Chicago -- RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley gave opening remarks this afternoon during the 2011 Radio Show produced by RAB and NAB.
Below is the full-text of Haley's's prepared remarks.
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Good afternoon and welcome to Chicago - home to some 53 great radio stations delivering nearly $450 million in revenue to our industry! And also site of the 2nd NAB/RAB Radio show!
I think we have an exciting 3 days lined up for you and I want to thank some people before we get started - first our partners the great team at the NAB led by Gordon Smith and John David. I believe we've hit our stride in working together as and their efforts around this show have been astounding, second our planning committee 11 strong - made up of your colleagues across the industry who helped us shape our program for you, Next our sponsors who deliver so much in terms of information and services to round out this show, and lastly I'd like to thank our advertisers who have turned out at this show in bigger numbers than ever before. From Allstate, to McDonalds to Sears whose CMO Eddie Combs delivered a fantastic address at lunch today. - thank you all for your business and your engagement with this show.
Since our first success at last year's Radio Show we listened to your comments and input and I believe have made this show more focused than ever before. We have a few less breakout sessions and a few more Super Sessions. In fact tommorows line up of unprecedented research releases as well as important keynotes such as Bob Pittman's address on the eve of the new I heart Radio launch will be a day packed with information to help you do your job better - the goal of which we all share - to sell more radio and grow this industry. We remain today a little under 3 billion shy of our 2007 high water revenue mark of $20 Billion. I'm quite confident that we are well on our way back to that number. But there are those who doubt our strengths.
Some look at our top five categories and they see secular radio issues in our cyclical media world. - I do not
Some look to nascent pure play audio brands and see a radio problem with innovation - I do not
Some look to the flattening growth rates of all measured media and lump Radio in with all the rest - I do not
I reject the shallow and simplistic analysis that reflects more of a preoccupation with the old metrics of the past than a focus on what lies ahead
I do see short term cyclical impact in our top 5 categories that challenge us to find new advertisers -
I do see incredible innovation across the whole sphere of audio that we have learned from and will continue to learn from.
I do see a growing diversification in our revenue mix to become true marketing partners to our advertisers rather than just spot sellers.
In other words the glass is half full, not half empty. If we remain focused there's a great future ahead.
With the idea of focus in mind I want to share with you 3 things among all other that I believe matter in this very confused and shifting media world today. These three things really matter and Radio's position with regard to these issues are why I am so optimistic.
- Scale Matters
Second - Live and Local Content Matters
And third - Mobile Matters
So let's talk about scale, live and local and mobile and how they indicate great things ahead.
As far as Scale is an issue in media today - nobody has as broad and deep a platform as our nearly 11,000 broadcast radio stations. There are niche players who after ten years have barely scratched 20 million subscribers. There are exciting new IP and mobile businesses that have captured a share of the formerly non-sponsored music collection, or stored music experience. None have near the scale that we have, and frankly they won't ever. The cost, and one to one technology being used is just not as efficient or scalable as broadcast radio. That doesn't mean they are not worthy of attention, and it doesn't mean we can't learn from and out innovate these new entrants.
Over the next few days and you will surely see some amazing new products on the market and on the horizon from your fellow broadcasters. One issue with scale is measurement. Credible data that advertisers can count on. This is an issue across the entire web, but lately there have been players out there touting duplicative "listener hours" in an apples to oranges comparison for our unduplicated long standing cume metrics. At a claim of just 3% of our reach, it may not be worthy of mention, but if we're talking about audience size, let's be fair and measure apples to apples. If you wanted to compare "listener hours", say 1.8 billion "listener hours" for 2nd quarter that claim includes duplicate reach across your user base, so it might be more fairly compared to our "broadcast hours" against the base of people who use radio. Or, live, 24/7 radio across 10,766 commercial stations x the 12 weeks of a quarter x the US population of 12+. Do that math and you get 6.1 trillion listener hours for broadcast radio 6.1 trillion - yes, that's absurd. And more importantly it's irrelevant to our advertising customers. They deserve better than self generated data and I urge all of us to pay attention to the hype and understand that this data is not scale. Scale is what enables Eddie Combs from Sears or Neil Golden from McDonalds to communicate their messages within well targeted appropriately formatted live and local content to every market in the US.
And why does Live and local content matter? Because live and local content is has context and it's personally chosen by you and me. We tune in daily to hear live hosts bring us a connection to our communities. This is an incredibly successful formula for scale. It should be of no surprise to us that the number one show on television for the last 8 years is music formatted, tours the country city by city and is hosted by a Radio DJ. American Idol is as much a derivative from the radio business as it is anything else. Live and local, format by format radio matters all across America. And, if it's not because of content, consider what it was like to live in America this past summer. From Missouri to Alabama in June. From Washington DC and the Northeast corridor last month, or Texas and San Diego last week. We have had the perfect storm of natural disasters - Tornados, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Floods, wildfires and city wide blackouts - when disaster strikes, the power is out and the cell towers are inoperable - It's live and local broadcasters that matter, and sometimes it's a matter of life and death. No other medium comes close in scale to saving and building community in times of crisis than the live and local content of radio.
One of the key reasons for this is we are mobile. Our one to many technology was designed to be mobile, and it's always been mobile. Today mobile means a lot more because of the explosion newer technology that sometimes confuses the issue as to who invented this technology - we did.
It's our responsibility to be vigilant defenders of our turf. Our distribution strategy can't yield the mobile channel to someone else in the audio space. We don't confuse music collection consumption with live radio, but we shouldn't yield the space either. In 2008 at the RAB conference in Atlanta we set a 5 year goal to have FM radio wherever you find a speaker or headphones. To date FM receivers are in 70% of the MP3 market and growing nicely in smartphones. We need to continue our push here. Consumers embrace new technology and we should embrace them wherever and however they want to get our content. This does not mean one channel replaces another, and anyone who tells you they know where this is all going is just plain crazy - but we know it matters - let's embrace mobile - it's our birthright - let's go out and innovate in this space and create the new frontier for radio -
The scope of what's possible is immense. Song tagging brings us Buy from FM, there's a potential return path for advertisers. We could utilize consumption data for audience measurement. The technology exists to do all of this today. But it is what we choose to unite on and innovate around that will really make mobile matter.
So let's build a common interactive mobile platform for Radio.
Let's continue our push for FM on cellphones
Let's respond in a united way to advertisers who want us to show them the road ahead.
I ask you to keep in mind what matters over the next few days:
Live and Local Content
And let's work together in the longer term to build a bright future for this great medium of ours.
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the Radio Show
The 2011 Radio Show, produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), will be held September 14-16 in Chicago. This year's show brings radio broadcasters and industry colleagues together to share knowledge, discover the latest innovations, network with industry leaders and explore creative business strategies to help radio flourish in the digital age. To learn more about the 2011 Radio Show, visit www.radioshowweb.com.
The Radio Advertising Bureau serves more than 6,000 member Radio stations in the U.S. and over 1,000 member networks, representative firms, broadcast vendors, and international organizations. RAB leads and participates in educational, research, sales, and advocacy programs that promote and advance Radio as a primary advertising medium. Learn more at www.rab.com.
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.