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October 24, 2014

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11/18/02 1.5 Billion Dollars For Radio, Starting In This Issue
For over a decade, I’ve been preaching that we’re to blame for not receiving a larger percentage of the overall advertising pie. In fact, we’ve seen our share grow by a full point, but I won’t rest until every advertiser in America understands the power of Radio and what it can do for their business.

The best way to improve business is to go to your customers and ask for their opinions. Though I’ve had theories about why Radio does not get more dollars, I wanted to hear from the people controlling the purse strings and making the decisions to use Radio or other media. So, I started talking to clients, planners, buyers and various executives at the agency and client level. As a result, I am declaring 2003 as The Year Of The Advertiser. Within the pages of Radio Ink, you will see more input dedicated to growing Radio’s market share and to sharing what we are learning from our customers.

Many top advertisers subscribe to Radio Ink. For instance, one of the top buyers in America, Matt Fineburg of Zenith Media in New York has been a reader for years. Why? Because he wants to know more about Radio, more about how we sell, more about what stations are doing so he can buy beyond the numbers. Kim Vasey, a partner at Media Edge, is a reader. In fact, she is such a believer in Radio Ink that when John Sykes took over as head of Infinity, she had lunch with him and insisted that he become a reader of Radio Ink.

We did the math. Radio Ink has nearly 2,000 readers who are responsible for more than $1.5 billion in national, regional, network and local Radio advertising (for national chains). These buyers, planners and advertising and client executives represent most of the major brands in America.

I’ve learned that many buyers do not want to rely solely on Arbitron numbers. Some of the top buyers have told me they buy from numbers because they have no way of tracking the activities of so many stations. They said they would prefer to buy from a combination of numbers and “gut” based on market knowledge of the clout of station promotions and events, talent, community activities and successes for clients. That information has not been readily available. To solve this, we gathered a panel of experts and designed a market profile just for advertisers. These profiles will help them understand more about the market and its people, and more about the stations.

In this issue, we start with Austin. Beginning in January 2003 (The Year Of The Advertiser) with each issue, we will publish other market profiles. Advertisers have told us they plan to keep a file or notebook of the profiles. We’re also launching an advertisers-only website to make the profiles available online. Qualified advertisers who sign up can get an electronic version by e-mail. These profiles are our first step in The Year Of The Advertiser.

Radio Ink market profiles are an important step in filling an information void, because they communicate important data that buyers need regarding the market and the stations. We’re proud of the Austin profile, and we’ve already discovered ways we can fine-tune these in the future. I welcome your feedback. We hope this will be the first of many steps that Radio Ink can take to boost communication to the advertising industry and create more interest in Radio.

— Eric Rhoads


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