NAB/RAB Radio Show & RAIN Summit

Couldn’t be there? My notes…
Some hits-U-missed if you couldn’t be in Orlando:

Friday, September 20
My notes…

“Adventures in Copyrightland” session:

  • Attorney DavidOxenford: “Everything on the Internet is not there for your use.”
  • Parody songs don’t infringe IF the parody makes-fun-of THE SONG.
  • If you embed the YouTube player, it’s not infringement.
  • Many companies’ Social Media policies run afoul of NLRB rules.
  • The radio station’s ASCAP/BMI deal doesn’t cover use of songs in ads.

Thursday, September 19
My notes…

marciEach year, you could hear a pin drop when Wells Fargo Securities Managing Director Marci Ryvicker grades the radio industry. Last year, she gave us a B. This year, we get a B+, based on publically traded groups’ stock evaluations.

Other factoids and forecasts she shared:

  • Prediction: 2-3% advertising growth.
  • Radio Time Spent Listening is stable, but not being fully-monetized (music to a consultant’s ears).
  • Her company’s analysts see Syria & Obamacare as concerns, but don’t expect negative impact on radio advertising. Ryvicker was among Radio Show speakers who foresee Obamacare-related ad revenue.
  • One economist reckons that recent stock market gains “will be gone by the end of the year;” though Ryvicker was quick to characterize this opinion as an outlier.
  • “What will radio do when newspaper [ad sales] stabilizes? The low-hanging fruit will be gone.”

Online Promotions session:
  • “Mobile + Social is absolutely where people are.”
  • “Be the first to know” helps build a radio station’s opt-in Email tribe.
  • User-generated-content entry results in more-qualified prospects for sponsor.
  • When radio contests invite Email entries, via Email, 70% of entries come the same day station sends its Email.
  • Growth opportunity: “goodwill promotions,” i.e., anti-bullying campaign.
  • “You have to create a digital culture in your building, and everyone has to buy-into it.”
About radio’s place in the new-tech dashboard: Too late?
Expect lotsa buzz about “the connected car.”
CAN broadcasters still connect?

Wednesday, September 18

“If you’re in Radio, you’re in Sales.”
That’s been a durable RAB mantra since before The Great Recession. So it’s no coincidence that the vibe here is so not-2009, and that every session I’m attending addresses revenue opportunities.

My Radio Show day one kicked-off with Sales guru Paul Weyland – whose session, at 10:15AM mind you – featured an open bar!

  • Witty Weyland is author of “Think Like an Adman, Sell like a Madman: How to Make Ads That Work,” and the fundamentals his show-N-tells demonstrated reminded me how on-air talent, professional story-tellers, should be as involved as possible with Sales.

  • The crowd howled when he played a cliché-ridden, advertiser-centric commercial barked-out by a painfully typical Bill Balls announcer. Instead, he urged, “write copy that solves consumer anxieties.”
  • Also axiomatic: “Most people don’t like being sold, but we do like being informed.”
  • Other spots Weyland played demonstrated a technique that’s been extremely productive at stations I work with: Interview the client. Retailers are canny entrepreneurs, with a keen feel for the street, and deep product knowledge. Nobody can tell their story like they can; and even if you don’t use their voice on-air, you’ll surface copy points that cut-through-the-clutter LOTS better than “…for all your ______ needs.”
  • Craft copy that accomplishes the above, and it’ll be easy to put the pen in the prospect’s hand. “Value always trumps price.”

At the Radio Show Advertiser Luncheon, RAB CEO Erica Farber interviewed State Farm Insurance exec Tim Van Hoof and his ad agency principal OMD’s Sumeet Kanwar. Two sound bites spoke volumes to radio sellers:

  • Van Hoof: “When you’re in the car, we have the power to speak more personally to you.”
  • Kanwar: “Tell me what your listeners do, not just how many [of them] you have.”

Session: “True Digital…Pay Paul without Robbing Peter:”

  • BIG opportunity stations are trying to get-their-arms-around: creating advertiser-branded audio channels/apps.
  • “People will trust online reviews before they trust their parents’ opinions.”
  • Credit unions do not want to be called “banks.”
  • Check-out (make impressive videos inexpensively)

Big Thanks From Big Shots
Referencing this week’s Washington Navy Yard shooting rampage, and Hurricane Sandy, NAB CEO Gordon Smith saluted stations’ rising-to-the-occasion, “when cell networks and broadband connections went down for days – even weeks,” and “radio remained on the air.”

With ongoing, often-draconian, budget cuts biting-into local stations’ coverage capability, Smith noted that, “unfortunately, many businesses are unable to think long-term, focusing instead on short-term gains to satisfy Wall Street…But radio’s success depends on having long-term vision, too.”

And with yet-another legislative proposal to levy music royalty fees on radio stations being introduced, “today, even as I speak,” Smith vowed “Be assured we will not stand idly by.”

ClyburnWhen Smith then introduced charismatic Acting FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn, she echoed his appreciation for broadcasters’ efforts. And she made news, announcing Rulemaking that proposes AM licensees each get an FM translator, and a tongue-twisting laundry list of technical de-regulation for AM arrays.

And The Commish called smartphones “the biggest game-changer out there right now,” underlining many other Radio Show speakers’ plea that radio broadcasters not just publish to radios.

RAINSummitTuesday, September 17
My notes…

  • “Alternative Revenue Strategies” panel: To date, “very small amount of revenue” from online real-time ad exchange buying.
  • Pandora’s Dan Weiner: “Get in the room with the agency,” and brainstorm. “There’s alotta politics inside agencies, a lot of silos.”
  • Harmon’s Toby Trevarthen: Today’s in-vehicle media experience is app-driven, notwithstanding Distracted Driving laws. “Identity used to mean call letters. Now it’s My Personal Preferences.”
  • Connected Car interface needs to be “safe, simple, and it just has to work when I turn the key. No owner’s manual.”
  • “Ad Insertion” panel: Saga’s Steve Goldstein recently met with AFTRA/SAG & other broadcasters, RE streaming rights, first-ever such meeting. “It’s complicated” and “there is no umpire.” His stations now streaming same spots that air.
  • OMD agency’s Natalie Swed Stone has been buying streaming ads for years. “This discussion of covering the spots makes no sense at all. Program audience strategy and ad strategy should be one.”
  • Swed Stone: “Pureplay continues to win because of the user experience.” Goldstein quickly agrees. “We can’t just keep streaming crappy Smoky The Bear commercials.”
  • Triton’s Mike Agovino: “Replicating exactly what you do on-air and expecting to win on the digital side just won’t work.”
  • Swed Stone: :60-length on-air commercials are “insanity,” based on modern attention span.
  • Goldstein: Agencies “are expecting much more ‘360’ from us.”
  • Entercom CEO David Field: “Broadcast #radio [listenership & piece-of #advertising pie] is growing. ‘Should be immensely pleased with its place in the ecosystem. Radio continues to thrive” despite new-tech competitors. Takes 19% of all time spent with media.
  • Field: PPM is not capturing all listening via earbuds etc.
  • Field: Pandora audience claims flawed & Pandora can’t deliver personality endorsement spots & other AM/FM value-added.
  • Field: Entercom’s “mobile listening up 200% this year.”
  • Field: TV ratings down 49%, cost per point up 88%. “What’s wrong with THAT picture?”
  • “Building a Digital Sales Team” session: Digital Sales can be taught. “It’s all widgets…hire innate problem-solvers, critical thinkers.”
  • WNYC’s Sara van Mosel: Sellers need to “know what’s going on outside your walls,” competitors’ digital repertoire, not just yours.
  • Sales people won’t sell digital unless commission is higher % than spot sales.
  • Intertech Media’s Al Pervin: Radio “must be the only industry in the world that will bonus the hot new thing.”
  • groupmnext research: Because of earbuds, “work and the gym” are better listening opportunities than during boombox era.
  • groupmnext: “Since the advent of the VCR, we’ve been training people to skip ads.”
  • Buzzword-of-the-Day, in Race to The Digital Dashboard session, from Ford’s Scott Burnell: H.M.I. “Human/Machine Interface”
  • TuneIn’s Kevin Straley: “We help to get your content to 200 connected devices. The ‘pipeline’ keeps getting wider.”
  • Straley: “The best content is gonna win” when the dashboard gets crowded.

Even before these conventions convened, your consultant was on-the-ground here in Florida. To-get-you-in-the-mood, some travelogue, beginning with Tampa-area travel surrounding Thursday night’s Red Sox-at-Rays game:

  • WORST-case-I’ve-heard of a major league stadium cliche: PA announcer at Tropicana Field deliberately mumbles visiting players names — often inaudible in horrible Trop acoustics — but you’d think Paul McCartney was stepping-to-the-plate when the Rays come to bat. Utterly unprofessional. And inhospitable to visiting Sox fans, who seem to outnumber home team fans, in a venue that couldn’t sell-out post-season games in seasons past.
  • How Florida avoids state Income Tax: TOLLS. Good thing the rental car was an automatic. I wouldn’t have gotten into 4th gear on Suncoast Highway!

Now that’s Florida!
Just1MoreAnd instructive to radio commercial copy writers.
Heck, any writer!
GREAT name for a saloon.
(Although, if I were local cops, I’d park there at Last Call.)

“Light reading,” Florida-style?
magsAs I perused the supermarket magazine rack, I was looking-over-my-shoulder for George Zimmerman.

One response to “NAB/RAB Radio Show & RAIN Summit

  1. Dick Rakovan


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