How Radio Technology Influences Advertising

Marketing and advertising strategies have evolved since the sudden outburst of world-wide technological advancements. In a world where everyone has practically tied themselves to a gadget in every waking minute, marketing has become easier and more dynamic than ever. However, it is imperative to understand how these modern day marketing tools came into fruition.

It is the understanding and proper development of the past that will make the future brighter and more worthwhile to live in.

Radio microphone.

If mobile and digital technology is the future of modern marketing, then its root is definitely the currently underrated radio technology. The use of radio to promote and market a product of service has always been an integral element in marketing communications, even until now.

Whichever media is tapped to achieve any marketing objectives, knowing how radio impacted the advertising industry can lead to better strategies and better results..

It Has a Heavy Impact On the Music Industry

Music fans do not only patronize the artists that they follow. They also support brands and sponsors that funds the events of their favorite artists. Listening to the radio is also an effective way of knowing the future events of their favorite artists and bands.

In spite of the emergence of mobile applications that provide music, app developers and marketers still use the radio as their best medium of reaching their audience. According to studies, 40% of music consumers depend on radio for music updates. This results to 75% of these consumers to be open to spending for their favorite music. As such, companies get an assurance that their marketing investment on radio advertisement will have a significant impact on their sales.

Aside from merchandising and record sales-related activities, radio advertisement has an impact on hosting local and national music events. A good example is iHeartRadio.

A lit "On The Air" sign.

iHeartRadio is one of the leading radio stations around the globe. The radio station offers their services for the traditional home-based radio and for digital radio devices. This results to thousands, if not millions, of listeners who have access to their services. In line with this, big and small companies are lining up to have their advertisements be featured in iHeartRadio.

Due to popular demand, the station has hosted annual music festivals every September. It is a two-day event, and the station invites popular artists like Taylor Swift, One Direction, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, Maroon Five, Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber and many more. The way iHeartRadio promotes their sponsors have a great impact on how far and wide a company can reach through the power of radio.

It’s Capable of Sending the Message to the Right Audience

Radio helps advertising companies send their messages to the market how the advertiser wants it. There are radio stations that focus on news, herbal medicines, clinical medicines, sports, religious groups or even entertainment.
A woman talking via the radio.

In this way, the advertising companies can already choose on which station they want their advertisement to be heard. The job of the companies is to determine the values and systems of a certain radio station in order to align their products and advertisement. In turn, this increases the probability of reaching their desired audience demographics.

It Has a High Impact on Increasing Buyers

A group of researchers conducted a study on how radio paves the way to increasing a company’s sales and consumer rate. The study has set control groups, and eventually, they observe how radio can influence the control group members in making a decision to buy their products. The results show that the radio has the ability to make the consumers buy more through radio ads.

In addition, since the listeners can call the stations and be on air right then and there, they can immediately share any experience or feedback. In turn, the whole conversation has become a live testimony, encouraging other listeners to try (and buy) a product or (and sign up for) a service. The radio advertisements also enable the listeners to encourage their friends to try what they just tried. It goes on and on until the marketing goal is achieve.

It Has a Positive Impact on the Budget of the Company

Unlike television, advertisements, radio commercials are way cheaper. The companies can produce a great number of advertisements without spending too much money as compared to other media.. They can also save money through radio stations as advertisement require a relatively lower production cost

Furthermore, radio ads can be done and ready for posting in a couple of days. At this rate, this type of advertisement process can already be on air faster than any other marketing media, especially for companies who are trying to meet deadlines for their launching and other events.

It Increases the Emotional Appeal

Radio advertisement excels in building an emotional appeal with regard to an item or service provided by different companies. With the help of a muse, voice over, sound effects and interactive programs, listeners may begin to emotionally invest on the ad, which is a leading factor in closing a deal with customer. In addition to this, advertising companies can also provide tons of facts while building a rapport with the consumers…all at the same time! Radio commercials usually last for 15 to 30 seconds, and that length of time is already enough to make the consumers remember the details, and the brand itself.

It’s Able to Reach a Wide Audience

Radio stations have been popping up in various strategic locations to reach out faster and wider to the target audience. Malls, restaurants, homes, and vehicles have started establishing their own radio stations.

According to studies, 95% of drivers are listening to the radio most of the time they are on the road. People on the road are some of the best people to tap in terms of marketability. Since they are limited to the sounds coming from their stereo, they are bound to listen to sounds radio ads. So when they hear that they can get cash for cars, they will retain that information, pass it on to the next. And to the next. Sooner or later, that one instance will lead to a sale.

Also, a number of potential clients and consumers do not read newspapers and watch television often. As a result, they rely on radio as their source of information. In other words, radio is still the best way to reach out for more buyers for it caters to larger number of audiences as compared to other media.

It Increases Creative Advertising

Radio commercials is not just about plainly talking about and discussing the features of a product. Radio ads can now offer a creative skit, a witty dialogue or spine-tingling instrumental music. In this way, the advertisements itself keeps a colorful tone into the message it wants to send across. It can make the listeners see an image that linger with them even after an advertisement.

A man with ears for eyes.

If a marketing officer has a mind wide (and wild) enough to create a world through words, radio can be one of the most dynamic and surreal media to deliver a sense of importance of a product or service. Marketers can use the radio to create a thirst-inducing concept to make soda products the main priority while on the road.

So how can these ideas be creative enough for the radio? Just wait until the next radio ad that could twist the minds of every listener.

3 Reasons Why You Should Advertise Over The Radio

3 Reasons Why You Should Advertise Over The Radio

In the world of business, advertisement plays a key role that can never be taken for granted. In the words of marketing experts, advertisement is equal to profit. That holds true in many levels, considering the fact that most of today’s biggest companies rely on their ability to take advertisements to the next level in order to grow their brand. 

Take a look at the businessmen behind Grab – a transportation technology magnate that continues to reinvent the way transportation thrives. With no actual car units to use for their application, they have achieved over $21 million in revenue. Their clutch? A great nose for advertising, and an even greater persistency in doing so.

An On Air Sign

Advertising is a gold mine. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that getting more gold means digging deeper. But how can gold diggers go deeper? Of course, a company has to get the right machinery. We don’t mean Bobcat rental machinery, rather, machinery that can be used as tools for company’s trying to dig up the best gold and use it to meet their business goals.

Advertisement comes in several forms. Social media has taken the digital age by storm as one of the most marketing and advertising channels. Television commercials and billboards are also very popular to be used in marketable areas.

Then there’s that one seemingly archaic approach of letting people know about product – radio broadcasting. It has been one of the often forgotten venues to sell, but still proves to be consistently effective. Plus, it’s cheaper.

Let us explain…

Proximity Provides Profit

What radio advertising has over other forms of advertising is the power to send out the product/service’s message in the fastest and most relatable way possible.

When else is the best time to tell people to buy a certain product than when they are in their car, already on their way to the nearest place to buy something?

A cartoon microphone holding a cartoon bag of cash.

Radio advertisements are perfect considering the sense of immediacy of commercialization. When people are told about a certain product in their deciding moments, when already spending, psychology dictates that they are more inclined to buy the most recent things that come to mind. For instance, if someone hears the broadcast of a wildly popular product of interest being sold in stores while they’re out doing their Sunday shopping, don’t you think it’ll cross their mind to go buy that product? The answer is yes.

Radio advertisement follows the idea that proximity sells. Given the fact that practically almost all big products and service providers resort to televised advertisements, radio is a highly viable option as it is equally abundant, if not more. It is literally everywhere, be it in your house, at your office, and especially on your way to places in the car. 

Radio Sells Intimacy

Another factor that makes radio the perfect media for advertising is how it serves as an effective outlet to send the marketing message of a product or service. In business, how an entrepreneur convinces his buyer dictates whether he will have the profits, and ultimately whether he will survive this competitive market or not.

Intimacy is money.

A radio illustration with hearts beaming from its' speakers.

When a radio ad converses the depths of how this product can affect one’s lifestyle, or how it can ease the potential buyer’s life, it makes a certain connection which photographs or videos cannot offer. It suggests a deeper connection between the producer and the consumer, and the best part is that this instantaneous relationship makes the sale.

Add to the fact that these radio ads do not just pop up once in the day; its frequency makes a resounding harmony that a person cannot resist. The regularity of the advertisement and how often it is heard gives a potential buyer a sense of “I really have to try this” aura.

The expression “You cannot close your ears” holds true to the power of radio advertising. Certainly, ads over the waves bring out that sense of warmth and comfort from the advertiser to the buyer.

Radio Ads are Inexpensive, Returns are Excessive

Seeing the boom in other media of advertising, radio advertising has become an unpopular way to advertise. On the other hand, television and social networks have become excessively used by many businessmen that advertisements in these media are now crowded and no longer receive the proper attention from the consumers.

An old fashioned radio with a piece of cash in it.

This is the same reason why entrepreneurs should take into consideration going back to the old but gold radio broadcasts.

Since the advent of social media and the consistent longevity of television marketing, tapping both has become apparent that they seem to be the more innovative ways to market to people. However, with the boom comes the similar boom of prices.

With radio advertisements, prices are linear, and the ads prove to be cost-effective because an entrepreneur only has to pay with the ad’s frequency and the time slot that he can afford. Also, since most advertisements in television are clumping up, it is harder to get people to notice the product being advertised. If a businessman wants to really get his product in the limelight, it is necessary to shave up some earnings.

On the other hand, in the radio, advertisements are always fresh. This is because radio is relatively looser than the clumped up TV outlet. This gives a sense of equal relevance to all the ads delivered in radio, and it is relatively easier. In a sense, radio ads turn each promoter in to the front page they need to present their product to the masses.

To add grist to the mill, advertisements done in the radio are more targeted. Radio’s variety of formats allows a businessman to tell exactly where stations best fit customer’s interests. In comparison, however, one cannot pinpoint advertising in the broad-reach, scattershot newspaper and TV media forms. Radio’s unique targeting ability saves people money.

A woman wearing a headset.

Reinforcing radio advertisements as the more economical option, another thing people can look at is how frequency sells much better than the ad’s reach. Reaching a wide audience is actually a good thing, but getting them engaged is the hard part. This is why frequency should be stressed even more because it provides a path way for reiterating how a product benefits a person. This affects the customers psychologically and prompts them to try out a certain product.


Radio advertising has often been called old fashioned and obsolete. These people obviously don’t know the impact of a legitimate broadcasting advertisement. Not only does it reach people almost anywhere, be it at home, at the playground, at the barbershop, at the office, or on the go, radio’s wide range is broad. Add the factor of intimacy during these commercials aired in the radio, a sense of depth is established and a clear state of communication is forged between a seller and a potential buyer. Sometimes, that alone sets the line between a buy and a bust.

All in all, radio advertisement is an established way to get inside a competitive market. Old but gold, this type of broadcasting is making its comeback to the scene not as the primary method to commercialize, but as a potentially better alternative for businessmen especially during these hard, competitive times.

Why The Radio Still Matters

Why The Radio Still Matters

There is a 21st century notion that no one actually listens to the radio anymore. 

Nowadays, people prefer online streaming, downloading “pirated” materials, accessing freeware that provides access to most indie songs, and all that jazz. According to this WordPress hosting test, cloud technology-based website hosting provides a powerful venue for data streaming. This renders radio hardware as practically much less stable and all the more obsolete.

A black and white image of a woman listening to her radio.

Then again, it never was the hardware that made people initially love listening to the radio. It’s the sum of other things; from the songs played on the radio that reaches the realms of human emotions, to the stories that radio hosts can tell. Furthermore, radio has been the maiden vessel for rising artists and media trends like no other.

There is a deep, underlying foundation why those who grew up and experienced the culture of listening to the radio kept the habit alive up to this day. Find out why listening to the radio is still the best way to go and experience the world.

Listening to the Radio Evokes Stronger Emotions

Did you ever just listen to the radio, be reminded of a song from five or so years ago and brought you to the days when you were with your high school puppy love? Well, that’s the power of the many functions of the radio. With a mixture of gritty metal box sound plus the randomness of song choices, listening to the radio helps you reach a certain level of euphoria that evokes different emotional degrees that you associate with the song. Be it a good memory, a bad experience, a funny anecdote, or even a painful life drama, there’s magic in listening to the radio that triggers many memories to the listener.

A guy listening to the radio against a wall.

According to Eric Halper, eOne Music Canada Director of Media Relations and Label Acquisitions, the reason why he still prefers listening to the radio than a pre-made playlist in most gadgets is, “because with its sharply etched, rich glimpses into your own city, and similar identities into/of your own peers, possible age group, and everyday life experiences, music is still the great equalizer.”

He added that what he likes the most with the DJs and hosts’ distinctive voices is that they are not playing a low-key interaction into one’s life; Eric Halper stressed that these Radio DJs want to know what the listeners are thinking, what contests they’d like to win, who’s hot, who’s not, and what they like to see and do. Furthermore, “most conventional radio stations still have a devoted following of fans, drawn to their amalgamation of rock, CHR, classic rock, classical, talk, news, AC, HOT AC, AAA, and anything else under the sun.

Why the radio still matters.

There is a unique contact between listeners and the music artists because of how radio stations – especially the DJs – play the music:  be it how they set-up the transition of one track to another, or how these DJs set the mood by talking about the song or the artist or a about a topic, or whatever techniques that these DJs do so that radio listeners will always feel good listening to them.

According to BBC journalist Matthew Eltringham, “radio is not just about music. If you spend any length of time listening to speech radio, yes from the BBC but also from others like NPR, you will find out things, facts, voices, stories, opinion, views that you’ve never come across before and it opens your mind. I worry that personalization can close minds.”

Radio Improves With Trends

Now, there is practically an infinite number of radio programs that you can choose from. Some are those conventional “Mr. DJ, can I make a request?” kind of programs. Others make programs that tackle more on current events. Others spice up their programs by hosting caller interactions such as “Wild Confessions” or “Mr. DJ, I need your advice” kind of approach. With the advent of better technology, radio programs generally upgrade their game so that people will prefer listening to them.

A radio host interviewing John Legend.

There is one radio program called “Everything is Stories” produced by Garrett Crowe, Mike Martinez, and Tyler Wray. It is, as defined by the program runners themselves, an ongoing audio survey of individuals who have experienced transcendence and/or power of the will. They accept any kind of story, and by any, they mean, “no story will be considered too troubled, no atmosphere too strange.”

One time, there was a really heart-breaking and inspiring story of a military veteran getting banned from the country they served. Through several episodes, Everything is Stories discussed about how the veteran chronicles the humanity of being banished, and how he seeks to return to the country he once swore to protect.

Another good example of unique and cool radio programs is “The Broad Experience”. The Broad Experience answers the question, “How do women operate in a world that has begun to remotely and slowly open up to them?” Hosted by Ashley Milne-Tyte, each episode features interviews by experts in female issues of stories told by women about their unique work environments and roadblocks. (Yes, this includes stories of women who provide sexual pleasure for men.) Episodes on navigating motherhood, sexual harassment, and demanding equal pay are well-sourced and revealing about what women go through every time they clock in.

A radio show.

“On Being” is so big of a radio program that it needs to be talked about, most especially because of the number of other radio programs that it inspired to improve. On Being set the bar in talking about human life related to the current events. According to Executive Producer Krista Tippet, On Being “opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? We explore these questions in their richness and complexity in 21st-century lives and endeavors. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact.”

A young girl listening to music.

This Peabody Award  winning show features Tippet’s interviews of different people by aiming the explorations of what it means to be human and how we quantify that question with religion, deeper spiritual probes, and connection others are always deeply enriched by.

There is much more to radio than you have ever explored, and you just have to tune in to find out.

It Aids the Development of Up-And-Coming Artists

Radio has created a big impact on how an artist can make a name for themselves in the music industry. Perhaps it is not so much of a factor for extremely popular contemporary artists like Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber. However, songs by new and rising artists can receive a huge reception having their music aired on local radios. Some observers and music fans say that “nobody listens to the radio any more”, implying that commercial radio has lost its relevance. On the contrary, there is a significant, impacting quantity of those who still do.

According to a study conducted by, data suggests that: a.) Frequent airplay on commercial radio is rare, but new forms of radio are providing airplay opportunities for more musicians and more types of music. b.) Radio airplay contributes to an artists’ brand, but it is just one part of a larger marketing strategy, and c.) For some musicians, airplay is perceived as a major driver of record sales and other revenue streams, but for others, the radio’s impact is difficult to measure.

Girl on a radio show.

The data from this report suggests that, yes, radio airplay is still important. However, it should be looked at in different ways than it has been in the past. “Given the expansion of radio-like experiences, there are more opportunities than ever for musicians – even those in niche genres – to get airplay,” the study suggests.

Some musicians believe airplay has a direct correlation to sales or concert and smaller scale gig attendance. Others see it as a part of a broader brand awareness and exposure strategy. To the few, airplay on digital platforms has become a noticeable revenue stream on its own. However, for most, airplay on any platform remains elusive.

The study concludes, “as the data and interview quotes below demonstrate, radio airplay does matter, but how much it matters – and its impact – varies widely from musician to musician.”

To cut the long story short, radio still does matter and radio still can help a wide range of starting musicians.

Some Norwegian Political Parties Pushing Back Against FM Shutdown

Progress Party is critical of the plan to extinguish the national FM network May 23, 2016

OSLO—Even as the scheduled “sunsetting” of the national FM service rapidly approaches, the Norwegian culture minister is facing continued pushback from members of Parliament.

The Progress Party’s Ib Thomsen recently wrote a letter to the culture minister, asking who would be responsible for unintended consequences after the national FM service disappears. The Progress Party is critical of the plan to extinguish the national FM network; the party was the only one that voted against it 2011. Now the party is seriously concerned about radio if DAB plans are completed next year.

Among Thomsen’s objections were the following:

  •          Just over 20 percent of the vehicle population in Norway has DAB radio. Thomsen says this is a critical point. There is also a risk that tourists and especially professional drivers from abroad will not be able to listen to radio in Norway or receive emergency messages.
  •          Thomsen says that digitization should be coordinated with the other Nordic countries. Sweden, for example, has no plans to turn off FM.
  •          DAB is dependent on the GPS system and that weakens preparedness of DAB significantly.  In war and crises, it is a fact that GPS signals can be turned off for military purposes. This has happened several times already — GPS signals have “fallen out” over northern Europe.

Thomsen’s position is that the shutdown of the FM service in Norway will not be consistent with good public safety and would not be in consumers’ best interest.

The Center party’s Janne Sjelmo Nordås has also sent written questions to the Minister of Culture on the FM shutdown, in which she said that the entire process should be postponed. In addition, now many local chapters in various parties expressed strong concern regarding the pending shutdown.

Comment fields for articles on the topic show the vast majority of people want to keep FM— even those that believe DAB is a better technology, according to


Variety: Why CBS Radio’s Planned Divestment Is Really About Revenue Diversification

When CBS Corp. reported first-quarter earnings earlier this month, CEO Leslie Moonves didn’t have much to add to the stunning announcement he made in March about his intent to divest the company’s radio business — the foundation on which the conglomerate was built back in 1927.

But when you dip into the latest numbers, you get a sense of just how huge a move it would be to sell the division, which Bloomberg has valued at nearly $3 billion. By my estimation, the radio unit is more profitable on a margin basis than the company’s core entertainment division, which includes the CBS broadcast network, Moonves’ crown jewel.

So why sell or spin off? When Moonves said the move would “unlock value” for shareholders, observers cited diminishing returns of a business that technology is rendering obsolete. But even in decline, radio could be a solid revenue-driver for years to come.

What the planned divestment is really about is revenue diversification, or reducing CBS’ dependence on the volatile ad business, on which Wall Street has soured amid increasing audience fragmentation.

At its investor day in March, CBS touted the change in its revenue composition over the past few years, citing a decline in ad dollars as part of its total revenue from 65% in 2010 to 51% in 2015. The 2014 spinoff of another ad-centric business, its outdoor division, contributed about five percentage points to that decline. Now it appears CBS is planning to repeat the feat.

Unlike with the outdoor business, CBS doesn’t report radio as its own segment; rather, it’s part of Local Broadcasting, along with TV station assets, which registered a 9% year-over-year gain in the first quarter, likely driven by station ad sales.

By doing a little triangulation on the growth figures for these two sub-segments, we can estimate that radio generated $1.2 billion in revenue over each of the past three years, roughly flat from 2013 to 2014, then shrinking by 6% in 2015. That amounts to 8%-9% of CBS’ total revenue.

CBS’ proportion of revenue from advertising will likely jump again in 2016, given the bump from the Super Bowl last quarter. But over the long term, the company would achieve its objective of diversifying its revenue.

What’s harder to predict is what cutting the radio arm would do to margins. CBS stands to lose several hundred million dollars in operating profit, plus more than $1 billion in revenue annually. We’ll learn more when the company files documents with the SEC in the next few months.

Jan Dawson is the founder and chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, an advisory firm for the consumer technology market.


DJ Booth: Mainstream Radio’s Not Playing Your Indie Hip-Hop, Deal With It

I wish I knew how to quit you.

There are a few topics that I feel like I’ve killed and buried, but they keep coming back from the dead like hip-hop Freddy Kruegers. I thought I had put the nail in the coffin of the term “mixtapes” two years ago, and yet here I am, explaining why Chance’s new album isn’t a mixtape. And I thought I had explained that mainstream radio stations are just extensions of the major labels months ago, and yet I still get indie artists constantly complaining to me that, for example, Hot 97 isn’t playing their music.

So one last time, let’s break this down to the basics.

Let’s start by setting aside any idea that mainstream radio has any “obligation” to play and support local, independent artists. There’s a conversation to be had there, but this isn’t that conversation. This is a conversation about the simple, hard realities of how the business is run, and make no mistake, the songs that get played on mainstream radio are all about business. Business can be cold, but at least it’s direct. Does it make money? Answer that question and you’ve cracked the code.

What bothers me is the lies and half-truths, when people like Ebro Darden, Hot 97’s former program director and the public face of the station, claim that indie artists aren’t being played because they’re not “hot” enough, or they need to “get their buzz up.” The simple truth is that no amount of “hotness” or buzz really matters if you’re not signed to a major and your song is testing well with audiences. Period. Deal with it. Thinking anything else is to give yourself false hope, and false hope can be too expensive for an indie artist to afford.

I hate to focus on Ebro and Hot 97, he’s just one person at one radio station when this applies to every radio station in the country, but credit due, he’s made himself into the Death Star of hip-hop radio, the unavoidable force drawing (nearly) every conversation about mainstream radio into his gravitational pull. That’s why it’s been so interesting being able to compare and contrast the music he plays on Hot 97 and the music he plays on his Beats/Apple Music radio show. Comparing the freedom he has at those two respective outlets says it all. As he said himself in a recent Billboard interview:

Billboard: How do your shows on Hot 97 and Beats 1 differ?

Ebro: The songs we play on Hot 97 are researched; we know they’re popular…But [musically] at Beats, I’m going to take more risks and play ­underground records and artists you never heard of because that’s why you’ve opted in to that service.

Billboard: What brought you to Beats 1?

Ebro: They actually came and asked me. They didn’t really have to sell me; I’ve been in radio a long time and I know people at the top of the organization, so it was a matter of me wanting to extend what I do at Hot 97 and also be able to curate music and get involved with breaking new artists.

Hey, indie artists with dreams of getting your music played on a mainstream radio station, what else do you need to hear? The man himself just broke it down for you. With the exception of some special programming, almost always played during off peak hours, the idea that mainstream radio DJs have any say in the music they play is hopelessly outdated. If you want to hear that en fuego new banger you just made played during rush hour on Hot 97, or Power 106, or V103, or any other big station in a major market, you need to sign to a major label, and then your song needs to test well with audiences. Otherwise, it’s not happening for you. It’s a strict formula, and there aren’t deviations.

You don’t need to believe in a conspiracy theory to believe that, just take a look at Hot 97’s most recently posted playlist for the week (from 5/12 to 5/18). Chance the Rapper just dropped the most talked about album in the country last week, do you see his name anywhere? You’re telling me a record like “No Problem” with Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz wouldn’t work on radio? What more could he possibly do to get his “buzz up” or “get hot” than he is now?

And on the flip-side, Ebro could play an hour straight of nothing but Chance the Rapper on his Beats 1 show, which isn’t beholden to any advertising money, if he wanted. True, the rare indie artist occasionally does slip through the cracks of radio’s major label-dominated formula, but even those rare exceptions often turn out to be false flags. Hot 97’s playing the shit out of Young Greatness’ “Moolah” record right now, and he’s so new you might assume he’s indie, but he’s actually got a deal through QC/Capitol Records. Radio couldn’t stop playing Macklemore about a year ago and while he wasn’t full on “signed” to a major, he had a side deal with Warner that allowed him to access their radio promotions arm. In fact, the surest way to guess who’s secretly signed to a major label is to look at the radio play they are, or aren’t, getting.

Honestly, I don’t particularly care about what hip-hop that mainstream radio plays. I don’t even own a radio anymore outside my car, and I’m far from alone. What I care about are all the indie artists who come to me complaining that radio won’t play their shit, the artist I see pay money to have promoters service their songs to radio, who have their eyes solely fixed on mainstream radio as the thing that’s going to blow them up, when there’s a snowball’s chance in hell of it ever happening. All that energy and money would be better spent on almost anything else. Like, for example, buying your beats so you can get a publishing deal, or actually mixing and mastering you music.

I don’t have to play the radio game. I tried to play it. I spent $1.6 million pushing four singles off of the Absolute Power album. If I had to do it all over again, I would take every dime of that money back, tell all those dudes who took my money to fuck off, and do something totally different with the money. I would’ve been in the streets giving away samplers, I would have done a variety of different promotional ideas, and I would’ve spent the money touring. – Travis O’Guin, Strange Music CEO in a HipHopDX Interview

So indie artists, mainstream radio’s not playing your shit. Point blank. Period. Stop thinking about it, stop complaining about it and especially stop making “radio ready” singles that have a zero percent chance of actually getting played on the radio. But as much as I’d like to hope this issue’s now settled, something tells me I’ll be back here again.

By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter. Image via HOT 97.


Southern Rock/Country “99.5 The South” Launches In Birmingham

99.5 The South Nash Icon WZRR Birmingham CumulusAs we expected earlier today in Daily Domains, Cumulus flipped Country “99.5 Nash Icon” WZRR Birmingham to Southern Rock/Country “99.5 The South” at 5pm today.

The flip takes WZRR out of its three-way Country battle with SummitMedia’s 104.7 WZZK and iHeartMedia’s “102.5 The Bull” WDXB. Those two stations combined for a 10.3 share of the Birmingham marketplace, while WZRR was at a 1.9 share in the Spring Phase 1 Nielsen Audio ratings trends. The return of Classic Rock brings WZRR partially back to its heritage format as it was “Rock 99” from 1988 through the end of 2011.

The station is branding as “If it’s from The South, if it’s about The South, it’s on 99.5 The South” with a focus on Classic Rock/Adult Alternative artists.

The first hour of The South consisted of:
Allman Brothers – Southbound
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
Bob Seger – Hey Hey Going Back To Birmingham
Zac Brown Band – Homegrown
Alabama Shakes – Hold On
Black Crowes – Hard To Handle
Charlie Daniels Band – Birmingham Blues
Chris Stapleton – Traveller
Mudcrutch – Trailer
BB King – The Thrill Is Gone
John Hiatt – Drive South
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tightrope
Hard Working Americans – Stomp and Holler
Drivin’ N’ Cryin – Honeysuckle Blue
Sturgill Simpson – Brace For Impact (Live A Little)


Heather Davis Joins WKDF For Middays

103.3 Nash-FM WKDF Nashville Heather Davis Becca WallsCumulus Country “103.3 Nash-FM” WKDF Nashville TN has hired Heather Davis as its new midday host.

Davis replaces Becca Walls who announced her resignation last week following a sixteen year run. Davis joins WKDF from Curtis Media Country 94.7 WQDR Raleigh where she has been filling in since departing middays at Townsquare Media’s 107.7 WGNA Albany NY last September.

Cumulus Media announces that Country radio personality Heather Davis has joined WKDF/NASH FM 103.3 in Nashville as Host of Middays. Davis joins NASH FM 103.3 from Curtis Media’s Country-formatted WQDR-FM in Raleigh, NC. Prior to that, she hosted Mornings on Country station WGNA-FM in Albany, NY, and hosted Middays for Townsquare Media’s Country 106.5 WYRK in Buffalo, NY. Davis is a graduate of North Carolina State University.

Charlie Cook, Operations Manager, Cumulus Media-Nashville and Vice President, Country, for Cumulus Media said: “The minute I heard Heather’s audio I knew that she was the sound we need on WKDF. I love her varied on-air experience and she is a social media monster, which is so important today. We are looking forward to Heather joining radio’s best company in one of America’s best cities.”

Davis said: “I am so incredibly excited to be joining the NASH 103.3 team. It’s a dream come true to be living and working in the home of country music. I can’t wait to experience my first CMA Music Fest and all that Nashville has to offer.”


UK Digital Radio: Home Listening Now Exceeds Analog Radio

LONDON—According to Rajar Q1 2016 data released today, digital radio listening in the UK has sustained its long term growth to reach a new high of 44.1%. For the first time, digital listening in home increased to over 50%, with 51.5% of all radio listening done in home (to digital sources) now exceeding that of analog radio (48.5%).

There was growth across all digital platforms, with DAB growing its share of listening to 30.9%, now accounting for over 70% of total digital listening. Ownership of a DAB digital radio increased to 55.7% of the population, with 30 million adults now claiming to own a DAB radio, an increase of 14% year over year.

The Online share of listening grew to 7.8% and accounts for 18% of digital listening, while digital TV share of listening grew to 5.4% to account for 12% of digital listening.

Digital listening in-car grew by 32.5% to 21.2% of all listening (from 16% in Q1 2015), boosted by the growth in new cars the come equipped with digital radio as standard equipment, which, in Q1, was over 80%. [Source: CAP/SMMT]

This quarter saw Rajar apply a new methodology to the data which eliminated any unspecified listening previously termed “analog/digital not stated.”  Only a small proportion of this re-allocation of unspecified listening has been allocated to digital listening; the majority of the increase in digital listening is due to sustained strong underlying growth.


From the FCC, a Cautionary Note About Experimental Licenses

WASHINGTON—A licensee of experimental AM booster stations in Puerto Rico was denied a request to set up another one because, according to the Federal Communications Commission, “nothing new or groundbreaking” would be achieved.

Though he concurred in this ruling, Commissioner Ajit Pai wrote that AM broadcasters should be encouraged to come to the FCC with their own experimentation plans for synchronous booster technology.


Licensee Wifredo G. Blanco-Pi asked the commission to review a Media Bureau decision denying his application for an experimental station in Guayama. Blanco-Pi is licensee of WISO(AM) in Ponce, P.R., plus two synchronous AM booster stations with broadcast experimental radio licenses. Blanco-Pi was given the green light to operate these to allow for synchronization experimentation with the primary AM station.

Blanco-Pi sought to establish a third booster to cover Guayama, a community 35 miles to the east of WISO(AM), to provide it with programming from WISO. This would give that community its first all-news station, Blanco-Pi stated.

But the commission said Blanco-Pi, like previous filers in other cases, demonstrate a “fundamental misunderstanding” of the limited purpose of a broadcast experimental radio station.

According to FCC rules, these stations are designed to encourage innovation — as such, licenses are issued for the purposes of developing and advancing new broadcast technology, equipment, systems or services. There are strict operating and reporting requirements; broadcasts of a commercial nature are not allowed, nor may the stations transmit program material unless it’s related to an experiment. Regular program service may not be broadcast unless specifically authorized, the commission rules state.

“These restrictions prevent entities from exploiting a broadcast experimental radio station for commercial purposes while functioning under the guise of an experimental station,” the FCC wrote.

Initially, the Media Bureau denied Blanco-Pi’s application on the grounds that the proposed 0.5 mV/m daytime and nighttime groundwave contours would extend beyond WISO(AM)’s 0.5 mV/m daytime and nighttime groundwave contours. Then it reconsidered and found that an experimental booster was not actually prohibited from exceeding its primary station’s predicted coverage contours.

But that wasn’t enough to reverse the ruling in its entirety. In the end, the bureau denied the reconsideration request because it found that “nothing new or groundbreaking concerning the operation of AM synchronous stations will be gleaned by permitting [Blanco-Pi] to add a fourth AM synchronous transmitter to the existing WISO synchronous network.”

The full commission agreed, saying that Blanco-Pi did not detail the new knowledge he expects to gain as a result of adding the proposed Guayama experimental facility.

Rather, his principal arguments for the new booster station are on extending WISO’s program service to Guayama and that this can be accomplished more efficiently and inexpensively through use of an AM synchronous booster than by conventional means. According to the FCC, Blanco-Pi’s purpose is not utilizing radio waves in experiments with a view to development of science or technique, but rather extending the signal coverage of WISO(AM) to another area of Puerto Rico.

“Expansion of existing program service, with no apparent experimental benefit does not justify licensing a broadcast experimental radio station,” the FCC wrote. “Moreover, establishment of a new AM booster station merely to extend the service of an existing AM station impermissibly circumvents our commercial AM filing window and competitive bidding processes.” As a result, it dismissed Blanco-Pi’s application for review.

Commissioner Pai agreed but said that this order should not deter other AM broadcasters looking to perform legitimate experiments with synchronous boosters. “If broadcasters wish to test whether synchronous transmission systems can help improve signal quality within their coverage area, I believe that the commission should facilitate such experiments as we search for ways to revitalize the AM band,” he wrote.


Benson Will Get National Radio Award

WASHINGTON—The 2016 recipient of the National Radio Award has been announced. Don Benson, former president and CEO of Lincoln Financial Media Company, will receive the award at this year’s Radio Show in Nashville, Tenn.

“This recognition is timely and fitting for Don, who is held in the highest regard for his integrity and genuine commitment and service to broadcasting,” said NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David.

While at Lincoln Financial Media Company — a career that spanned more than 30 years — Benson rose through the ranks until he oversaw all aspects of the company’s 15 radio stations in Atlanta, Miami, San Diego and Denver.

Before joining LFMC, Benson began his media career at WMAK/Nashville. He’s had stints at Western Cities Broadcasting as corporate vice president of programming, KIIS(FM) in Los Angeles as vice president of operations and as executive vice president of operations at the media consultant firm, Burkhart/Douglas & Associates.

Benson has served multiple terms on both the Executive Committee of NAB’s Board of Directors and as Radio Board Chair. He’s also served terms on the Board of Directors of the Radio Advertising Bureau and has chaired the Arbitron Advisory Council.

The National Radio Award won’t be Benson’s first accolade. Benson is a recipient of The Media Financial Management Association’s Avatar Award, a 2010 inductee to the Vanderbilt University Student Media Hall of Fame, as well as a 2009 inductee to the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

Benson will receive the National Radio Award at the Radio Luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 21, which is an event taking place during the 2016 Radio Show held Sept. 21-23 in Nashville, Tenn.


Meghan Trainor Slams Michigan Radio Station

radio station copyright infrigement Meghan Trainor

The wheels of justice grind slowly, but recently they reached a Michigan radio station that thought, “So what if we’re breaking the law? They’ll never know.”

An advertiser wanted them to run a commercial for a local burger joint, complete with their own rewrite of a Meghan Trainor song.

The station management either didn’t realize that by running that spot they’d be violating the song’s copyright
…or they knew and didn’t care. After all, someone was offering to pay them.

And who would know?

One of the market’s radio stations (“Station A”) refused to air the radio advertisement, explaining to the client, “Sorry, but that would be illegal. You can’t use a copyrighted song in a commercial that way.”

Station B, on the other hand, didn’t hesitate to accept the advertiser’s money.

Recently Station B received a Cease and Desist order from Sony Music.

Station B Was Lucky.

Sony could’ve sued them for damages, rather than just tell the radio station to stop.

Here’s How Station B Probably Reacted to the C&D Order.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Powers That Be at Station B said, “Hey, we got paid. The money we made was worth more than a lousy C&D order.”

Here’s How Station A Could React.

Account Exec: I’m sorry, but using that song in your commercial would be illegal. It would violate the owner’s copyright.

Client: But Station B played that commercial with the Meghan Trainor song…

Account Exec: Yes, they did. And they were lucky. When Sony Music found out, they fired off a Cease and Desist order to Station B.

But Sony could just as easily have sued both the radio station and the advertiser for copyright infringement.

Because that commercial unquestionably constituted an illegal infringement, they each could have ended up paying 5-figure settlements.

Having to write a 5-figure penalty check probably would hurt a local small business, don’t you think?

In addition to causing financial damage to Station B — which obviously needs the money in the first place, or they wouldn’t have agreed to help the advertiser break the law — it also might raise an eyebrow with the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC considers “the citizenship, character, and financial, technical and other qualifications…to operate the station” when license renewal time rolls around.

Here at Station A, we’re dedicated to helping our advertisers accomplish their goals. But we won’t break the law for them, because it could hurt us, it could hurt them, it violates our own principles…and we don’t need to cheat in order to succeed.



Page 1 of 2