WWRS Friday: What Iconic Brands Do; Dominance Of Radio in Audio’s Golden Age


Friday Session Recaps

During a WORLDWIDE RADIO SUMMIT (WWRS) session today (5/4) titled “Great Brands Do What Others Simply Won’t Or Cannot Do,” ENTERCOM Classic Hits Format Captain and Classic Hits WCBS-F-Hot AC WNEW (FRESH 102.7)/NEW YORK PD JIM RYAN called SCOTT SHANNON “the multi-million dollar advertising campaign we couldn’t afford,” instantly establishing WCBS-FM’s credentials as an ’80s music station; CUMULUS VP/Top 40 CAT THOMAS advised “consistency, persistency, adaptability.” Moderator LORI LEWIS pointed at TOM BARNARD’s podcast as a successful use of that medium to extend his brand; TOWNSQUARE MEDIA SVP/Programming KURT JOHNSON advised “playing to the talents’ strengths and amplify them” rather than forcing them to try to do everything.

The panel closed with advice on becoming, and staying an iconic brand. THOMAS advised stations to look for opportunities to be a part of listeners’ lives; BAYERN 1-BAYERN 3-PULS/MUNICH PD WALTER SCHMICH looked for enthusiasm on all platforms, RYAN told stations to know the answer to the question “what do you stand for?,” and JOHNSON said “iconic brands are truth, because listeners know when you’re lying.”

During a mini-keynote, DMR/INTERACTIVE Pres./COO ANDREW CURRAN discussed the relationship between radio listening and employment, offering insights into AM/FM radio’s dominance in the audio field. CURRAN shared data showing 190 billion gross minutes of listening in an average week versus 8 billion for streaming smartphone audio, including pure play digital services. On a monthly basis, radio gets 720 billion more minutes of listening than digital, and 19 of every 20 minutes spent with audio by Adults 18+ is with AM/FM over-the-air radio. Radio disproportionately reaches people who are employed (and therefore would have more money to spend). The unemployed, he said, are more likely to be home watching TV, explaining the ubiquity of commercials for trade schools and personal injury lawyers on daytime television.

CURRAN noted that younger audiences are “not great radio listeners,” but that while 63% of employed 18-24s listen to AM/FM radio, 85% of the 25-54 employed audience listens, attributable to being more likely to work full-time.  He advised radio stations to deploy marketing strategies aimed at the employed to take advantage of the situation.

WWRS continued through FRIDAY afternoon at the W HOTEL HOLLYWOOD. Real real-time coverage of more WWRS panels, provided by ALL ACCESS News/Talk Editor PERRY MICHAEL SIMON, can be seen here.

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