Radio rules …. but why now?

oldradioradioradioThe launch of Digital Radio in Adelaide this week highlighted some outdated rules. An expert from one of the AM stations that is now available on Digital was asked by a listener if her reception would improve.

Of course he said as long as she was in their broadcast area. The listener lives about 30 kms from the centre of Adelaide but on the wrong side of the Hills. The Station has the equipment to enable broadcasting into that area … but the licence from the Federal Govt prohibits it. It seems her area belongs to a provincial station 70 kms away!

How antiquated are these rules that are there to protect stations that have a focus that is not in sync with changing demographics.

The listener lives 10 kms from the tower that transmits the new digital signal but must still listen to the “rural” programming from the station that does not have the ability or desire to broadcast in digital.

I am sure 50 years or more ago when the rules were established it was important to give stations protected broadcast areas to ensure financial viability … but with changes in technology it does seem outdated.

People around the world can listen to any radio station they like on the Internet so why this ongoing protectionism of broadcast.

Another classic example that Govt in Australia does not get new technology all that well … and is stuck doing what they always did to make sure we get what we always got … which is generally not what we want or deserve!

Radio and the Internet are the perfect combo of media … would be great to see Radio now embrace Social Media as well … there are many great applications for it too!!

Does Joe get it…… or is it me …. again??

twitI often say about all manner of things that surround me, “I don’t get it”. What I mean is I don’t understand why people like something including some commonly held views, which I don’t find at all appealing.

So when I read a headline “Report Claims Social Media Fails” on Media Post on Monday my first reaction was “I don’t get it” ….but in fact it seems the author Joe Mandese is the one who “don’t get it.”

When I referred my daughter and colleague Nikki to the story to consider for the eBook we are writing “The Grumpy Old Man’s Guide to Social Media,” she was instantly dismissive  – “You should know research can prove anything … just ask the right questions.”

Joe tells us Social Media fails as a marketing medium, “Among other things, the study finds that less than 5% of social media users regularly turn to these social networks for ‘guidance on purchase decisions” in any of nine product and/or service categories, and that only 16% of social media users say they are more likely to buy from companies that advertise on social sites.”

Of course people don’t turn to it for that specific purpose. However like TV, radio and newspapers they are indirectly influenced by opinion, editorial and of course to some extent advertising. So while people use Social Media for a variety of reasons, as they do traditional media, it does result in the development of Word-of-Mouth from the opinions they read …. from real people.

A newspaper reporting a movie or restaurant review, a story about a holiday destination, the latest food/diet craze etc will cause some Word-of-Mouth and hence marketing for the business/brand/product concerned.

What Social Media delivers is a diversity of views/opinions/recommendations well beyond those provided by those paid for their opinions.

He also believes advertising on Social Media sites is a waste of time – “only 16% are more likely to buy from companies that advertise on social sites.” Firstly in terms of advertising I think that’s not a bad result and one that is highly dependent on the matching of advertising with sites. Personally I find much of the advertising on the Net to be doing nothing more than filling in space. But if it was relevant to what I am looking for on the site they attract my interest.

And then I find, “‘Obviously, a lot of people are using Social Media, but they are not explicitly turning to it for marketing purposes or for finding out what products to buy. It’s really about connecting with friends or connecting with other people,” says Dave Tice, vice president and group account director at Knowledge Networks and the top analyst behind the report. “What we’re seeing is that word-of-mouth is still the No. 1 most influential source, followed by TVetc …”

So Word-of-Mouth is No. 1 but Social Media, which, as Dave says, is about “connecting with friends or connecting with other people” doesn’t rate.

I don’t get it …. Social Media clearly creates Word-of-Mouth which is the No 1 marketing tool but Social Media fails… so after all it’s me that “doesn’t get it” or am I just biased.

Please let me know what you think here or on Twitter @enovapr.