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Final Edition: One Newspaper’s Video Swan Song

With a hat tip to ReadWriteWeb and Marshall Kirkpatrick, I thought I’d pass along this poignant video of the end of an era.

A nearly 150-year-old Denver newspaper printed its final edition yesterday.  I wonder how many more times we’ll see this happen over the next few months.

I also can’t help but wonder if this is what the radio industry has to look forward to, or, if we’ll figure out how to remain relevant in a digital/internet/on-demand world before it’s too late.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Importance of Consumable Content

I read with great interest a recent post from one of my favorite social media bloggers, Chris Brogan, on USA Today, CNN Headline News and the world of bite-sized media.

fireshot-capture-26-usatoday-and-microblogging-offline-i-chrisbrogan_com-www_chrisbrogan_com_usatoday-and-microblogging-offline

His observations of the two media giants won’t be revelatory to most media veterans, but they do serve as timely reminders.  Are you offering your content (your station’s, your blog’s, your label’s, your company’s) in bite-sized, consumable portions?  Or do you view doing so as bastardizing your business model?

The music industry, of course, has had no choice but to revisit the bite-sized model with the advent of the iPod.  No longer are long-form album projects the default purchase for a wider and wider swath of consumers.

For radio this means, among other things, taking advantage of more and more ways to distribute your content (be that podcasts, behind the scenes video from the studio or backstage at concerts, or wherever).   Furthermore, every break has to, from beginning to end, stand on its own.  If I’m new in town and just hearing your show for the first time, will I “get it” from the moment you open the mic, or feel like I’ve joined a conversation already in progress wondering what I missed?  If not, go back to the drawing board.  Study broadcast industry veterans like Tommy Kramer and John Frost for more.

For the publishing industry, the scenario is similar.  You must take advantage of newer and bolder ways to distribute content, as opposed to shunning those opportunities (including the Amazon Kindle and the iPhone).  One of my favorites to follow in the publishing industry is Michael Hyatt.  For more on his thoughts on where the publishing industry is going, check here.

As Chris Brogan puts it, “we’re trending more towards the short info.”  I’ll put it this way:

If you’re not ready or willing to adjust the way you distribute your content or product in order to meet the needs and desires of those consuming it, you will not last.

Mark Ramsey: Genius

Sometimes, Mark takes the words right out of my mouth or reads my mind or says what I couldn’t quite articulate or whatever.  This is one of those times.

Genius

Genius

His latest post on the future of the program director’s job delves into what I’ve been moving toward in my own position for several months now.  In fact, his thoughts tie in quite nicely with my new blog’s first ever post from earlier this week.

Keep it up Mr. Ramsey and you might make even me smart one day.

Give It To Me – Just Not Right Now

Radio.  Exciting and new?In my anecdotal research, I’ve found the younger the person I talk to, the higher the likelihood I find someone who doesn’t listen to the radio – at all.  Most are quickly becoming accustomed to getting the content they want exactly when they want it.  Radio listening, by and large, doesn’t give them that versatility.

“What about their favorite songs you say?”  Their iPod satisfies that itch at a moment’s notice.  Not a new idea, I know, but if your station remains nothing more than a distribution channel for music at this point, your clock has already started ticking.

If your listener’s have never heard of Pandora, they soon will.  Or maybe you’re crossing your fingers hoping they remain in the dark to all these new options for customized music delivery.  Well, good luck with that.  Do you have plans already underway to add your station’s own streaming app to the Apple App Store?  If not, why?  Still waiting for Steve Jobs to add an FM tuner to the iPhone?  Good luck with that too.

In the time-shifted world of Tivo, podcasts and hulu.com, terrestrial radio had better figure out a way to give listeners what they want, when they want it.  First and foremost that means offering compelling content not available from anyone or anywhere else.  And while content may be king, the crown is taking that content from the confines of an FM or AM signal and leveraging new, convenient and valuable-to-the-listener ways of accessing that content.

Is your station giving your listeners what they want (compelling and relevant personalities, only the great songs, reminders of not only the benefits your station offers but the values it shares with your listeners)?   If so, then great.  You’ve at least gotten the first step down.  Are you, though, offering your listeners the opportunity to experience that content in a way that’s convenient for them, or are you limiting them to consuming only what’s coming out the speakers right now?