“If you don’t know where you’re going you might wind up somewhere else.” – Yogi Berra
I was cruising along the freeway on one of those amazing “sun break” Friday’s in Seattle when I saw a freeway exit that didn’t go anywhere. It was just a blocked off dead-end exit ramp. There was a lot of poor government planning and financial problems involved, but being a fan of metaphors I couldn’t help think about radio’s future.
I’ve been involved in a major project since January looking at Millennials, and it’s very sobering. There are a lot of stories in the trades about the reach radio has with that generation, but you don’t see a lot of them talking about their shrinking TSL. You don’t see any articles about their use of radio in context with their use of other media. It’s as if we boomers don’t know any Millennials or see their actual media use.
These people are digital natives, and are in almost continual use of media, averaging around 11 hours a day. But they are multi-media consumers, not single media consumers. Considering radio’s financial model, that’s disconcerting.
There are plenty of off ramps on the media highway, but we’re not using them for what they are. All of our social media, community building, video and such, is built around reinforcing radio, not complimenting it. The answers are there, but someone needs to act on them.
The cool part about the coming convergence between digital and media is that those startup costs are much less than buying a major market signal. Again, the answers are there, but someone needs to act on them.