Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday Blogs

30° - scattered clouds at 7:20am

It is what it is. XM/Sirius merger approved by DOJ. FCC can't be far behind. As Dave Martin points out here:

"Mel and pay radio will end up needing more than a good deal with the commission, they're going to need a radically different business model. Firing the majority of staff, outsourcing to the lowest bidders and restructuring deals won't even begin to get it done. The last published account of their combined ad billings was less than the annualized billings of one successful FM station. As written here previously, in the very best possible case, pay radio will be to audio what HBO is to video. A modest niche business, nothing more."

In his blog this morning, Fred Jacobs observes:

"...while satellite radio is an irritant, it has been losing momentum for a couple years now. We've seen evidence of this in our Tech Polls, conducted among 25,000+ rockers each year - just the kind of consumers that XM and Sirius have been targeting. In our newest poll, we're already seeing that when XM or Sirius ends up in the new car or truck you buy or lease, one's propensity to renew the service is much lower than average. And overall, we're only seeing about a 56% absolute commitment to retain XM or Sirius among current subscribers - not exactly the numbers they want to see, merger or no."

Lastly, Fred adds:

"There's a future out there for AM/FM radio, and while satellite radio just got a second wind, the true forces that will most clearly impact traditional broadcasters are far more ominous. But radio has the opportunity to play in the new media sandbox, if it focuses - once again - on creating great content, while providing multiple distribution outlets for that content."

And speaking of content
- consultant Alan Mason writes

"...what does your radio station do so well that it will cause listeners to come back again, and bring some friends? Every station has to decide on it’s own what it does best, but I can tell you one thing. It’s not creating share holder value."

My take: long-term shareholder value is created when great products are created that attract consumers. The need for quick short-term results for the next quarter is whats killing us.

Added: Saw this from Seth Godin over my second cup of coffee:

"A career putting out fires never leads to the goal you had in mind all along. I guess the trick is to make the long term items even more urgent than today's emergencies."

Seth's entire piece here.

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