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Radio Exec Says "Suckers Invest in Pandora"

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(2/15/2011 10:10:18 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I, too, 'checked out' Pandora a year ago. I appreciated the experience but it did not become a habit in anyway. Yet, I would be counted as a subscriber even though i have not used it in almost a year. I would love to know the number of 'active users'.
- Deborah O'Rell
(2/15/2011 9:56:08 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Radio has been pronounced DOA at every new technology breakthrough starting with TV. Radio is not going anywhere, and contrary to wishfull thinking pundits it is not dying! Like every media it is evolving. Some current radio companies and services will survive and flourish, others will not. If all people wanted to do was listen to uninterrupted music then the cassette and CD would have buried radio long ago.
Mary's dash board reference is valid. What is more important is radio's ability to build a local identity, connection and influence. Radio in response to these new services will be to become more feircely local. Those who do will survive and flourish. So as Mark Twain once said, the reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated. Do not mistake sales spin for new services for the reality of a growing arena of entertaintment options that radio will evolve to compete in effectively. As Mary said, XM and Sirius were going to bury radio, not!
By the way these customized stations, will their developers (customers) permit commercials to inserted into their flow, don't think so. To date subscriptions have not been a viable way to support superior and more importanly profitable entertainment services. Listening to your own personal radio station eaves you devoid of any sense of community or belonging, a serious defeciency of this new service.

- Frank Zappala
(2/15/2011 9:16:54 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content

Your hubris is showing.

I hope you don't find it offensive to know that not everybody took a liking to the headline made of your comments "Suckers Invest In Pandora". I certainly hope you are also not offended by the observation that you are associated with a dying industry and your comments have had to come from whatever it is your smoke out there in Southern California.

You talk about a supposed bad investment in Sirius or XM. How about the, as you would have to call them, "suckers" who invested in Citadel, Atlantic Broadcasting, Cape Cod Broadcasters, Regent Communications, Tribune Company and more. And how about the "suckers" who dedicated their Professional careers to local broadcasting and have been separated from their careers because of constant scrambling by broadcasters to avoid defaults and bankruptcy?

Your snake oil spin on dash boards is further evidence of just how your mind has to be blurred. Ever hear of an iPod? I suggest that you take a trip into a few new car dealers and discover that the dash board of new cars has a place for many different entertainment options, radio is really a diminishing factor in new cars.

Take a trip outside the haze of Southern California and find out how much of the country no longer has anything that resembles "local radio". From what I've been reading, there in Southern California local news and entertainment coverage on radio stations is not exactly a growing trend. Your term of "virtual neighborhoods" is just more evidence of your being out of touch with reality.

virtual, (adj.), existing in essence or effect THOUGH NOT IN ACTUAL FACT.

A virtual neighborhood certainly sounds like something that virtual advertisers would be attracted to.

Your comments refer to "...93% of the population inviting local radio into their lives every week." Considering that the measuring of that is done by technology and not by human ears, it seems that you again have entered into the virtual world. It would appear that there is nothing virtual about the facts of Pandora listening.

With cheerleaders such as yourself, local radio may have a few years left before it flat-lines. Just real fact in that.

- Jim Schlichting
(2/15/2011 9:04:36 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
The threat to radio is not Pandora in and of itself. It is and will continue to be be the dynamic growth and aggregation of content choices facilitated by the undeniable access to more distribution platforms. Have we not witnessed what has transpired the past 18 months on mobile, with android, with new devices, with IPads, and yes, coming to a car dashboard near you? In the mean time, Can you name more than one analog media platform?
- Jim Ryan
(2/15/2011 9:04:25 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
The threat to radio is not Pandora in and of itself. It is and will continue to be be the dynamic growth and aggregation of content choices facilitated by the undeniable access to more distribution platforms. Have we not witnessed what has transpired the past 18 months on mobile, with android, with new devices, with IPads, and yes, coming to a car dashboard near you? In the mean time, Can you name more than one analog media platform?
- Jim Ryan
(2/15/2011 8:17:20 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Mary your comments speak well for Radio today however you are underestimating the potential of Pandora and other streaming offerings in my opinion and the opportunity for Radio to embrace digital technology to enhance their own local platforms.

I remember the seemingly instantaneous growth of FM in the 60's , first with FM adaptors that made AM only Radios play FM. That growth was spurned by demand , listeners wanted to hear the higher quality FM signals and they paid to do it. Manufacturers quickly saw this trend and before you knew it there was hardly a car found with only an AM Radio. The same trend is here today with digital streaming and sites like Pandora , Last.FM and our own that listeners find and like. They like the fact that they can control a part of the listening experience and the lower commercial load. Those same manufacturers see this trend and there are weekly announcements made of new receivers with Internet capability for cars and for portable devices. Speaking of portable devices with today's smartphones and streaming audio each of these has the capability of becoming the " transistor Radios " of the future and most likely will become just that if Radio provides an acceptable streaming signal for them.

Rather than fight digital platforms it is my hope that Radio will embrace this new technology and use it to further enhance and expand it's own brand. This has to be done with more than Radio simply streaming it's on air signal . There needs to be a further adaptation , utilization and integration of Radio signals into a digital offering. One of our companies American Media Services LLC develops and brokers Radio signals. Seeing the digital trend we created American Media Services Interactive and The Message Works LLC to offer digital platforms starting with and then creating products and services for Radio to assist them in the transition to a digital offering. Other companies are offering similar services for Radio.

In my opinion Pandora will continue to grow as will other streaming platforms. Radio cannot sit back and let them with all of the two way communication features they offer erode the audience that Radio has today. Radio needs to move forward , take their local brands and expand them with the right digital offerings while they monetize them with the excellent relationship that Radio has with advertisers. Radio can do everything that streaming platforms can do if they embrace the technology and not ignore the potential threat that it is because it is real. You were focused on just Pandora versus Radio but if you were to add the combined audiences of all digital streaming platforms Pandora , Last.FM , Slacker , , Rhapsody and the many others you would see that the digital audience is significant and growing and at a much faster pace than you realize.

I grew up in Radio , I love Radio , Radio has been great to me but I have a big concern over it's future if it fails to adapt to this new technology that is here today and getting stronger with each new day. As someone who developed signals for Radio with AMS it is clear to me that the ultimate expansion of a Radio signal is on line which is the first step. The second step is the software to allow AOD for a Radio signal giving users some control of the listening experience which our research says they want. The opportunity is right in front of Radio today. I have to believe that it will move in this direction to continue to provide the best content for its listeners as they move to digital to hear the music and content that they want.


Edward F. Seeger, Chairman
American Media Services LLC
American Media Services Interactive LLC
The Message Works LLC
P. O. Box 20696, Charleston SC 29413
1311 Chuck Dawley Blvd/Suite 202, Mt Pleasant SC 29464
O: (843)972-2200 F: (843)881-4436

- Edward F Seeger
(2/15/2011 7:57:39 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I suspect that I am typical of probably thousands of Pandora "subscribers." I have had Pandora on my computer for about two years, and probably have not tuned into it for at least the past twelve months. As an experiment when I joined, I put in a couple of mid-30's pieces of big band Swing (Ellington, Basie, etc.). The Pandora algorithm came up with the most bizarre and weird "station" that was boring and unlistenable. My guess is that of those "80 million subscribers," maybe half of them are active. And even with 40 million, I'd like to see some Arbitron documentation.
- Robert E. Richer

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