Social Media And Radio. No Static At All.

I had a great conversation this morning with a colleague and old friend who is the Operations Manager of a 13 radio station cluster in the beautiful state of Georgia. He is pretty frustrated and stressed right now as his employers continue to demand market share gains amidst this current environment of “FM Radio is dead!” OK, FM radio is NOT dead. But make no mistake about it, traditional transmitter based radio is bloodied and pummelled right now. If I may provide a simile, it’s like in “Rocky IV”, when Ivan Drago, says to Rocky, “I must break you.” Then proceeds to give us one of the BEST beatings in the history of modern film. Rocky IS radio right now and Dolph Lundgren is where all of radio’s listeners AND advertising dollars have gone. Spotify, Pandora, You Tube, iTunes, even iPod use is still growing. Digital is now kicking radio’s ass. Back to my buddy. What to do? How do we stitch up all the wounds and get Rocky back in the fight. Resist, whine and complain? Nah! Embrace and engage! I suggested he create, as a beta test, a Spotify branded radio station account for one of his stations. They could create and share format and demographically targeted playlists specifically for Spotify. Use the social aspect of the platform to direct that audience and most important repatriate inactive listeners back to the station and it’s website for even more “relevant” content. I could sense immediately that I was not helping to relieve his anxiety. I was, at least in his mind, adding to it. He would be almost fearful for his job, he told me, at even the thought of approaching his managers with the idea of actively pointing listeners to a, ahem, competitors platform. Oye! Two things are bad with this current and rather shockingly popular denial by broadcast management as to the value and incorporation of Social Media. First, not realizing that in fact, your audience, has ALREADY migrated to online. Second, failing to realize that, done correctly, only GOOD things happen by actually embracing social. Things like massive increases in demo key audiences and huge percentage gains in sales revenue through multiple streams. Radical huh? Not really, just a new way of thinking. “FM” … there really should be ‘no static at all‘ … See what I did there?

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