Traversing Radio's Digital Path
Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Back in 1992 when I was preparing to graduate from Acadia University, I needed a science credit and took a Computer Science course to lock down my Bachelor of Arts degree. I got 100% on my final exam, and the mark represented the only A on my transcript. In a world where the Iron Curtain was coming apart, Politics and History was fascinating and computers were just a tool to make my term papers shiny. I can't help but wonder if my life would have turned out differently if I had majored in Computer Science. But I was hell bent on getting on the radio.
In the mid-90's when the internet began to blossom, Jake Daniels, my afternoon drive co-host would spout, "The Nerds are taking over!" at every dot com story. Then came the first wave of disruptions which included Napster; followed by Streaming, and then 2007 everything changed when the iPhone, Facebook and Twitter began to take hold of our lives.
Through all of this, radio's biggest revenue generator is still the 30 second ad. The fact that it remains so says as much about radio's power, as it does its inability to change. Which leaves many in radio asking, why should we change? And how can we change? Those answers differ from station to station. The good news is that if even if you are just now starting to acquire a digital strategy, you are "playing with house money", as our guest on this week's show said.
Elliott Hurst is co-founder and CEO of SoCast, a digital company helping hundreds of radio stations increase their digital revenue. What I really love about SoCast is that their founders (brothers Elliott and Sandy) are passionate about radio. The same issues that keep broadcast CEO's awake at night, are the same ones they are working to resolve all the time. Things like streaming, the connected car, voice activated boxes, social media integration and where it all started - websites.
This episode is brought to you by PromoSuite Next. For over 25 years you've known PromoSuite as radio's original promotions management system. Helping promotions teams and programmers manage their contest winners, liners, sales, requests, remotes, prize fulfilment, and much more. Today over 2,500 radio stations across the United States and Canada use PromoSuite Next.
And a gem from the internet. There's a lot of discussion about voice activated boxes like Alexa and Google Home. The rush is on to make sure that your radio station can be recalled and accessed easily. Sometimes there are unintended consequences and misunderstandings.