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Thread: Radio Leaves Money On the Table

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyDog View Post
    Maybe digital is such a different business that it really represents diversification and not growth.
    I don't think it's a different business at all. Heck at one time CBS owned Fender Guitars and the New York Yankees. I would agree that those are two different businesses. But digital can be an integral part of broadcasting if its managed well. I think we're both saying it's not being managed well. Historically, broadcasting grew out of electronics companies like Westinghouse, Crosley, RCA, and General Electric. Even AT&T was an early investor. Over the past 25 years, radio has gotten out of the technology business. At a time when technology has exploded. Imagine if a radio company had come up with the Amazon Echo. What kind of background does Amazon have in creating such a product? Yet its a game changer. Wouldn't you say that's a different business for them? Digital is an area for growth in a business that at best is holding steady. If broadcasters don't invest in digital, they're setting the stage for their own irrelevance. They need to fix this thing.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    I think we're both saying it's not being managed well.
    Yes, so I'll leave it there.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    If broadcasters don't invest in digital, they're setting the stage for their own irrelevance. They need to fix this thing.
    The problem with broadcasters mindset about digital is; they think it's only used to-support, or as a sidecar to the traditional broadcast model. For years TV and radio stations and networks gave away ad space on websites to secure contracts on stations, then halfheartedly included promotion of their website on the air to appease that same advertiser. When you think about it, that mindset was similar to the Crosley, RCA, and Westinghouse parent model of the 1930's, where the parent was using the new medium of radio to promote the sales of their radios.

    I guess what you're saying is true to a certain extent, that broadcast ownership aren't as diversified as modern businesses operate, so when one form of business was down, another helps bolster the overall company. The company I worked for several years owned several radio, several TV, was one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the U.S., and also owned an NBA team. The common thread in what seems like a diversified business portfolio? Advertising.
    Last edited by Kelly A; 05-31-2017 at 06:02 AM.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly A View Post
    The common thread in what seems like a diversified business portfolio? Advertising.
    Bingo!

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly A View Post
    I guess what you're saying is true to a certain extent, that broadcast ownership aren't as diversified as modern businesses operate, so when one form of business was down, another helps bolster the overall company.
    So the word is as I said, diversified as opposed to growth. A different business to operate so when one is down, the other is up.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    Part of the problem is the digital products sell for about 10 or 20% of the price of on-air.
    If digital is about 10-20% of on-air, then the offset is of small consequence to the decline in the larger business.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyDog View Post

    If digital is about 10-20% of on-air, then the offset is of small consequence to the decline in the larger business.
    I agree, but as the article states, there's a reason why digital is selling so cheaply. That's why I say radio is leaving money on the table.

    You have companies like Cumulus, Saga, and Alpha that do very little digital. It's a very small part of their business. But if they worked a little harder at it, put creative people in charge of content, and allow experienced sellers to sell it, imagine what it could do.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    You have companies like Cumulus, Saga, and Alpha that do very little digital.
    I was thinking I really don't know what kind of digital products any of these companies are offering. Are we talking ads in the audio stream? Website display? Just what is their digital product lineup?

    I'm impressed with much about Entercom but I don't think much of their Smart Reach Digital division. Not because I don't think they are any good, I really don't know if they're good or not. I am convinced that selling a suite of Internet products (websites, SMS, SEO, PPC etc) is a business that doesn't, as they say, "scale" well. I see Smart Reach Digital as a competitor to companies like YP.com, Hibu, Hearst Media Services/Local Edge et al. I make a decent living picking off their customers but only on a small scale.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyDog View Post
    I was thinking I really don't know what kind of digital products any of these companies are offering. Are we talking ads in the audio stream? Website display? Just what is their digital product lineup?
    That's really about it. Maybe a little podcasting, but they haven't built their own platform the way CBS did. Building a digital platform is cheaper than building a radio station. All it takes is imagination.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    That's really about it. Maybe a little podcasting, but they haven't built their own platform the way CBS did.
    Thanks.

  10. #20
    Here's a good example of a traditional media/broadcaster that created a successful digital platform and is now reaping the diverse benefits:
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money...noff/89949476/

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