If you love podcasting or radio, or both, you should be reading Mark Ramsey. Hands down, there isn’t a guy I know of working harder to turn radio into a content provider and “save” the medium more than him. I could wax on, but go to his blog and read a few posts. You will see what I mean.
No suits. No group heads. No panels. No hotel conference rooms.
It’s intimate – between 25 and 50 people.
You can’t pay to come. It’s Free.
You may not be able to come at all. It’s by invitation only.
One day – June 20 in San Diego at a secret location – a gritty warehouse space filled with delightfully uncomfortable fold-out chairs.
Presentations and in-depth Q&A with media, agency, brand, technology, and content authorities who are not the same old radio faces.
Live and captured on video for public distribution.
Kind of sounds like Reservoir Dogs, and I am not interested in being Mr. Pink. But if there is a guy who I would trust to pull it off, it’s Ramsey.
He posted a bit of research he had done that tells us why he is doing this:
So how to explain the results of a survey I conducted last week – 1,000 random US respondents ages 18 and up. The question: Agree or Disagree – “Radio brands create unique and compelling content”
That’s more than 3-to-1 in the wrong direction. And the younger you are, the worse the numbers.
I’d say ouch, but tell me you aren’t surprised. Flip though the dial and tell me who is making “content” and even more to the point, content worth seeking out. To narrow it down, try restricting yourself to the commercial end of things. Depending on your market, you might not have come up with anything. I can think of a few places (not here in Denver), but generally, content is restricted to public radio.
And don’t think for a moment radio can’t be considered content. Just because filling time and shortened music playlists are the norm these days, with longer commercial breaks and the shows themselves sounding more and more like long form commercials, radio can still be a content delivery system. And it can support other content channels, like a blog, podcasts, and sin of sins, online video.
A few questions I want to ask about that research:
– It can take time for something new to catch on in radio. In the startup world, or the internet world, you pivot, shift and iterate as you find that things don’t work. Does that mean you have to establish a show, and then start being creative? Do you establish a show to be that creative voice?
– Are Program Directors or station owners willing to try to create unique and compelling content?
You would think the answer to the second question would be yes, but I don’t know how often the case. Radio stations are like snowflakes (oh no, here he goes), and each one will have a different tolerance for change. Actually, that might not be the case as much in the Clear Channel multi-station ownership model. Still, who is going to be brave enough, and willing to take the risk?
For the sake of the medium, I hope more PDs will say they will.
And if not, there’s always podcasts.