There has been quite a bit of buzz lately all over the radiosphere about a certain patent recently submitted by Apple. It relates to the introduction of a system that will presumably allow listeners to automatically bypass commercials. A bit of news that’s hard to swallow for radio people everywhere.
Needless to say, commercials have always been the one and only bacon-bringer-homer of the radio industry. That is, for all the good old honest, hard-working, hit-pumping radio stations. How else do we get paid for our work? It’s been years now that I’ve been trying to convince radio CEOs that the time has come to consider a new income strategy. Why? Simply because, as any good mom anywhere would tell you, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. And mommy knows best. Especially when this particular basket was designed 100 years ago. No wonder the bottom weaving has come loose and coins are slipping through the cracks.
I’m not saying brands will stop buying radio ads right away. I’m just asking what would happen if listeners found a way to simply skip hearing them?
Last time I shared my concerns on the subject with a radio CEO, he replied that I might as well be suggesting climbing Everest… meaning that a looming collapse of the current commercials system and the quest for alternatives is a topic too tough to consider.
But without sounding too apocalyptic, we might have to – and soon.
The truth is, the whole reason listeners are still hearing these radio commercials is because… radio is entertaining! But how long before Apple comes up with an idea for a completely new radio concept and starts stealing away the biggest radio jocks around? As mind-blowing as it sounds, they could, no doubt, afford to hire all the radio hosts in the world, if they chose to.
So how long before we follow in the unfortunate footsteps of Record Companies and start walking down the road of financial disaster?
How long before we are forced to think over our economic model?
Better think before. And before… is now.