As we look back at 2007 it was a rough year for terrestrial radio in nearly every direction. From the sales picture, to the ratings/PPM/sample problems, on to new media competition, the woes of the record industry, royalty increases, sinking station values, the failure of HD Radio, lots of stations for sale living in limbo, and the lack of investment in the product in many places paints a pretty bleak picture.
Looking ahead to 2008 we have a lot on our plate. Hopefully we can set a few goals and priorities that we can all work on.
The first is making our products exciting again. That goes back to the basics of ENTERTAINING THE AUDIENCE. We are not going to do much entertaining with another list 0f 400 songs to spin and a big voiced announcer hyping it up between every song over and over till we pound it into their heads. We need to get close to the community and the target audience in the streets and in their computers.
We also have to work as an industry to get a ratings system that at least has some accuracy in the way the data is collected and with an representative sample. It's obvious that Arbitron's Diary system and land line based sample is falling way behind in credibility.
The first area is one we can start on in every market on any station. Yes, it takes a big effort and some budget to improve our efforts to be more entertaining, but it's one that we can all accomplish in any station in any market. If we can start keeping our focus on this core task I bet the list will look a lot better at the end of 2008.
Happy New Year - after we celebrate tonight let's get to work - there's a lot to accomplish, but it all starts with the basic core mission to entertain the audience.