Industry News

Audacy and Veritonic Renew Relationship

Audacy and audio analytics and research platform Veritonic announce they have renewed their partnership. Audacy SVP of research and insights Idil Cakim comments, “Measuring the impact of ourim total Audio campaigns — including radio, streaming and podcast advertising— with Veritonic allows us to show the power of Audacy’s content in connecting with audiences and mobilizing customers. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership and enable our clients and advertising partners to leverage audio to achieve the utmost in competitive edge, reach, and ROI.”

Industry Views

Pending Business: We Are Growing

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

imSurvey says nearly half of all Americans over 13, nearly 135 million, listen to spoken word formats. The growth curve boasts an eye opening 52% jump in time spent listening at home.

Please keep in mind we are listening in 2023 via different platforms including AM/FM radio, smartphones, computer streaming, smart speakers, and smart TV. Podcasting is a major driver of this growth curve, almost tripling its share of total audio consumption. And the closer is traditional AM/FM radio is still the morning drive, in-car winner controlling 62% of listening, despite the auto industry’s attempt to shun the king of spoken word distribution – AM radio.

Audio marketers, please pound the drum a little louder when you pitch this growth story. I still haven’t seen this new validation pushed aggressively on X (formerly Twitter) among the Taylor Swift running to hug Travis Kelsey posts, have you? Anything on Instagram? Facebook? YouTube? Rumble? Are we reframing a modern version of that 1600s philosophical “if a tree falls in the forest…?”

All sellers need to take a minute to digest, discuss and integrate the findings in the Edison/NPR Spoken Word Audio report and start the drumbeat of growth, impact, engagement and influence. How else will we pushback on the taken-for-granted, same old-same old, spoken word presentation. Freshen up that media kit! Growth is an important sales point to make in any presentation and audio sellers need to keep pointing to that growth curve as competitors lean in on their own story lines.

Let’s get down to how best to answer W.I.F.A (what’s in it for advertisers) on your next presentation.

1) New. One of the most powerful words in sales and marketing. New information can drive new decisions. Let the numbers help make your point as you shape your presentation.

2) The Trend is Your Friend. Every business owner, entrepreneur, investor and CEO always want to be informed and in front of growth trends. You now have the opportunity in front of you.

3) Keep it Simple. Keep your information simple and easy to understand. Many influential newsletters use the simple technique of a bold number followed by a fast fact story line. If it works for the big boys, the technique should work for you.

4) Managers. Bring good news to your sales and marketing teams. Sellers, bring good news to your advertisers. The survey says we are growing, and positive growth is an important part of any business.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve@Lapcomventures.com.

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

FOX News Media says that according to data from Nielsen Media Research, its “Democracy 24: FOX News Republican Primary Debate” was the most-watched telecast in all of linear television, digital and streaming on Wednesday (8/23), averaging 12.8 million viewers and 2.8 million viewers in the 25-54 demo. That, FOX says, tops more than 70% of all presidential primary debates in the last two cycles (2016 and 2020).

SiriusXM announces it opens the 2023 college football season offering 87 live games during the week (8/26-9/4). SiriusXM says this slate includes games from every team from the Associated Press Top 25 poll, including the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs vs UT Martin; #13 Notre Dame vs Navy in Dublin, Ireland; and #5 LSU vs #8 Florida State.

Industry News

Audacy and TuneIn Renew Distribution Agreement

Audacy announces it is extending its digital distribution deal with TuneIn that provides streaming of its 250-plus stations and entire podcast library to the content aggregator. Audacy says the partnership expands the reach of its content to more than 200 additional platforms and connected vehicles and devices, including Tesla, Rivian,im Lucid, Bose, Samsung and Xbox, as well as on the TuneIn mobile app and TuneIn.com. The agreement also gives Audacy access to TuneIn’s advertising supply and brings select TuneIn original content to the Audacy digital platform. Audacy chief digital officer J.D. Crowley imcomments, “Streaming of AM/FM Radio is one of the fastest growing segments of all digital audio today. As consumer demand for Audacy’s best-in-class local audio content continues to increase, we’re committed to meeting the listener wherever they wish to consume, and we’re delighted to expand the availability of our unique live sports, news, and personality-driven audio content to over 200 new TuneIn-supported platforms. We’re equally thrilled to welcome TuneIn’s premium exclusive content to the Audacy digital platform.”

Industry News

Lee Davis to Lead Audacy’s Reorganized Sports Sales Team

Audacy announces a new “sales and enablement team dedicated to accelerating growth within the company’s sports vertical” to be led by the company’s Lee Davis, who is named senior vice president of the team. Audacy says Davis’ team is “charged with developing high-value, high-return programs leveraging the power of Audacy’s sports platform across its broadcast,im streaming, podcasting, and wagertainment properties. Under Davis’ leadership, the team will be responsible for sales and execution, managing the entire client lifecycle.” Audacy chief revenue officer Brian Benedik comments, “No medium delivers more value for sports than audio. People are spending more time than ever with broadcast radio, streaming and podcasts, and the demand for compelling sports content across these channels is growing exponentially. Through our best-in-imclass sports audio portfolio, powered by over 150 flagship team partnerships, iconic local broadcast brands, award-winning podcasts and sports betting content, Audacy is uniquely positioned to capitalize on a new sales strategy in this arena.” Audacy says, “From 1990 to 2005, Davis was key in building WFAN into America’s #1 sports radio station, overseeing local and national sales, programming and marketing, helping shape it into the highest-grossing station in the country.” Davis rejoined Audacy in 2018 to lead the reboot of Traffic Weather Information Network’s on-air content and ad operations teams.

Industry Views

Pending Business: The Spoken-Word Advantage

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

imI’m sorry.

Please accept my apologies for NOT believing radio, AM radio, news/talk radio is dead. Just ask most of the panelists at last Friday’s TALKERS 2023 convention.

For sure, the news/talk AM radio sector is navigating the choppy waters of change, like it or not. The microsecond breaking newsflash so currently common in our digital world has forever changed the basic pillars of the AM radio news/talk world: programming, audience engagement, sales, and tech. Change and adapt we must. To paraphrase Charles Darwin, “Survival belongs to those who adapt to change, forget about being fit.”

Surprising as it may seem, the five local owner-operators who joined me for our “Generating Sales in the Digital World” panel all agreed on one thing: commitment to their local community. And where there’s a local sound, there is a local sale. Just look at how local owner-operators are growing their AM news/talk operations to win more sales every day. Todd Starnes’ KWAM, Memphis is expanding its local news department, while trendy players like Vice Media and Buzzfeed shut down news efforts. From the Hudson Valley and Albany in New York state to Santa Cruz, California, local owner operators are on calls personally driving local sales. The tech friendly media kit at KTBB, Tyler, Texas tells the story of “The Spoken-Word Advantage.”

These entrepreneurs are fearless when it comes to competing with large group-owned properties that may be better positioned to win national dollars delivering scale local owner-operators can’t match. But wait, they are all proving there is more than one way to win business. While some large-scale group operators struggle with the perils of stock market delisting, 80% of my local owner-operator panelists feel confident 2023 will be bigger and better than 2022. How about you? Is there an air of pride and confidence on your sales team that 2023 will close ahead of last year?

When it comes to the digital race, the truth is many local owner-operators are still learning the best way to compete. Local ad budgets are quickly shifting to incorporate more and more digital, mobile, and streaming initiatives. To a large extent, sellers follow the path of least resistance to the ad money as local managers try to project where the ad money is going. The message last week at the TALKERS 2023 convention was the local news/talk radio business is alive and well and still growing, with an understanding to adapt to change is to survive. 

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve@Lapcomventures.com.

Industry News

Audacy Feeling Out Users’ Interest in Paid, Commercial-Free Tier

According to a report by Matthew Keys at The Desk, Audacy has begun surveying users of its digital platform to see what they might be willing to pay for commercial-free streaming of its content. Keys writes, “The plan would see Audacy replace commercial breaks on its traditional AM and FM radio stations with ‘exclusive content like additional news, interviews or songs, all while remaining in sync with the live broadcast.’… The survey asked Audacy listeners to choose how much they’d be willing to pay for commercial-free radio, with the prices starting at $1 per month and going as high as $11 a month, according to a copy of the survey reviewed by The Desk. A follow-up question presented a similar list of options, but asked users to weigh in on the maximum price they’d be willing to pay before they thought a premium radio subscription was too expensive.” Read the story here.

Industry News

Audacy Insights: Radio Killed the Video Star

An Audacy Insights piece by company chief marketing officer Paul Suchman lays out the case that audio – radio/streaming/podcasts – is a more effective marketing tool than video (the traditional darling of media planners). Suchman writes that this argument “is among the ultimate tussles between media planners and publishers. While some may lean more heavily toward video, we at Audacy respectfully disagree.” He makes a five-point argument in audio’s favor saying it wins in reach, time spent using, is more immersive, activates all senses, and drives recall. Read the complete story here.

Industry News

VoodooVision Consumer Study Findings Revealed

NuVoodoo Media Services announces that it is releasing the results of its VoodooVision nationwide consumer study in a series of free webinars this month. The study of more than 5,300 respondents between the ages of 14 and 54 is intended to “guide marketers through the myriad options available in the digital media and audio entertainment space.” NuVooDoo says, “The VoodooVision consumer study findings reveal that despite the steady increase of Internet-connected infotainment systems in vehicles, broadcast radio continues to hold itsLogo - Text own. It remains competitive with podcasts and DSPs (Digital Streaming Providers, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and others) when consumers are in vehicles or public transit during the early morning and late afternoon commutes, and on weekends.” Respondents were asked to select a top preference from a list of audio entertainment choices and their top choices were (for morning commuters), broadcast FM/AM radio with 19% of the sample, followed closely by podcasts, with streaming coming in at third. The study indicates the competition is closer during the late afternoon commute, where podcasts and streaming barely eclipse radio as the top choice among commuters at 15% vs. 14% of the sample, respectively. And radio remains competitive as an audio entertainment favorite among listeners on the go during the weekend, sharing the top spot with DSP’s and eking ahead of podcasts. You can register now for one of the two remaining webinars here.

Industry News

Triton Digital Reveals Top Streamers for January

Triton Digital published the data for its ranking of the top streaming publishers for January of this year, based on Average Active Sessions. iHeartRadio remains #1 with 293,362 AAS, followed by NPR Member Stations atTriton Radio - Logo #2 (77,602 AAS), and Audacy at #3 (58,527 AAS). Other commercial broadcasters making the top 30 include Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (40,999 AAS), Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #6 (18,862 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (14,792 AAS), Urban One at #11 (9,601 AAS), and Salem Communications at #12 (8,244 AAS). See the complete top 30 here.

Industry News

Nielsen to Market Edison Research Studies to Ad Agencies

Nielsen says that it will begin marketing Edison Research’s Share of Ear and Edison Podcast Metrics services to advertising agencies. Nielsen says, “Edison’s Share of Ear is a highly regarded and widely cited service that provides deep insights about the complete audio landscape, including broadcast radio, streaming,Logo - Nielsen Holdings podcasting, downloaded audio, smart speakers and other sources of audio content… Edison Podcast Metrics measures persons-based listening estimates using frequently updated surveys to provide a complete view of the rapidly growing podcast audience.” Jon Kaiser is head of Nielsen’s agency and advertiser-direct businesses and he says, “The media landscape is evolving quickly and agencies have a vital need to understand how all the media puzzle pieces fit together. Edison’s insights are best-in-class and Nielsen is excited to work together with them to provide media planners and buyers with deep insights into the total audio landscape and the rapidly growing podcasting audience.”

Industry News

Tom Barnard and Hubbard Partner for Streaming Show and Podcast

According to a report from Bring Me The News, former KQRS-FM, Minneapolis morning personality and legendary Twin Cities radio host Tom Barnard is entering into a deal with Hubbard Broadcasting to host aTom Barnard - Museum of Broadcast Communications daily morning program streaming on audio and video from 7:00 am to 10:00 am CT and available as a podcast that the company will produce, distribute and sell. Bring Me The News says, “Barnard will be joined by a co-host, producer, and a number of other guests and contributors. Barnard left KQRS on Dec. 23 after 37 years hosting 92 KQ’s Morning Show, which for a period in the ‘90s was the highest rated morning radio show in the entire country. As he prepared to leave the station, Barnard claimed in an interview with the Star Tribune he had been forced out the door at KQ by parent company Cumulus Media, which had described Barnard’s departure as a ‘retirement.’” Barnard’s new show is expected to debut sometime next month. On Monday of this week, KQRS launched its new morning show hosted by radio personality and former Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman.

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Streaming Has Saved Talk Radio. Longtime radio sales professional Kathy Carr, president of the Howie Carr Radio Network, writes today in an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine about the ways in which digital audio – streaming and podcasts – has “given talk radio life beyond what could have been imagined years ago.” She adds, “When a buyer asks me to send him a ranker, I have a pretty good idea of his age. Shouldn’t the question be: Tell me about your top five clients and how long they have been with you?  Doesn’t that more accurately show the client your success rate?” And the reason that’s a better question is because of the different ways people are accessing talk radio these days. Read her column here.

The Ramsey Show Celebrates 30th Anniversary On Air. The nationally syndicated program “The Ramsey Show” is celebrating its 30th anniversary on the radio. The program was founded by Dave Ramsey whose core message of living life debt free has “helped millions of listeners by giving practical answers to callers’ questions about money, careers, relationships and mental wellness.” Dave Ramsey, CEO of Ramsey Solutions, says, “I always want listeners to come away with a sense of power over their situation. Over three decades of taking calls, I’ve watched millions of people get out of debt, find jobs they love, have healthier marriages, become millionaires, and ultimately live better, more peaceful lives. That’s what the show is about — providing REAL hope.” See the show’s YouTube channel trailer here.

FOX News Digital Continues to Lead Multiplatform Minutes and Views. According to the most recent data from Comscore, FOX News Digital finished the August 2022 period as the top-performing news organization in the competitive set in both multiplatform minutes and multiplatform views. FOX News Digital says that this marks 18 consecutive months as the number one news brand with multiplatform minutes and three consecutive months as the leading news brand with multiplatform views. FOX News Digital closed out August reaching over 2.9 billion total multiplatform minutes – compared to CNN.com with 2.3 billion and NYTimes.com with 1.3 billion. FOX News Digital also wins in multiplatform views with 1.5 billion, compared to CNN.com’s 1.36 billion and NYTimes.com’s 1.32 billion. In the category of multiplatform unique visitors – the digital version of radio’s cume – FOX News Digital comes in third place with 77.5 billion. CNN.com wins that measurement with 116 billion followed by NYTimes.com with 83.5 billion.

Cumulus Announces Programming Promotions in Syracuse. At the Syracuse cluster, Cumulus Media announces the promotion of programming staffers to expanded roles within its four-station group. On the spoken-word side, Joe DeTomaso – program director, content production manager and midday host for alternative rock WAQX-FM “95X” – takes on programming duties for sports talk WSKO-AM “The Score 1260.” He says, “I’m excited to add ‘The Score 1260’ to my programming duties here in Syracuse. We will continue to expand our audiences on both ‘The Score 1260’ and WAQX in the digital footprint thru outstanding relevant local content.”

Tyler Polumbus Exits KKFN-FM, Denver. According to a report by KUSA-TV, Denver, Tyler Polumbus exits Bonneville’s sports talk KKFN-FM “104.3 The Fan” as his contract was not renewed. Polumbus was co-host of “The Drive” alongside with Darren “Dmac” McKee.  He tweeted, “My contract at The Fan has come to an end. Thank you to all of the listeners that made the last three years a joy. We laughed and created memories, we consoled each other through the Broncos rough years, and together we did so much good through Pedal with Polumbus to beat Ovarian Cancer. I won’t name all my colleagues that will forever be a part of my life but you guys know who you are. I love you guys.” This comes a week after evening co-host Sandy Clough retired from his full-time gig with the station after a 25-year career with “The Fan.” Clough co-hosted with Shawn Drotar, who will remain with KKFN-FM in a yet-to-be-announced capacity.

G Audio Networks Enters into Deal to Rep SPARC Media Hub. This new deal between G Audio Networks, a Gen Media Partners company, and SPARC Media Hub means G Audio Networks will offer radio stations the ability to use the SPARC Media Hub radio station workflow system on a barter basis. G Audio Networks chief development officer Rich O’Brien states, “Every day, SPARC Media Hub continues to develop its product to be the best workflow system available. Using customer feedback, researching the latest trends in media, and always thinking ‘what’s next?’ are just some of the pillars that make SPARC a leading-edge product in the industry. We’re very excited about bringing this superior product to radio stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated, Atlanta-based talk host Erick Erickson hosted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on his program yesterday (9/19) in what was the governor’s first national radio interview in the aftermath of the transportation of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard…..Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks announce the release of two special episodes of the “Sound, Sobriety & Success” podcast hosted by rock journalist and former MTV host Matt Pinfield in recognition of Sobriety Awareness Month in September. The first of the two new episodes features AJ McLean, actor, dancer, and Grammy-winning singer of the Backstreet Boys. McLean shares his journey from addiction to recovery, the highlights of performing, and how getting sober has improved his music and changed his perspective. In the second new episode, Pinfield talks to Chrissy Metz, the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress and singer known for her portrayal of Kate Pierce on NBC’s award-winning TV series “This is Us.”…..AdLarge announces it has entered into an ad sales partnership with Eeriecast, The Horror Podcast Network. AdLarge will oversee the management, sales, and fulfillment of the audio ad sales for the Eeriecast network dedicated to horror-themed content.

Immigration/Migrant Flights, Inflation/Financial Markets, Trump Documents Case, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Russia-Ukraine War, Hurricane Fiona, and COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19). The immigration problems at the U.S.-Mexico border and the transporting of migrants to Democrat-leaning cities & investigations into the legality of the moves; the stubborn rate of inflation and Wall Street’s nervousness over the looming Fed interest rate hike decision; the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s keeping classified documents at Mar-a-Lago; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; the destruction in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Fiona; and the conflicting opinions about COVID-19 by President Joe Biden and Dr. Tony Fauci were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Sales

Streaming Has Saved Talk Radio

By Kathy Carr
Howie Carr Radio Network
President

 

BOSTON — Recently, I was signing up a new affiliate for “The Grace Curley Show” and one section of the agreement dealt with “territory,” meaning the area covered by the station’s terrestrial signal.

The template for this agreement was created just eight years ago, in 2014, but it now seems so archaic. With all the ways you can listen in 2022, what does it matter how strong the signal is and what exactly is “exclusive territory?” Because there is no exclusive territory now.

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Advice

Monday Memo: Vino, Vodka, Video

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — It’s Tuesday, but the Monday Memo isn’t taking a week off. Inflation is THAT urgent. All this month I’m outlining easy economies you can share with listeners, and use yourself, to cope. In last week’s column: Your Renegotiation Hit List, and 4 Fundamental Frugalities.

When I say “Francis Ford Coppola,” you think “The Godfather,” right?

Have you tried his wines? In Rhode Island where I live, Coppola wines are $12 or $13, sometimes less on end caps.

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Advice

Monday Memo: Talk Radio 101 – LISTEN

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Talk radio isn’t just different than music radio. It’s better. Talk radio is never on in the background. And streaming has music radio on its heels, because The Sentence Never Spoken is “Alexa, please play six commercials.”

Yet talkers should avoid taking false comfort that we’re less vulnerable to digital competitors, because people are using social media to talk to each other without us. So joining the conversation there is now table stakes. But defending the towers remains Job One.

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