November 27, 2015

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04/12/99 The Radio Ink Internet Conference
At virtually every Radio conference, I watch as tightly knotted crowds pack themselves into rooms which are far too small. I say to myself, "They're about to discuss the Internet." Later, I stand unseen in the doorway and listen as Radio's "Internet experts" spew weird and dangerous misinformation, speculating wildly about the future.
I can almost hear the audience thinking, "Is the Internet a threat to Radio, or is it an opportunity? Will Internet streaming of audio create infinitely customizable Radio formats in every home, or will it go away like CB Radio did? I know there's money to be made on the Internet, but how?" After listening for a while, I shake my head sadly and walk away.
Four cars arrive simultaneously at an intersection which has neither road signs nor traffic lights. They sit and look at each other for a brief moment, not quite sure what to do. We in Radio are at precisely this moment. The four cars are the Internet, advertisers, Radio stations and listeners. How will we interact?
Seated in the middle of the audience, I pivot in my chair and study all the faces in the room. I've never met or seen any of these people. There's not a single Radio face anywhere, but that stands to reason. I'm part of an Internet conference at Stanford University, attended only by the movers and shakers of the Internet. These are the real guys, the bad boys you read about, not a bunch of "Internet wannabes."
Within the first hour, I make up my mind: Radio Ink is going to host the first Internet conference for Radio, and I'm going to hire these same Internet geniuses to focus their attention on the unique opportunities and challenges facing Radio. It's time for Radio to move into the next millennium.
The Radio Ink Internet Conference will be held in Silicon Valley, October 12-15, 1999.
Attend this conference and interact directly with Internet trendsetters who will bring you up to speed on the latest critical developments. The experts at The Radio Ink Internet Conference will explain in detail the convergence of the Internet with Radio, E-commerce, audio streaming and traditional advertising.
The primary focus of the conference will be income generation for Radio. Learn how Radio can best capture the opportunities the Net offers in sales, promotion and programming. This conference will be unlike any Radio conference there's ever been and will be strictly limited to 600 attendees. No tape recorders will be allowed.
I've spent most of the past 14 months attending Internet conferences, trying to grasp its meaning to Radio. The good news is that the Internet offers fabulous opportunities and a bright future for Radio people who are in step with it. The bad news is that the Internet seriously threatens Radio listening and advertising, as it threatens all traditional business models in every industry. I want you to come to the conference and learn the truth.
For Radio's GMs, it's next to impossible to stay abreast of the rapidly changing Internet while trying to operate Radio stations, so I've decided to be the machete that cuts through the clutter of hype and half-truths. I'm cutting a path for Radio.

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