Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Are Broadcasters About to Spend Another 24 Months in a Flaming PR Dungeon?

When XM and Sirius hit the marketplace, the companies’ PR machines (and their Wall Street supporting cast) waged war on traditional broadcasters. And for the most part, they won, at least until the truth overcame the hype.

We spent a couple of years reading and hearing about the destruction of free over-the-air broadcasting. Satellite radio was Radio’s Death Star. It would own car radios. Broadcasting was obsolete.

Guess what. XM and Sirius merged and morphed into the niche business it was always destined to become.

Here we go again. Pandora will likely go public in the near future. The hype, much like that with satellite radio, will become deafening as the Wall Street banks line up to rake in big fees from the IPO and run-up of the stock.

Are broadcasters going to again sit idly by and suffer another two years in the PR dungeon?
Pandora is a cool application. It probably has “legs” in the marketplace. But it is another niche product. It cannot beat “local.” It will not beat us at what we do best.

Broadcasters need to unite to tell their story of free, over-the-air radio. We do not need to spend the next two years listening to “Pandora’s Radio Death Star” story. We have incredible reach in every community in the country. Pandora does not now, and I predict, will not ever have it. Let’s tell the world what Pandora really is… a “cool” niche product.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

Media Services Group