Anyone who has ever worked with me in an office can attest to the fact that I’m usually listening to music at a volume that breaks glass in a twelve mile radius. I listen to everything: rock and roll, instrumentals, opera, heavy metal, techno, pop, and even news related programming. There’s been a discussion as to whether or not SiriusXM® and shared music were the future, and whether or not ad-based radio was going away. I think that they’re both going to coexist for quite some time, and there are a lot of really cool things that those of us in the marketing and broadcasting industries need to note.
Terrestrial Radio Isn’t Going Away Quite Yet
Vehicles made by General Motors, Chrysler, Audi, and so on have Wifi hotspots that give the driver the ability to connect to music streaming services.
Most auto manufacturers also include the ability to subscribe to satellite radio. Even with that being said, a lot of people don’t like having to pay
extra for a subscription, and even more people are still driving pre-owned cars that don’t have that technology installed. If they’re not listening
to an MP3 playlist, they’re going to be turning on the radio to get a change of music or to get local news, making them consumers that should be advertised
to through an AM or FM signal.
Streaming is Saving the Radio Star
I remember in 2003, I was on drudgereport.com checking out headlines. At one point, I noticed that
the owner, Matt Drudge, posted links to stations that would be streaming his show in a few hours. This was still in an age where more than a few people
were using dial-up, and I was fortunate enough to have cable internet. Me being a radio geek of sorts thought, “Oh cool, I’ll be able to listen to
this show that’s not available in Buffalo.” So I turned it on and enjoyed a show that was completely off the wall.
I listened to a host named Phil Hendrie who was doing a phone interview with a guest who was blowing an air
horn into people’s doors and screaming “Orange Alert”, just to let people know that there was an increased security threat to the country (those were
the days, right?). I was dying laughing, and soon found out this guy had these wacky guests on his live-show, Monday through Friday, for three hours
each night. I told all of my friends at school about his show every morning, recapping the insanity that I heard.
I later found out that the interviewed guests calling into the show weren’t real, and Phil was just carrying on conversations with himself (but enraging
real people to call in and argue with them, with hilarious results). I actually became a bigger fan at that moment and started buying his CDs and subscribing
to his site so I could download older material and shows that I might have missed.
The advantage to marketers is this, if someone has talent in radio, people are going to be tuning in to hear them through a streaming service. If you have
a national marketing campaign, don’t discount the ability of a talk-show host to be able to help you. I often find myself listening to KFI’s Bill Handel,
even though I’ve never stepped foot in California to date.
It’s also now easier than ever to become a talk show host. An individual can create their own show and distribute it through YouTube, downloads, and other
mediums as well. Radio legend Art Bell made his triumphant return to the listening ears of his fans by launching
his own streaming operation named Dark Matter Digital Network.
Ad Sponsored Music Hasn’t Gone Away
We all love our custom play-lists on our phones, MP3 players, and so on. However, we all want to switch up what we’re listening to, just to make things
fun. A few of my favorite sources of audio entertainment are:
Spotify® – I like this one because it gives you a lot of customization options. You can
choose from entire soundtracks, albums, or even individual songs and splice them together however you please. It includes a lot of useful tools for
marketers like paid visual advertisements, video advertising, and it’s also a great venue for up and coming artists to have their songs play during
a sponsored break.
Pandora® – Pandora has similar advertising functionality to Spotify. What makes it stand
out is that it is a great place to listen to music if you’re looking for something new, or want a lot of variation in your playlist.
iHeartRADIO – Times have changed and so did the way that Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) promoted its on-air
talent. They stream tons of different musical types and popular local stations from across the country with their streaming options.
What I think helps iHeartRADIO stand out from the other two is that it helps local marketers a lot more. First, people have favorite radio personality
and/or station that they enjoy and might not be able to get in their office if an AM or FM radio signal is too weak, and using this service keeps a
conversation going between them and local businesses. Second, people may move away from their home town, but still check into a local station to get
the latest news. Just think about it, someone listens to their favorite station and comes home for the Holidays. They’ve been given ideas about where
to spend money when they make a trip back to town.
What to Take Away From This Post
If you’ve made it this far into the blog, you’ve obviously absorbed a lot of information. I’d say that the message of this post is essentially the same as the last one I did covering the topic of marketing evolution, embracing a media in all of its forms can help you reach more customers than not. If you want some help figuring out a comprehensive strategy that involves radio or streaming, get in touch with us today.
James Novak is Brawn Media’s Search Engine Optimization Specialist. It is a miracle that he has not lost his hearing yet. Learn more about James and the rest of our team here!