radio have changed quite drastically in the last year," he said. "We want to be able to continue to offer Internet radio to our users, but it's pretty clear we had to make some big changes to the product to do so." Yahoo was looking at scaling back the product, or finding somebody with deep pockets to pick up the tab.

    In other words, CBS has gotten itself a money-loser, at a time when their revenue is already declining. There's certainly a major question whether the addition of CBS stations to the mix, or addition of commercials to the on-line channels will offset the additional costs. Addition of commercials may send listeners to other services that offer commercial-free streams. If anything, CBS sought to kill off two competitors to its "last.fm" service.
    Did I forget that <<sarcasm>> tag again?

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