Pushing Back on DERP

The term DERP originated from those little rascals on “South Park” and its literal meaning is simply this: people who keep saying the same thing no matter how much evidence accumulates that it’s completely wrong.

DERP is everywhere of course, but it does seem to be especially concentrated towards Broadcast Radio. The latest heaping of DERP seems to becoming from the pure plays, which with Apple’s 3 billion dollar jump into the Internet play list space, is now collectively insisting they will finally push Broadcast Radio aside.

The DERP crowd believes that Apple’s huge base of customers will fall in line and spend $10 a month to hear mostly music they can hear anywhere, while initial research has already concluded that at best, only 21% of the available online listening audience will move to Apple’s new service. Even Apple can make mistakes. Remember the Newton?

Not to be outdone, Spotify wants you to start watching videos (Better CPM’s from video than audio no doubt) while Pandora continues to lose money and has stopped reporting monthly subscriber numbers since they have no good news to report. Please note that there is no pure play on the planet that can describe its audiences as listeners, only Broadcast Radio can do that.

Reason #55 to invest in Radio instead of pure plays: Radio has actual, real live listeners that can be counted by Nielsen. Pure plays can only offer a subscriber number, which is like Cable TV, the set is on, but is anyone watching or for pure plays, is anyone listening? Think on that, please.

The DERP also touts that the “connected dashboard” will squeeze out Broadcast Radio as the auto manufacturers start to charge the pure plays and satellite music services for the beach front property of the in-dash of the future and freeze out the AM/FM band as an option for tomorrow’s motorists. And on and on it goes. What a bunch of DERP!

Reason #22 why AM/FM Radio will always be on your dashboards: 88% of all those surveyed insisted that AM/FM Radio is a “must have” when shopping for a new car or truck. These potential car buyers are curious about Internet Radio but NOT as a replacement for Broadcast Radio. Auto manufacturers: Please take note of what your customers really want to listen to the most in your cars and trucks!

Rather than share its audience and welcome legitimate audio competition as Radio has always done for decades, the DERP wants to “negative sell” its way to some warped sense of destiny or predictions of the future. And all at Broadcast Radio’s expense. We get it. When you are reaching for legitimacy, you want to compare yourself to something that already is. That must be the reason they are all calling themselves RADIO at every chance.

The really good news for Broadcast Radio is the DERP keeps getting it wrong…again.

In Southern California, Broadcast Radio remains as rock solid as ever. Please read that sentence again for your own peace of mind. And now, a few shots of DERP repellant for everyone’s use:

  • Total revenue for the month of June 2015 was up 1.1% from June 2014. That’s right, up! (Source: Miller Kaplan Arase LLP, Total Market Revenue, June 2015 vs. 2014)
  • Radio’s loyal listening base is unchanged despite all this pure play competition. Our Jan-June 2014 average weekly cume was 10.5 million and for the same period in 2015 it is unchanged at 10.5 million.  (Source: Nielsen Audio, Monday-Sunday, 5:00AM-5:00AM, LA Metro, 12+)
  • Our listeners also spent more time with Radio as average weekly time exposed grew from 10 hours to 10 hours and 15 minutes over the same Jan-Jun time period YTD.  (Source: Nielsen Audio, Monday-Sunday, 5:00AM-5:00AM, LA Metro, 12+)
  • Advertisers keep coming to Radio for brand awareness and market share. In the first 5 months of 2015, 380 new advertisers have discovered the power of Los Angeles Radio by investing $22,298,890. Over $22 million in 5 months! This is a remarkable sign of confidence in Broadcast Radio and this is only one market, albeit, the biggest revenue market in the United States.  (Source: Miller Kaplan Arase LLP, X-ray, January – May 2015)

Need more DERP repellent? Let’s follow the money by advertiser category.

  • Home furnishings and Floor Covers felt right at home with Radio as this category moved up by 0% through May YTD.
  • Drug stores/Pharmaceuticals gave healthy doses of Radio to their advertising budgets and grew their Radio advertising by a whopping 4% YTD through May.
  • Real Estate/Retirement Communities must see huge benefits to Radio advertising as this gigantic category increased its spending in Radio by 3% in May YTD.

And there are more DERP Busters to look at by category from May 2015 YTD:

  • Financial Services grew by 4%
  • Healthcare grew by 6%
  • Restaurants grew by 0%
  • Department/Discount Stores/Shopping Centers grew by 5%
  • Auto part/Service grew by 9%
  • Lawn and Garden grew by 8%

May is the latest category information we have as of this writing. However, it’s safe to assume these categories will only go up as the summer season, Radio’s biggest months, will only see these categories and more grow even larger on a YTD basis. More to come on that.

We can’t hear you DERP; did you say Broadcast Radio is in trouble? Please offer any facts now… as we can’t find any, like in NONE.

We could go on and on but you should get the picture by now. We can only assume these clients read and heard the same DERP as well but ignored it as the growth of their business is more important to them that the digital bad mouthing given to Broadcast Radio by anyone connected to the digital space.

Reason #86 to invest in Broadcast Radio. All of these categories increased their spending YTD for one simple reason. Radio works for them in so many ways; whether it’s the endorsements, LIVE remotes, NTR events, concerts, album parties, sports sponsorships, news sponsorships, reach, frequency, loyalty of our listeners, or the 1,000 ways Radio touches our lives every day.  Can any pure play do that?

Please, just say NO to DERP. The facts will always set you, and Radio free.

Broadcast Radio is alive and well, and as important, it keeps growing in spite of so much fragmentation or maybe it’s thriving because of all this audio competition from all of the numerous internet pure plays, satellite music, and anything else calling itself Radio but that is not. When consumers get to choose their listening platforms, they always come back to Radio.

As a listener, once you get hooked on LIVE Broadcast Radio, and all it does to entertain us, inform us, confide in us, keep us safe, keep us company, and most of all, keep us connected and involved with our community, as we listen to talent we know and we can trust…

How can any playlist compete with that?

Push back on DERP. Radio and our clients will be stronger for it.

Radio’s Resiliency

If we look at the last two years of the blind media coverage given to the pure plays, Wall Street’s infatuation with all things digital, and an irrational and costly rush by advertisers to social media and digital platforms, (ROI anyone?) you would think that Broadcast Radio was losing listeners, and perhaps its nine decades of absolute reinvention and resiliency.

We are told the media landscape today is a fractured, highly selective, and uber targeted environment and with so many consumer choices and distractions that have sprung up (or at least that’s what we have been told) over the past two years that directly compete with Radio’s listeners and their attention, you’d bet good money that Broadcast Radio was…on the ropes or at the very least, declining.

The problem here is that none of that is true. 

Continue reading

Brave New World for Radio

The year is 2015 and it is the time of Radio’s rebirth. The crushing reality that digital, the pure plays, and traditional, appointment TV had not delivered the market share or brand awareness that so many predicted only a few years back, has finally dawned on the accountants, manufacturers, media experts, bloggers, and various agencies who were the vocal proponent of almost any media except Broadcast Radio.

It is also the dawn of sophisticated consumer research coupled with actual purchases and filtered through the prism of an impartial ROI media analysis. The term ROI became synonymous with Radio as case study after case study proved decisively how powerful and cost effective Radio truly was, and always had been. Years of reducing Radio to single digit media budgets had ended as Radio finally took its place as a full partner at the media table of advertising campaigns across the country.

Advertisers faced brutal competition on all fronts and an ever mobile and restless customer base that clearly listened to local Radio; and so advertisers learned they could no longer invest in the “shiny new objects” or a promised revenue return that could not be substantiated or proven over time. They abandoned the various “new best things” in favor of the documented power of Broadcast Radio, and in all its forms and devices from which it was constantly airing content 24/7.

It is also the time of actual Radio listener growth. Despite all the competition from so many platforms and so many entertainment and information options, Radio listening continued to grow. Its universal human appeal could not be stopped or even slowed from the massive marketing assaults of Sirius/XM, Pandora, the In-Dash media options, and all of the other Internet pure play music services, which now numbered about 10.  Continue reading

Kia Motors America Shifts Gears in Radio’s Favor

Kia Motors America wants to cut its hefty dependence on third-party shopping sites for online sales leads and we applaud this strategy 100%. Kia’s goal is to bring more quality leads to their dealers by directing prospects to kia.com and not buy and sell “leads” to their dealers from third party sites such as autotrader.com, cars.com, and autobytel.com, to name just a few.

The problem, which is industry wide, is that these third party sites do not offer the quality leads that dealers need to convert to a sale. The current internet definition of an auto internet lead is anyone breathing who has filled in their contact information. The second issue is one of price expectations. These third party sites boast about lower dealer prices if one registers with them.

So, what is the Kia dealer getting when it buys third party leads from these and other auto aggregating sites?

Unqualified leads and prospects who have an expectation of a lower price since, after all, this is the internet and these sites promote lower dealer prices. Not only are the leads that Kia dealers are buying unqualified, the prospect is expecting low, low prices and begins the discussion with “What deal are you offering me?”  Continue reading

A Responsibility to the Truth

It seems that digital advertising has consumed the thought process and the budgets of so many advertisers and their agencies these days. Spending on digital advertising, which includes social media, search engines, websites, and mobile devices, is expected to rise 17% to $50 billion in the U.S. in 2014. That’s 28% of all U.S. Ad spending this year. In fact, one major client we know is being forced by its manufacturer to spend 25% of their annual budget in digital advertising. The stampede to participate in digital advertising and throw serious money at anything labeled “digital” has somehow ignored a critical basic question; who is this audience they are trying to reach and does it really exist?

The rush to be attached someway or somehow to the Internet because the “experts” have told our clients to has somehow suspended our collective responsibility to understanding the truth about web traffic and the disturbing and downright dishonest use of who and what is on the web and why.

And why should Radio Care about this? Well for openers, your client’s total budget, which includes Radio, has been on average, reduced in 2014 by at least 25%.

Do I have your attention now?  Continue reading

Technology Bullies……or Why a Radio Sales Career Sure Looks Good Right Now

What do traditional cameras, cashiers, parking lot attendants, travel agencies, telephone receptionists, pharmacists, Tax Prep Services, Paper Maps, Bank Tellers, Taxi Drivers, The U.S. Postal System, Lawyers/Paralegals, Wristwatches, Pharmacists, and Television all have in common?

They are, or are about to become, innocent victims of technology bullies. Each of the above professions and/or industries were doing fine a decade ago until the Technology Bullies wanted in on these solid business models and descended on these jobs and companies like a swarm of electrified locust.

The results are devastating and irreversible if the technology bullies darken your door. Here are just a few examples that are noteworthy:  Continue reading

Like Moths to Radio’s Flame

The flame of Radio is more brilliant than ever as it attracts the best and the brightest minds into its connected orbit. We see the irresistible pull every day in so many ways as the allure and unharnessed potential of Radio in all its forms continues to draw in very talented and motivated people.

We only need look in our own backyard to understand the vibrancy and kinetic energy surrounding our member radio stations and their staffs right here in Southern California. Our region is arguably the nation’s epicenter of great Radio and audio content being created everyday by our 175 member stations, as well as cutting edge mobile apps, complete digital solutions, nationally known talent, sold-out station events, award-winning creative commercials, real and sustained community and charity involvement, brilliant NTR events, and 15.5 million listeners a week covering 52,000 square miles. And of course, the nation’s biggest traffic jams with huge in car listening!

In Southern California, the flame of Radio burns brilliantly.

Southern California Radio’s “flame” has more weekly reach than Google, Facebook, Twitter, the Internet, and any other media sources have in a month.

Southern California’s “population” of registered vehicles, 16.8 million and counting, exceeds the entire populations of Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Houston, and New York City combinedContinue reading