Radio’s New Recipe…Serve Chilled

Ready?  Here’s what next and what you will need to whip up a perfect concoction.

  • Record 60 seconds of any voice
  • A few more years of  AI (artificial intelligence) Development
  • And a developer tool called Lyrebird (or something similar)

What are we making?

audio pic

The complete replacement (outside of maybe the original voice) of humans needed for anything audio.  Before you tag me with being nuts, consider the powerful combination of the real-life voice recreation and AI.


Once the computers start to think on their own, which they are already doing, there will be no need for mistake-prone fumbling humans to be involved.



Aaaaaaa, you think?


Not today, but the tomorrow when this occurs in not too many train stops down the line.

Check out the story and audio sample at

Think about the cost savings once you get past the CapEx.  OK, maybe not the best idea if your business is making audio.


Dear Radio Friends,

This is what innovation looks like.

To Woo Young Moviegoers, AMC Thinks More Like McDonald’smovie theater

It seems to be helping: After three consecutive years of declines, in 2016 the number of frequent moviegoers ages 18 to 24 in the United States and Canada increased 26 percent, to 7.2 million, from 5.7 million in 2015, according to a recent report by the Motion Picture Association of America. (Frequent moviegoers are those who went to see one or more films a month.)

Maybe we can try a little harder.  Please.

Where do I start…so many solutions.  I would be happy to discuss, send me a note or give me a call or text. technics

For this space, today, please let me share a story I just heard to includes one of these:

A record player.  Just in case you forgot.  🙂

Here’s the short story.

A classic rock radio station looking for something a little different decides it’s going to do an “Album Sides Weekend.”  A simple concept, every hour feature a couple of different classic album sides and actually playing the vinyl records on the air.  Normally quiet weekend phones and socials were unusually busy.  Real listeners were calling and messaging how much they loved the weekend! Real radio excitement.  Imagine that, something old is new again.  This one was pretty easy. Long term solutions are much more difficult, but I can’t emphasize just how important and necessary it is.

HINT:  maybe start by never playing 6, 8, or 10 commercials in a row…ever again!  Your listeners will LOVE you for it!

Boomers Are From Mars/ Millennials Are From Venus

“baby boomers and millennials appear to have starkly different attitudes about pretty much everything”

Stark generational differences highlighted in this Bloomberg article is worth review.

Depending on the study one reads, millennials according to some are pushing closer and closer to 40.  Where did the time go?

Some highlights:

  • Marriage in steep decline with 25-34 year olds
  • “Living on their own” declines to around 60% from 85%
  • Home ownership down nearly 20%
  • More millennials are going to college and earning a bachelor’s degree and more
  • A common meme is millennials are lazy, something the research debunks.  In fact millennials score a few points higher than their boomer parents.

All of this and an important and notable change in the ethnic and racial makeup of the country.


Bowling Green State University conducted this study and provides lots of data to mull over if you are so inclined.

Here’s the link:  BGSU Millennials Study

The how’s and why’s are important, however, don’t overthink what is reality and unchangeable. Millennials represent a very large percentage of the country and they are knee deep in adulthood–understand, adapt, embrace.


There’s NEVER a Free Lunch. E-V-E-R!

Lately it has become very apparent that during what we in radio would call “prime,” SPOTIFY is taking it’s cue’s from FM music radio.  Recently, the spotload is ramping up.  First it was one or two spots in each block… now we are pushing 3, sometimes 4! It used to be limited to 1 or 2 spot blocks  per hour…now, let’s just say its around 3.  Hey, we all gotta eat.  I get it.

I also understand SPOTIFY wants to sell consumers it’s pay service. Pushing and getting more paying subs may be the only long term solution to profitability.  Just last year said this in an article about SPOTIFY: “it is still incapable of making a profit—and because of the way the music business works, it may never make one”.

Um, doesn’t that sound discouraging and bad.

Let me be clear about something, I am an advocate for the commercial content model.  Within reason–willing to hear spots in exchange for content for a service I love.  And I do love SPOTIFY.  But here I am writing this article. What gives?

Let me be clear about something else. I also chose the free SPOTIFY because the sound quality was far better than one might expect from a free “degraded” service.  In fact, running it through my outboard speakers and Breakaway audio processor (thank you Leif Claesson) it sounds great. That mixed with limited commercials and I was satisfied.

One more thing about SPOTIFY that has irritated me and tacit proof THEY are aware of how damaging it is to the free service.  All commercials including including promos used to be listed in the users history list and now it’s just the songs.

SPOTIFY, you listening?  I’m a music fan, a professional broadcaster, and an advocate for the “spots for content model” and you are pissing me off. In the same way broadcast radio stations have pissed off listeners by pushing the limits of commercial time that it’s no easy task to sit through an entire stopset.

Sure, there’s always been stations who have known no limits on minute/unit count but let’s take a look back at a few of the standard commercial break structures that served stations, listeners, and advertisers well beginning nearly 40 years ago.  Clocks 1, 2 and 3 would be welcomed by cheers today.

clock oneclock 2

clock 3

Clock 4 we could live with and even clock 5 if we had to.

clock 4clock 5

Clock 6 goes like this.  Imagine the meeting.  No one likes spots, why not just cluster them all together in one mega break and get people to listen the rest of the hour. Yeah, I know you’ve been in that meeting.  Nice idea…might have worked for a while. LOL!clock 6

OK, so let’s finish up by tying these two ostensibly different stories together.  To recap…the free service on Spotify is getting cluttered. Broadcast radio is cluttered even as stations have reduced jock talk and promo length. They way people hear, use, and expect to consume media has/is rapidly changed and broadcasters are still largely doing it how it was done in 1984.

PPM is “the great teacher” because we can actually see what happened moment-to-moment, right?  Seemingly supporting the continued use of long spot clusters and reduced everything else.

Speaking as a proud contrarian — ENOUGH!

There is no law that says spots or banter or promos must be structured one way or another.  In fact, even if PPM indicates a particular pattern or structure is best…question it.  I know it’s a counter intuitive and radical suggestion.  I’ve been talking to clients and associates about how we can shake it up, make it different, and weather the storm of wobbly ratings. Better now, controlled, then waiting for tomorrow when it will be too late. I know first hand there’s many considering new and original options. People are scared of what doesn’t feel comfortable–but I encourage everyone to allow yourself to commit to a new and FRESH way…because honestly, we have NO choice.

Who Wants To Be In the (TV) Ratings Business?


Today, you may have seen the announcement from Fox, Turner, and Viacom that they have formed their own audience data partnership called OpenAP — an “advanced audience platform.”  You can read the story here: THR Story

This is GREAT news!

The contentious relationship between some of the TV Networks and Nielsen is not new and the optics of last weeks delayed reports only served to keep the problems in the forefront.   The consortium promises more details to advertisers and other media companies coming in April.

On the radio/audio side of things, and with all due respect to Eastlan, Nielsen is practically a lone wolf and dominant. Just like what took place on the TV/video side today, I would welcome a similar announcement to emerge for radio.  We are all very well aware of the significant challenges facing data collection organizations of all kinds today.

There’s got to be a better way.  There must be a better way.  How much is it worth to accurately measure cross platform audio usage?

Stay tuned and let’s see how things develop with OpenAP.