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Stop Taking Shots at Other Radio Stations


Courtside and Podcast One CEO Norm Pattiz moderated an impressive lineup of agency executives at Radio Ink’s Convergence conference last week. Before tackling the topic of digital revenue for radio Pattiz made a pointed observation: "I think we have to get rid of the 'national sport' of radio. And the national sport of radio is for all of us to take shots at each other."

As far as radio and digital, Pattiz said, ""The failure of traditional radio companies today to take a more aggressive move in this area is their failure alone. It is not the failure of the people who are moving in that direction." Regarding the competition, he noted, "There are things that people will pay for, but that shouldn't stop us, because there are things that advertisers will pay for."

Asked about the move of agency radio departments to "audio departments," Yvonne Lacey, national media director for Two Nil Global, said "We always talk about radio and the difference between terrestrial and Internet radio" but added that the audience doesn't differentiate them. And to keep things clear for clients, Horizon Media Sr. Media Buyer Josh Nazar said audio overall needs to remain "like radio" so agencies are able "to explain it to our clients like we always explained network radio."

Dan Granger, founder and CEO of Oxford Road used a term of the day: "agnostic," in regard to platforms, as long as the platforms get results. He said, "The question is How do we sell product? How do we help our clients make money?" "I don't care where we spend the money. I'm totally agnostic, and so are clients. They just want to show a return on their investment."

Also echoing one of the sentiments of the day, Granger said, "I don't care about CPM," but added that he's also not interested in "sizzle or reach or sex appeal." "That might get you on a buy once." After that, he said, "Show me the response."

After Pattiz asked whether they still encounter an attitude of "I don't know about digital, but I need it," Nazar acknowledged that many advertisers still need to be educated. Lacye noted, "Right now, it's really about analytics." "Our client doesn't care about what audio, they just want to make sure that it works."

Lacey also said she's encountering few young people who want to be radio DJs: "It's just not as sexy as it used to be." Granger advised radio, "Stop trying to cram a jukebox  into a smartphone. It's not going to win. You need personalities." After decrying radio stations that are flipping to become "jukeboxes" when clients care about personalities, he said, "Focus on people who have a relationship with their audience, and their audience trusts them. We're in the trust business" -- words that drew applause from the crowd.

(6/8/2014 8:03:54 PM)
It's all very charming that an audience of broadcasters would applaud a call for a return or the upgrading of The Personality. Also, just a tad ironic since nobody seems to know what to do first, or next.

- Ronald

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