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Chris Miller

Make The FM Phone Chip Irrelevant



By Chris Miller


The proposed FM chip for cell phones has stirred up some controversy. Here on, you've heard the head of the Consumer Electronics Association blast the idea. "You're distorting our position," says the NAB, and Radio Ink readers have weighed in with their own opinions.

No matter your opinion, here are a couple of wake-up calls. Almost none of us are in any position to do anything about getting an FM chip into phones, and yet we're still responsible for our numbers. In addition, more and more radio listening is moving online, and much of that will be done via mobile devices. No matter what the FM chip outcome is, here are productive things you can do for your own brands.

Change Your Mind

Stop seeing yourself as a radio person, or a broadcaster, or a transmitter user. You're now a purveyor of entertainment in your format for your local community, and you deliver it however they choose to consume it. Mentally separate the benefit you provide from your traditional delivery method. If you're Anytown's Best Country, picture yourself getting the best Country entertainment you can to your fans on the air, online, and even on site at events.

Clean Up Your Stream

Listen to your stream. Would you be proud for it to represent the hard work you do all day? For most of us, you would have to think the answer is "no."

Change this starting today. Confront the programming issues on your stream. What can you do to make your stream as good, if not better, than your broadcast? You can read some of my recommendations on this subject HERE.

Streaming Features = Audience Benefits

Tell your fans what makes your stream special. Maybe there's some sort of music or information you can offer on your stream that you can promote as a special benefit. Perhaps you always play more music on your stream than on the air. You could also appeal to your heavy listeners and create special :30 and :60 streaming messages about what's fresh on your website or extra hints to win contests, or just deeper, more focused information about what they come to you for every day.

Think, too, about what's special in your streaming player. No matter who provides your streaming technology, almost all of us have built-in features that aren't available to our traditional over-the-air listeners. Which of those would make a difference to promote about your brand?

Market Your Platforms

Finally, make sure you're telling your fans all the ways that they can enjoy you. "We're there for you, whether you want to listen on your radio, your computer, or on the Radio 108 app you can download for your mobile device." If you don't have a separate app, but your listeners can find you on one of the big corporate apps or TuneIn or Stitcher, link to those from your website. Remember, a key part of great 21st century radio brand management is using all your platforms to deliver what your fans love about matter how they choose to experience you!


Chris Miller has been a major-market PD in Atlanta, Portland and Cleveland. He now operates Chris Miller Digital, which he launched. Visit his website at Contact Chris via e-mail, or 216-236-3955.