Rule #1: “Ratings and Revenue.” You may have heard me say this. It’s something I really believe.
Over the years listeners and special interest groups have accused me of various sins like programming to a certain political bias or producing programs that appeal to the lowest common denominator. Both very true.
The political bias (or slant) wasn’t out of my personal beliefs. If polka music would get a 15 share, I’d play Stan Yashinski music. It’s about creating content for a group of people with certain commonalities to get high ratings.
The “lowest common denominator” appeal is much more about casting a wide net, so a lot of people will join that group. In return you’d get high ratings.
When you get high ratings, you drive high revenues. It’s all about getting the most amount of people to listen so you could charge the highest prices for commercials.
Rule #1: “Ratings and Revenue.” Easy.
Well it used to be easy.
For some reason some radio groups have it in their heads that people want to hear constant sponsored or “brought to you by” traffic and weather reports. Many people get this information on their smartphones now, without the constant “brought to you by” commercials, but I digress. Most stations would broadcast these (so-called) service elements anyway and putting a “brought to you by” commercial next to them is OK in my book…with one caveat. The “brought to you by” commercials are scheduled correctly.
Good grief. Listen to any talk station…hell any station today. Traffic is “brought to you by” and followed by a :15 second commercial. A weather report is broadcast which is also “brought to you by” and followed by a :15 second commercial.
This “brought to you by” babble never ends.
These “bought to you by” commercials are normally sold through a centralized national sales department. Many times the “brought to you by” commercial time goes unsold and the “brought to you by” time is then filled with the company’s “brought to you by” promotions.
You know what having unsold “brought to you by” commercial time tells me? There is too much “brought to you by” commercial time. And what does our knowledge of the “Law of Supply and Demand” tells us? If there’s too much “brought to you by” commercial time, the price of that “brought to you by” commercial time goes down.
The immutable Rule #1: “Ratings and Revenue.” Easy.
Now I’m going to head home and listen to the 12-minute long commercial break on the Classic Hits station coming from their state of the art studios which are “brought to you by…”
The Free Market Fairy, ah yes.
Or “The Reign of Quantity,” as a brilliant philosopher called it.
A sign of impending Collapse–and the advocates for Quality will take special means to hasten it, in hopes of restoring an Age of Quality.
For the demographic of this blog, how best to illustrate “The Reign of Quantity:”
The Eddie and Tracy Show.
To project a revivified radio “Age of Quality” after the Collapse:
One hour Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Balakirev.
One hour Positive Music for the Peasant and Working Class…..polkas, jigs, reels, tarantellas,
One hour Positive Talk Show Instruction: spirituality, good etiquette, populist economics, etc.
In the coming “Age of Quality,” Jones rides the talk show bench, and tries to make it on his investment
talent…with a markedly increased tax on all transactions, the proceeds filtered to those who lost big
in the Collapse and have no means to use his services in the AOQ.
Radio better get out of the 1950s advertising concepts or else! At the same time they also need to STOP pretending they can be another internet.
Personality trumps automation, syndication and consolidation on air (really as if I need to say this).
One can go weeks without listening to radio now and not notice the difference. It is TIME TO WORRY and change.
I know football rights costs are through the roof but they are a big offender. From the Redskins here in DC: “The Strayer University half time stat brought to you. as always, by GTSI.”