Monday, September 22, 2008

The Radio Week That Was 9/22/08

Thought I'd add a weekly feature to the blog and review some quick highlights from the past week in our radio world. Last week was pretty dramatic:

1. Economy Hits A Wall: From the coverage on CNBC it looked like last week was as near to a Wall Street meltdown as 1929. It looks like some of the storm has passed, but like IKE we have a huge expense cleaning up the mess. For Radio we didn't need this news as no doubt capital for business will be in short supply and the American economy will likely be in a funk for quite a while to say the least. We all know this will make the going even a little tougher as Radio looks to evolve into a lot stronger platform in the midst of so much new media competition. We're all going to have to get bold and creative and quick.

2.AFDI: Clear Channel wraps up their radio group meetings with an appeal to the troops to Actually F*** Doing It. While some criticize the CC team for using the language and a phrase that Lee Abrams used in his blog a few years ago the spirit is right. Gotta quit talking and start doing.

3. NAB: The convention is over, but is anything going to evolve or was it just another hang out convention?

4. CD's May Be Replaced by Micro SD-Cards? Wal-Mart and Best Buy are teaming up with Sony, Universal, EMI and Warner Bros to use the Scan Disk Micro SD cards and put CDs/Albums on them. Art and liner notes will return (yeah) and there will be plenty of room for you to store your songs on the memory cards also. They can plug into phones, MP3 players, your computer and are not copy protected. Sounds interesting, but will the current downloaders buy in?

5. PPM: The recent legal attempts by 'we like the inaccurate and outdated diaries because we looked OK in it' groups continue to hold PPM back. It's time for these folks to accept the reality and get out of the way of more accurate and reliable ratings data.

6. Looks Like Rock Radio Ratings are improving: Maybe it's the wealth of good new music, better sample return in both diaries and PPM panels, or maybe it's the Guitar Hero/Rock Band video games. Whatever the reason Rock Radio is mostly up in ratings across the country. Unfortunately Arbitron has discontinued their national format trends report due to the problems related to combining PPM and Diary data. So we really don't have any nationwide data to trend on here, but going through the top 30 markets I see 5-6 that are close to flat, 5 or 6 that could be ruled down and the rest are UP. For the stations I work with in both the U.S. and Canada nearly all were UP this past Spring. It's a good time to ROCK.

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