...Speaking of "Influential Man of Truthiness" Stephen Colbert...
He spoke last night (April 29) at the annual White House Correspondent Dinner traditionally spoofing the President, Congress and other governmental and political figures. Hmmm, since when did Colbert actually get correspondent credentials? Anyway...Colbert lampooned George W. Bush in his Colbert Report persona, making #43 and first lady Laura Bush unamused and frowning at the end.
There's a media trend: conservative Republicans don't understand self-depricating humor.
Among the highlight truthiness quips in front of 2700 dinner attendees in DC:
> Urged Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, "and reality has a well-known liberal bias."Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, the Valerie Plame scandal, "photo ops" on aircraft carriers and at hurricane disasters, melting glaciers and Vice President Cheney shooting people in the face. On unauthorized wiretapping, Colbert advised the crowd, "if anybody needs anything at their tables, speak slowly and clearly on into your table numbers and somebody from the N.S.A. will be right over with a cocktail."
> Attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. "This administration is soaring, not sinking," he said. "If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg."
> Told Bush he could end the problem of protests by retired generals by refusing to let them retire. He compared Bush to Rocky Balboa in the "Rocky" movies, always getting punched in the face -- "and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world."
> Turning to the war, he declared, "I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."
Wonder if Colbert will get invited back? Meanwhile, he's a 60 Minutes profile tonight...
For lots more of the scathing "tribute", click here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Sunday, April 30, 2006,
HOWARD STERN: One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2006 (oh, Stephen Colbert, too...)
Howard Stern? As important and influential as Bono, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton?
The same Howard Stern that has long been targeted by conservatives, the FCC and, in general, the humorless (some would say all three are one in the same)?
This week's Time Magazine announced its picks for 100 Most Influential People who shape our world...and Howard Stern -- the new king of satellite radio -- is on the list among artists and entertainment. We'd have to completely agree.
Even though his audience has shrunk considerably since leaving CBS Radio after 20 years this past year (from approximately 20 million listeners nationally to perhaps a million or so weekly) to go to Sirius satellite radio, Stern certainly hasn't disappeared. He's been one of the Internet's most searched celebrities for the past two years and one of the most talked-about personalities on web forums.
In addition to his new uncensored radio show, he launched the uncensored Howard TV On Demand pay-per-view cable and satellite TV channel, offering his fans 40 new shows every month as well as additional TV programming he deems suitable for broadcast.
On Sirius, he actually programs three separate channels -- one for his daily show, one for all-things-Howard news and the last for performers and personalities approved by Howard (such as Bubba the Love Sponge).
This past week also marked the first annual Howard Film Fest in New York City -- Howard's take on the movies he thinks his audience wants to see.
Stern is still multi-media and forging new ground -- like he has done his entire career. He remains innovative and a force. Video never killed the radio star; it only invented Howard Stern.
Oh, by the way...our Truthiness hero Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report also made the list of 100 Most Influential...amazing considering the show has only been on since October. And on basic cable. Must have been his Terror Alerts on bears.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Sunday, April 30, 2006,
Used to be, commercial radio was THE sexy medium, even as it has had to evolve multiple times with every new technological competitive threat. Even when MTV came along, radio stayed sexy and cool because it delivered a unique platiform of programming, humor, access to stars, news, information, entertainment and/or music.
Radio got really sexy even while the Internet was building -- radio was fast and everywhere, the Internet was slow and needed to be wired. While radio groups bought and bought and bought, forming these new massive (and unwieldy) media companies, radio said it finally returned to a level of respectibility and strength it last had pre-TV.
But then three things finally happened, causing the perfect storm for radio: broadband speed, wireless connection...and the iPod. And, after 80 years of evolving and adapting, radio finally got caught, losing its sexy edge and causing radio and media executives to scratch their collective heads, thinking "wah happened?"
Change happened...and another radio evolution is required now in this iPod world.
The NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) spring convention bringing together several thousand new and old media broadcasters from around the world converged for their annual Las Vegas gathering. Among the highlights was the Tuesday Radio keynote speech, delivered by the Wall Street Journal's technology columnist Walt Mossberg.
When someone from the Wall Street Journal actually takes the time to comment about radio, radio fans take notice. He's a smart guy and he keeps tabs on the major and merging media trends and looming threats. So those in the audience at the NAB listened carefully (can you hear the pin drop?)...
In his speech as reported by RAIN, Mossberg urged broadcasters to use all the new technological tools at their disposal, and warned that radio will have to evolve again as radically as it did when it responded to the arrival of television. He does think radio and the this new digitial/iPod world can coexist, just as it has when other new tech gets introduced. “Disruptive technology does enable new forms of media – but history shows us that new media doesn’t kill the old,” Mossberg observed.
However, in Mossberg's words, "Radio needs to use new tools to beat the iPod"...radio's greatest threat.
“We passed a milestone: There are now 50 million iPods out there,” Mossberg said. “What you have to do to confront the iPod and the Internet is to be better at what you do...(Radio is) in the business of producing audio programming, and (it) should be using all the technology at its disposal.”
When TV first became popular in the Milton Berle Age, "radio was totally different then – and it may have to be totally different again.”
Mossberg's final directive said that radio's "job is not just to string together a bunch of songs in a row, but to put on exciting new programming to attract new listeners and beat the iPod.”
Is that possible? Can radio actually beat the iPod? And should it even try? In response to the RAIN article, Joint Communications' CEO John Parikhal wrote in to say:
"Mossberg is a bright guy and he did a great speech. One tin note: Radio can't "beat" the iPod. They have to co-exist.We welcome your comments...
Radio's two core questions are simple McLuhan: "What medium is replacing me; and when I 'reinvent,' what medium will I replace?" That focus allows the industry to target its creativity where it is most likely to bear fruit."
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Sunday, April 30, 2006,
"I read the news today...oh boy" (The Beatles)
Blog popularity keeps rising as a source for people's daily information. The 400th post on the Jointblog is a good one just for those who like getting news from blogs. The Electronic Frontier Foundation keeps busy defending freedom in a digital world.
Spotted this week:
The Pew Internet and American Life project recently published a report regarding how Americans get their news online. According to the report, "Some 50 million Americans turn to the internet for news on a typical day, a new highwater mark for online news-gathering."There are so many great places to get news that matter. Everything on the Jointblog's suggested links are places we read and reference often. And for good twisted stories, there's Fark.com and others. Every day, bloggers are gaining more influence. More and more, mainstream media outlets are looking for the "street" point of view online through places likes blogs...for ideas, gossips, truthiness and sometimes even truth (including whistleblowers).
Moreover, "9% of all internet users have been to news blogs, with 12% of broadband users saying they’ve been to news blogs." A different Pew study shows that 73 percent of adults, or 147 million people, now use the Internet. So that's over thirteen million Americans reading news blogs, with countless more using news blogs around the world.
We're glad to do our part at the Jointblog...400 posts and counting!
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Saturday, April 29, 2006,
The virus is back on the radio. The O&A one. The one that introduced radio fans to terms like "yambags", "balloon knot", "wood floor” and "taint". The faithful Opie and Anthony "pests" are thrilled with the news...and so are the executives at XM radio and CBS Radio (for good reason).
The first official day for Opie & Anthony's morning radio show on CBS Radio was this morning. The show itself was safe and easy, featuring phone interviews with Fear Factor's Joe Rogan and the Catholic League's president Bill Donohue who previously howled 4 years ago with the on-air sex scandal in St. Patrick's Cathedral to drive O&A into broadcast exile but now gives his thumbs-up approval.
There was also congratulations from Don Imus in the Morning and multiple slam quotes from Howard Stern -- the show O&A really replace, not the failed David Lee Roth morning radio attempt.
Not really a memorable show and not really representative of what to expect in the weeks and months ahead. But a good, smart start. Comfort the critics and get used to being back on the FCC-ruled airwaves.
O&A have spent the last 18 months on satellite XM Radio...they were the first true "big names" among radio talent to sign up on either XM or Sirius. Today's beginning broadcast on CBS Radio -- although safe sounding -- truly was groundbreaking, though.
First, it marked a return from terrestrial broadcast exile from nearly 4 years ago which CBS Radio forced by taking O&A off the air after the scandal and holding them to their contract (which prevented them from broadcasting anywhere else).
Second, it places O&A in Howard Stern's old timeslot on broadcast airwaves, not just subscription-only satellite airwaves like Howard has with Sirius.
Third -- and perhaps most significantly -- O&A and radio fans get a blended best of both broadcast worlds. O&A's CBS-based radio show is on weekdays from 6-to-9am while also broadcasting on XM Radio at the same time and then moves over to only XM Radio from 9-noon. So O&A get 6 hours of morning radio airtime, with 3 hours of combined terrestrial and satellite radio audience reach and then 3 more hours of just satellite uncensored cringe radio...another first for XM and O&A...and an important new first for CBS Radio, too.
Howard Stern may have gotten the money by moving exclusively over the Sirius...but Opie & Anthony got what Stern really wanted: the mass reach of mainstream radio and the niche specialized (and uncensored) reach of satellite radio.
As a media trend, expect more cooperative cross-pollination of programming and talent between traditional open radio and new media satellite radio. The walls dividing the media will start to come down...and that is a good thing for radio listeners. Radio is radio, just as Broadcast TV and cable/satellite TV are just TV.
XM radio press release here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, April 26, 2006,
Search marketing is probably the hottest new media trend in the New Entertainment Economy. It is all about consumers seeking more connection, convenience, community and control in their media choices. That is strong content. More and more, they are opting-out with media options don't allow for user customization. And nowhere is that trend more prevelant than new media.
Places like the Internet as well as cable TV, satellite radio and TV give media consumers more options. We consumers have long been voracious media grazers; for the most part, our choice of media pastures have been limited -- especially when compared to billions of webpages on the Internet, the hundreds of channels on cable and satellite TV and satellite radio on Sirius and XM. All this choice is allowing more media grazing on more multi-tasking media platforms simultaneously. And we are eating it all up.
However, all these new choices means we are overloaded. It really is too much for most of us. That's why search marketing is so vital. When it comes down to it, we still want our media to be easy and simple to find. Despite an average of more than 100 cable channels, we still mainly only watch 7. Of the vast amount of radio stations -- either terrestrially or through satellite, we still only listen to mainly 3-to-5 radio stations/channels. There are hundreds and hundreds of magazines yet most only read 2-4 magazines regularly.
Why is this true? Because we only regularly consume media choices that mean something to us.
The same is true of the Internet. The days of just randonly surfing are long gone. Today, we regularly click through to the sites that are likely to deliver the result we seek. And those results are usually found on the first page in the top spots of Google or other search engine recommendations. Those recommendations are trusted.
ComScore Media Metrix' comScore qSearch reports that the total number of searches conducted on Google rose 36 percent to 2.7 billion in March 2006, versus a year ago while searches conducted on Yahoo totaled 1.6 billion, an increase of 8 percent over the prior year. That's a lot of new searches.
ComScore also reports that in March 2006, search with sponsored ads were up 50 percent versus year ago on Google and 30 percent on Yahoo.
Meanwhile, Nielsen/NetRatings finds that Google and Yahoo are outpacing overall search growth and continue to increase in market share. Expect that to continue.
Some recent stats from the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York:
• Leading researchers project a range of 22% to 37% growth in online search ad spending.
• According to the December 2005 BtoB magazine, "72% of senior marketing execs worldwide plan to increase their spending online in 2006."
• A 2004 Advertising.com study showed 61% of marketers considered the Internet an effective media for providing measurable ROI.
• In 2005 the estimated spend for search advertising was $5 billion. In 2009, the number is expected to double to $10 billion.
For consumers, search delivers specific, relevant information consumers are looking for —- just when they need it. For advertisers, search delivers quantifiable results and a positive ROI -- meaning investments in search ad marketing track performance in real-time and can be modified immediately while still active (instead of having to wait weeks after a campaign to determine results and effectiveness).
Referring to a December 2005 SEMPO study, the number one reason advertisers use search marketing today is to increase brand awareness...followed closely for selling brand awareness. Search engine advertising is both a direct response and branding tool.
iProspect and Enquiro (as well as others) say in separate studies natural organic search results are the most relevant and trustworthy. MarketingSherpa.com (note: an excellent resource for marketers, by the way) says in a 2005 report "organic SEO gets a higher conversion rate than does sponsored search."
That's why the Joint Communications devotes its online brand building maximizing organic search results...
At the conference, Hitwise discussed the insight gained about brands just by looking at search term data. In essence, they say that high-ranking organic search terms linked to the webiste defines the brand; lower-ranking organic search terms are also lower-ranking brand-associated terms.
So how are you doing with your own organic search brand building?
reference SearchEngineWatch article here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, April 26, 2006,
If you are trying to optimize your website's search ranking results, here's a quick housekeeping post for the Jointblog which may interest you.
Regular readers of the Jointblog may know this is a Joint Communications experiment for online brand building. The goal is to share ideas, articles and thought pieces on media trend watching in a commercial-free environment while simultaneously creating maximum presence on the web. With or without an advertising budget, the best way for readers/users to find a site online is to specifically construct the media design as well as organic search engine optimization with stuff people want.
So, how are we doing so far? We welcome your comments, suggestions and tips to help us make this the best site possible.
According to Alexa.com (the web tracking site), we have nearly 5,000 sites pointing links to us, including such esteemed places as CNN, MSNBC, Google Finance, BusinessWeek and media trade magazine sites, too.
In general, our stat counter shows us 72% of the Jointblog readership is from the US. About 10% comes from Canada. 2% from the U.K. and 6% from the rest of Europe. 3% comes from Australia and the remaining 7% comes from Asia (4%) as well as Latin America (3%).
Most use Internet Explorer 6.0 as their browser, followed distantly by Safari 1.2 and then Firefox 1.5. Opera and Netscape are much further behind in usage.
The most popular screen resolution size is 1024x768...an important thing to know for your website's design. The Jointblog and the JointCommunications.com home site are designed knowing how the webpages fill that size of screen...a good tip for your own designs.
How do people find us? Through search engines, mainly from Google (the #1 search engine presently), followed by Yahoo and MSN (although our SEO on other engines like Ask, Dogpile, Clusty, Lycos, AllTheWeb and AltaVista -- and others -- is also strong).
So, exactly how are we doing with actual organic search engines performance? Our targeted keywords help shape the kind of content we include on the sites; hopefully the search engines take notice. Let's check it out. Online, this is our brand identity...
As previously reported, we've been #1 for Joint Communications, Jointblog (also Top 8 of 10) and for Media Trend Watching (Top 2) for some time now.
Joint Communications is now #1 for Radio Media Strategy, #1 for Radio Market Research Consulting, #5 for Joint Consulting and #7 for Radio Consulting.
Also, we're on the Google front page for I Just Can't Quit You (#2), Truthiness Trend (#1, #2 and #10), and Katie Couric Legs (#6).
What's pleases us so much about these rankings (and from the list below) is that they are a direct result from posted content and not advertising. As well as the interest from others linking to our site and individual articles (which we encourage you to do as well). Substance is still effective when it comes to optimizing search engines.
Some new searches (as of April 21, 2006 (most have increased since this published date, according to Google) (go ahead and try them out yourself):
-- #1 for Radio Consulting Trend and #1 for Radio Consulting Trends
-- #1 for Radio Media Strategy
-- #1 and #2 for spoof media trend (#4 and #9 for spoof media trends)
-- #1 and #4 for Joint Media Trend (#1 for Joint Media Trends)
-- #1 and #7 for Truthiness Media Trend (#2 and #13 for Truthiness Media Trends)
-- #2 for Radio Media Trend and #10 for Radio Media Trends
-- #2 for I Just Can't Quit You
-- #2, #3 and #5 for Viral Video Media Trend while still #2, #3 and #10 for Viral Video Media Trends
-- #3 for Media Strategy Trend and #5 for Media Strategy Trends
-- #3, #4 and #5 for Truthiness Trend
-- #4 for Cellphone Media Trend (#34 for Cellphone Media Trends)
-- #5 for Howard Stern Media Trend (#9 for Howard Stern Media Trends)
-- #6 for Sirius XM Trend (#4 for Sirius XM Trends)
-- #6 and #7 for MySpace Media Trend and #21 for MySpace Media trends
-- #7 for AOL Media Trend and #43 for AOL Media Trends
-- #7 for Viral Video Trend...but #6 and #7 for Viral Video Trends
-- #8 for iPod Media Trend (#37 for iPod Media Trends)
-- #9 for Podcast Media Trend and #59 for Podcast Media Trends
-- #11 for Radio Market Research Consulting
-- We are now #12 for Media Trend
-- #12 for radio market research trend and #19 for Radio Market Research Trends
-- #12 for Market Research Media Trend and #47 for Market Research Media Trends
-- #12 for Yahoo Media Trend and #64 for Yahoo Media Trends
-- #13 for Joint Consulting
-- #13 for Google Media Trend (#63 for Google Media Trends)
-- #16 for Apple Media Trend (but #58 for Apple Media Trends)
-- #21 for Radio Consulting
We're thrilled! All these keyword search phrases show examples of our brand building with the Jointblog.
Meanwhile, we're still #10 for Katie Couric legs and #8 for Katie Courics legs. Very good, considering it is one of the web's most search keywords this month...and that's just from only one Jointblog posting.
Just keeping a leg up on search...and the search goes on...
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Saturday, April 22, 2006,
Great content wins, poor content drifts away...looks like RothRadio offically fits the later. And this billboard at the left now is a sign of nostalgia.
Thursday (4/20), it was announced the David Lee Roth morning show on Free FM will soon end and get replaced by radio bad boys Opie and Anthony (currently on XM Radio). For months, the blogs and online radio forums have been busy posting their opinions -- (mostly) slamming CBS Radio and the awfulness of Roth Radio. So have the newspaper tabloids tracking the radio beat. But the worse critics often are Free FM's own radio jocks, making it almost a subversive inner-family soap opera we get to witness as listeners.
UPDATE: This morning (4/21), Roth wrapped up his show for the final time, saying “It’s official, today is my last day." That's how DLR opened his show...by saying goodbye. He continued to say he was informed of his dismissal “in the car on the way to work today,” Diamond Dave also said the parting was not amicable: "I was booted, tossed and it’s going to cost somebody.”
According to Billboard Monitor, Roth quipped that he and his “legal team of Darth Vader” planned to meet today with CBS officials to “settle like gentleman or start World War 9.” Roth said he has retained the same legal team employed by Howard Stern, whom he replaced on January 3rd. Laying his legal case, Roth claims he gave up considerable touring money to take a job with CBS, but also said he wanted to continue in radio, hinting that television or satellite radio are future possibilities. “I have a shout-out to Sirius," Roth said.
Finally, mercifully, it is done.
Roth Radio really has been car wreck radio. And Free FM's jocks have been "freely" agreeing.
Wednesday morning in the 2am hour (4/20), overnighters Jake and Jackie were reading all the articles in the New York Post and Wall Street Journal, inviting listers to make their comments. Meanwhile, Jake and Jackie continued their regular pointed criticisms and insults to their own employers, including CBS CEO Les Moonves and CBS Radio CEO Joel Hollander. While they are expected to be edgy and "free" with their opinions, it's amazing the station's own talent are allowed (even encouraged, perhaps, from lack of controls) to define entertainment as "biting the hand that feeds you." Maybe they simply are following the lead of defacto mentor CBS's David Letterman -- he's been playfully making Moonves his foil for years.
Listening to the Booker Show this hour Thursday night (4/20), I heard this from a listener, wondering: "When Opie and Anthony start on Free FM in mornings, does that mean the station's new name will be called 'Free XM'"?
Another question...can FM radio and XM radio (old media and new media) mate and produce healthy ratings? One to watch...
One last question here...is this the first visible step regarding those rumors of CBS acquiring XM?
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Thursday, April 20, 2006,
There's been a lot of screwed up mornings for the commute into work since Howard Stern left in December.
And CBS Radio hasn't helped the process at all lately. Maybe now it's making corrections.
Looks like the David Lee Roth morning show debacle with CBS Radio on Free FM is finally about to end with "cringe" radio masters Opie & Anthony replacing Roth in seven markets. Perhaps before the end of the month. Of course, this car wreck of a radio show following the legacy of Howard Stern never should have happened in the first place.
Which means after a four-year exile, O&A return to broadcasting on public airwaves on the remnants of the old Howard Stern network, getting syndicated on 7 CBS Radio stations (their old employer) while continuing to broadcast on XM (reports are that they will do 3 hours on CBS Radio requiring adherance to FCC restrictions and then they'll walk over a couple of blocks to the NYC XM studios to do two more uncensored hours on XM only.
According to reports by the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), New York Post as well as trade papers Radio and Records, fmqb.com, Inside Radio, Billboard Radio Airplay and others, Roth -- after battling over creative control with CBS Radio management the entire run of his show -- may be out in a few days (although Roth didn't mention it this morning). Replacing him mornings on flagship radio station WFNY in New York (and syndicated on other CBS Radio East Coast stations) is reported to be Opie & Anthony. If the reports are true and David Lee Roth will be leaving, will DLR go out swinging?
Expect some explosive content before he goes (or at least major lawsuits)...
O&A have been on XM Radio for the past couple years after they got fired (well, banished is a better word) from broadcast radio after their infamous "Sex with Sam" in St. Patrick's Cathedral on-air stunt while doing afternoons on CBS Radio's WNEW when it was Hot Talk. If this happens, O&A would keep broadcasting their XM Radio broadcast High Voltage show, with the CBS Radio broadcast cleaned up for public airwaves and the XM show continuing edit-free.
This would make the first major show simulcast co-op between public broadcast "terrestrial" radio and satellite radio. The Wall Street Journal is reporting O&A "would promote XM on air to CBS's listeners"...something that was a definite no-no for Stern when he was preparing to leave. Instead of being able to say Sirius Radio, he had to say "eh-eh-eh".
I am a fan of Opie & Anthony. In fact, O&A attracts a crowd of fervent faithful listeners that never gave up on them, despite being forced to sit out the old CBS Radio contract from almost 2 years after their exile. They have many on-line forum chat sites (here and here) talking all things O&A. And their favorite midweek activity is still Whip Em Out Wednesdays.
Personally, I think David Lee Roth was a planned (and unproductive) trial balloon. Let's be real...the spotlight would have been on heavy for anyone attempting to fill in Howard Stern's shoes. And I don't care who you were...any replacement for Stern would have had less ratings. Howard was #1 in all his markets. No one walks in, takes Stern place and holds his ratings. So, if you are into playing chess, why not find a pawn like David Lee Roth and let him take the transitional heat replacing a legend. He knows how to be in the spotlight...let him be a wildcard. If he works, you get credited for being a genius. If not (which was predicted by most analysts), CBS Radio gets to say "Hey, at least we tried something different...since it didn't work, let's bring the former #1 afternoon show for men in New York and Boston."
I have to believe Opie & Anthony were always the insurance policy. Or maybe I'm giving them too much credit. Do any of us have reason to be cynical about corporate media?
Aware or not, what CBS Radio is doing is the first of what should be several major backtracks to correct previous mistakes, especially in New York City.
First, legendary Rock station WNEW switched to Hot Talk, completely mismanaging it (making it vulnerable to rising FCC concern with over-the-line crude content). The O&A scandal basically killed the hot talk format on WNEW, forcing several format changes (none of them found success). Then they starved their Alt Rock format KRock while losing Stern to Sirius, forcing another format change (to Free FM after Stern left). And last summer, they killed a still-popular WCBS Oldies 101FM (one of the first oldies stations in the country), replacing it for the tiresome, boring and failing Jack FM.
Morning radio -- when it's great -- is an intimate thing. You listen while starting your day -- when the alarm goes off, during the 3 S's (sh$%, shower and shave) and that long commute into work. We listen while we organize our thoughts, preparing for another day. We rely on great morning shows to entertain and inform us and maybe even be the funniest thing that happens to us for the day. Anytime we get screwed around with our morning listening habits and routines, it is really destablizing. We are forced into finding a new show and create a new relationship to fit our routine.
On the one hand, I applaud CBS Radio for willing to try something new with an eye to the future even if it kills off stations still generating strong affection from listeners in the present. Not an easy decision to do that because it is an easy way to invite criticism, making success more difficult.
Radio used to be the medium of experimentation. Fresh content ideas, formats, promotions and shows...usually radio would be the place where it would be tried first. Why? Because it's always been the easiest medium. Pre-production time and costs are minimal; for the most part, a new idea can be tried on-air simply by turning on the microphone and letting it happen. If it works, you know quickly by listener response. If it doesn't, fine...you dump it and move on with something else new. On NYC-based Free FM, there are several radio shows to check out: Elvis & JV middays and The Radio Chick afternoons are particularly great. The Booker Show evenings is hit & miss but at least tries to entertain while late night Jake and Jackie are the snarkiest of the bunch; both these shows have mastered podcast and MySpace self-promotion and listener viral buzz connections. Even the Penn Jillette and Jim Cramer one-hour weekday shows are at least worthwhile to check now and then.
So, CBS Radio deserves some credit for at least trying. Right? Right?
That's where I have to look at my other hand. Did they really try in mornings to make it work? Or is this just another example of corporate media manipulation? Was it an intended failure to bridge the gap and create some fall guy buffering? Although DLR's ego may have dinged up a bit, he still comes out on top: higher profile for his new CD countrifying classic Van Halen tracks; he has management to blame (while management can equally point the point finger back at DLR); and he still collects a sizeable chunk of that reported $4 million contract.
As for us: How many times have we -- as radio listeners -- invested our media entertainment commitments to shows only to have the corporate masters pull the plug or screw it up? How many times do radio and TV shows tease us, promote us, seduce us, hook us into a relationship that they ultimately walk away from, leaving us hanging and jilted?
Great...you're bringing back Opie & Anthony...and they'll stay for how long?...and do you think it will be sooner, later, or sooner than sooner that the FCC watchdogs will be setting up their Offensive Monitoring Brigade...and who thinks its an easy wager O&A will impact the content of the rest of the Free FM shows toward more boundary-crossing, meaning the FCC's Kevin Martin just got handed a new giftbag? And just who will pay that fine price?
Continuing Media Trend: Media manipulates its audience without care to consequences. Why? Because we let them.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Thursday, April 20, 2006,
Why does Joint Communications do the Jointblog? It's THE way to get thoughts, observations and insights onto the web and out to a vast possible audience. We are not alone with that opinion.
At the pace in which new blogs are created, the blogosphere doubles in size every six months, according to Technorati founder and CEO David Sifry in part one of his "State of the Blogosphere, April 2006".
Since 2003, the blogosphere has experienced a doubling in size about every six months to reach a currently tracked 35.3 million Weblogs. In the past three years, the number of blogs tracked has grown over 60 times its size.
Technorati estimates over 75,000 new Weblogs are created each day. Blog creation is one part of the equation, continued posting is another. About 19.4 million bloggers (55 percent) still maintain their blogs with new posts after three months of blogging. Sifry estimates that three months prior to pulling the data, the rate of bloggers who continue to maintain their blog after three months was about 50.5 percent or 13.7 million bloggers. While not all bloggers write regularly, about 3.9 million update their blogs at least weekly.
Meanwhile, MediaWeek says 2005 was officially the best year in the history of Web advertising, with revenues topping the $12 billion mark last year, according to finalized figures released Thursday by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, up a healthy 30% from the previous year.
Here on the ad-free Jointblog, we add posts whenever we see something worthwhile. Mainly there are daily posts...and that is good when you want strong search rankings.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Thursday, April 20, 2006,
Growing media trend: Bloggers building a case to be classified as credible news media reporters for "free press" rights.
The Jointblog supports this position. It's another reason to support the concept of "Net Neutrality" (here and here). More and more grassroots, street-level news (ignored or unpursued by the mainstream media) is delivered by blogging whistle blowers (sometimes by sources whom want to remain anonymous). Sometimes the publically-traded corporations (like Apple or Microsoft, Viacom, etc.) benefit from the free publicity and word-spreading; sometimes they lose control of information they don't want known. However, to have one, we must have the other; otherwise, it doesn't work. If corporate or government secrets are sometimes exposed for the public good, isn't that a good thing to have? Isn't that the Darwinian nature of capitalism in America?
This Thursday, a California appeals court will hear arguments in a two-year-old case aimed at determining whether California's reporter shield law applies to bloggers.
The case pits Apple Computer against bloggers, who published details about a new product known as "Asteroid." Apple didn't sue the bloggers themselves, but submitted subpoenas to the online ISP and publishing carriers of the blogs in an attempt to discover the identity of the leaker.
Unlike the federal government, California long ago passed a shield law stating that reporters can't be held in contempt for refusing to divulge their sources. Logically, it's hard to see why that law wouldn't apply to bloggers as well as traditional journalists, but the justice system often moves slower than technology, and the issue remains unclear.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has taken up the cause and will argue that bloggers and other online journalists are as entitled as their ink-stained counterparts to keep confidential sources private.
You can see their side of the issue here and read a related article here.
In a country that supposedly protects its citizen's rights, its Bill of Rights and its Constitution as the highest standard under God, let's hope the court remembers not to be divisible. Corporate America already holds too much power as it is.
A blogger's private stash is sacred territory...don't mess with the private stash! The digital freedom of bloggers within the law is essential, including keeping its ability to speak and protect the truth. Especially for stories based in truthiness...
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, April 18, 2006,
Corporations are not exactly known for being delicate...that's why they hire PR firms and lawyers...
Found a story first on Reveries Extra Texture, which got it from the AppleInsider. Most public companies have PR problems time to time, some more than others. What made this article so surprising is that it was a PR problem from Apple. It's been such a long time since Apple Computers have had ANY bad press...they're media darlings, tech gadget darlings, Wall Street darlings. We here at the Jointblog drank the Apple Kool Aid a very long time ago (for me, going back to 1977's Apple II, where I quickly tossed my Tandy and Commodore).
Apple apparently replied to a 9-year-old girl's handwritten letter offering improvements for the iPod (she loves her Nano and just wanted song lyrics viewable) as part of a school assigment and, after a 3-month-long wait, received a cold letter in return from Apple's legal department. The story serves as a reminder to ask yourself "When was the last time we checked the corporate response policies?" With so many corporate communications handled electronically and automatically -- everything from resume receipts to customer commentaries -- it makes sense to periodically test the system with "What ifs" to see how the system works -- or doesn't.
It used to be that stories like this would NEVER see the light of day; now every story is a media story.
From the AppleInsider:
Apple Computer recently held a meeting to discuss changes to its corporate policy after the company sent an upsetting legalese reply to a third-grade girl who had hand-written a letter to chief executive Steve Jobs with her thoughts on improving the iPod.Now, let's be real here: no 9-year-old would be that upset with a 3-month-old letter CEO reply long forgotten by her. No way. From Hilary Duff, then maybe. My guess? The mom was the true upset one...using her daughter to get on the local news. "How dare they treat my daughter this way! I'll show them...where's my makeup and my yoga outfit? George, call The Investigators at channel 5!"
When 9-year-old Shea O'Gorman and her third-grade class began learning about writing business and formal letters, she thought who better to write to than the chief executive of the company that makes her iPod nano.
In her letter to Mr. Jobs, little Shea offered her ideas on how the company could improve on its iPod digital music players, such as adding song lyrics so listeners can sing along to their tunes.
After waiting nearly three months, Shea finally received a reply from Apple's Cupertino, Calif.-based headquarters, and the entire family gathered around to read it.
To the dismay of Shea and her family, the letter wasn't from Mr. Jobs. It was from Mark Aaker, Senior Council of the company's Law Department, telling the third-grader that Apple doesnt accept unsolicited ideas, so she should not send them her suggestions and if she wants to know why, she could read their legal policy posted on the Internet.
"She was very upset, and kinda threw the letter up in the air and ran in her room and slammed her door," the girl's mother told CBS 5 News.
Of course, Apple's policy was instated to protect the company -- and anyone who submits ideas to the company -- from ending up in a costly legal spat if similar ideas are ever adopted into future Apple products. However, you'd think the handwriting of a 9-year-old may have drawn company's lighter side.
Or is that just cynical of me...
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, April 17, 2006,
The corporate radio trend of "Jack FM" (and all the clones) seems to be on the wane. For the past 3-4 years, radio stations have been jettisoning heritage formats that were deemed either to be under-performing or having weak future potential to increase ratings and revenue. In place of the old format (usually Oldies), a "new" format intended to capture the huge "variety" found on individual iPods. Jack, Bob, Mike, Ben, Dave...they all try to position themselves as the "We Play Anything" local radio station. "No downloading required." "We play want we want." "We take requests...ours."
Nationally, these formats popped up first in Canada -- some with huge success, some not. The US picked it up a couple of years ago. Again, some hits, some flops (kinda like how the format actually sounds with the songs that are played). 2005 seems to have been the peak year for these format flips...there really hasn't been much new action since CBS Radio's flips in Chicago, LA and New York last spring and summer. Like in Canada, the US entries have a mixed bag of success (with a lot of disappointing results). Some don't have live DJs, some do. They all try to play a wider range of music styles than most other narrowly-programmed commercial radio formats which forgot how to program with passion and listener surprise decades ago.
One common result: a lot of people saying Jack is not like "my" iPod. This seems particularly true in market research as well as with online blogs and radio fan forums across the country. Sure, some markets love Jack's dry "I'm an ass...you're going to listen to me and like it" personality and ratings zoom huge. In their own way, they like how it "sounds" anti-corporate. In some markets, though, Jack just sounds like an ass and a complete corporate lie.
When launched, Jack tries to attract the "whatever" crowd. After not much time at all, many listeners start to say, "Whatever, later." And that is happening more and more lately.
Last August, my favorite newspaper (and "America's Finest", or so it says) The Onion published a story by a writer saying how his local Jack was not the iPod he was told he was getting. It's an achival story...but it still resonates, especially as the Jack movement may be on the quick downslide...
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Friday, April 14, 2006,
Building brands online requires a dedication to three important words: search engine optimization. Also known as SEO. You're optimized for search engines if you consistently place at or near the top rankings for your important search terms. For example, the Jointblog implements SEO strategies successfully. We are #1 (and often #2, #3, #4, etc., depending on the search engine) for Joint Communications, Jointblog, Media Trend Watching, Chris Kennedy Trends, John Parikhal, Radio Research Strategy and several others.
Organic (or unpaid) SEO is a big buzzword for anyone building brands online. Publishing strong content makes a huge difference in how websites turn up in page rankings when people search through Google, Yahoo, MSN and the others. Search engine sypders and searchbots constantly troll the web looking for valuable content to index. The engines want content turning up matching results for its search users. Meaning sites that actively publish custom content get spotted more often by the search engines. Matching popular search keywords makes your site even more important and effective for rankings.
Encourage linking. We do at the Jointblog. If you like something we publish, go ahead and link to our site and reference what we publish (all we ask for is proper credit). Place us in your favorite links you recommend to to your site's readers. Search engines love this kind of linking structure. The fact we reference our sources to the originator's linking webpage is not only the right thing to do, it is also good SEO.
In addition to the search engines, specialized blog search engines for Blogger, Technorati, Bloglines (and more) link in and we get people linking to our articles on Fark, the Howard Stern fan site called Wackbag, Google Finance, Reveries Cool News newsletters, and hundreds of others (we thank you all).
Good quality original content will generate incoming links and drive targeted web traffic to your website fast. This is the kind of activity search engines love, and would in turn lead to higher web page ranking and increase in web traffic. This is what we continuing doing at the Jointblog.
Thanks for reading and for linking.
Of course, including gratuitous hot lesbian babes from The Howard Stern Show also help...
See? It really is about convenience, connection, user control, community, care for the customer...well, you know, like the graphics says at the start of the post.
For continuing SEO talk, here's another article.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Friday, April 14, 2006,
The big question in this iPod era: will The Beatles ever make their music available for downloads online? That question may be ready for a huge affirmative answer.
After years of refusing to take part in the Internet music boom, The Beatles may finally sell their songs online.
REUTERS is reporting that the Beatles are getting ready to offer their music via legal digital downloads for the first time, citing a written statement to the High Court in London by former Beatles road manager and Apple Corps Managing Dir. Neil Aspinall that says the songs are being remastered and "I think it would be wrong to offer downloads of the old masters when I am making new masters.... It would be better to wait and try to do them both simultaneously so that you then get the publicity of the new masters and the downloading, rather than just doing it ad hoc."
A spokesman for Apple Corps confirmed the statement and said that the company is preparing online Beatles offerings with "no firm date on any of this at the moment." The Beatles have yet to offer legal digital downloads of their music; the band and Apple Corps is suing computer maker and iTunes operator Apple over the use of the "Apple" name and logo for iTunes, with a decision pending this month.
Despite being high-profile holdouts (the highest of high-profile acts) from online music availability, The Beatles still delivered sales of $1.1 billion last year. Amazing for a band that broke up thirty-six years ago. Imagine how much they'll sell to load up iPods. The Beatles For Sale.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Thursday, April 13, 2006,
Although his traditional audience may be smaller, the Howard Stern effect continues to transform listening.
An estimated 2 million of Stern's former CBS Radio audience have come with him to Sirius satellite radio. The 10-15 million that haven't joined him (yet) are jumping to other radio stations they never listened to before. Some stayed and started listening to Stern's replacement (David Lee Roth, Rover or Adam Corolla). Some just turned off the radio altogether. Ratings are down for all radio stations that used to carry his broadcast.
The Stern Effect is altering the way people listen to radio, more so than any radio personality ever. Last month, Howard TV (an uncensored pay-per-view presentation of his daily radio show) was launched on cable systems and hotel rooms across the nation. Cablevision's OptimumOnline reports they had 5,000 people sign up for the HTVOD subscription within the first 2 days alone, surpassing expectations.
On the Internet, people are making unauthorized podcast recordings of Stern's satellite show and sharing/trading them online as peer2peer files on services like Limewire.
Considering his continued huge search buzz online and he was Entertainment Weekly's cover boy last week, the King of All Media is still exerting his power over his kingdom.
Stern is also drawing huge new web traffic to SiriusRadio.com
THANKS LARGELY TO THE HIRING of Howard Stern, web traffic to Sirius Satellite Radio grew a healthy 188 percent year-over-year, increasing from 666,000 unique visitors in March 2005 to 1.9 million in March 2006, Nielsen//NetRatings reported Wednesday. Upon Stern's January debut, the Sirius main site traffic surpassed XM Satellite Radio's web site traffic for the first time, drawing 2.3 million unique visitors compared to XM's 1.6 million. Sirius continued to outpace its primary competitor online in February and March.
The Howard Stern Effect continues to surge...
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Thursday, April 13, 2006,
More Americans are rapidly making the switch from dial-up to broadband...but nearly as fast as 11 other high-speed countries. According to the latest estimates from Nielsen/NetRatings, the number of active U.S. broadband users who access the network from home increased 28 percent year-over-year, growing from 74.3 million in February 2005 to 95.5 million in February 2006. Time Warner sees this growth as a major initiative opportunity to expand its Interactive TV plans later this year ("Is Interactive TV Over-hyped?").
However, despite this rapid broadband growth, the U.S. continues to lag behind Europe and Asia in adopting broadband connections as a percentage of population, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (as read in yesterday's RedHerring) (subscriber log-on required). The most recent figures from December 2005 put the U.S. 12th among industrialized nations, with just 16.8 broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants. Iceland is the category's new leader, overtaking the top spot from tech-happy South Korea. In fact, Northern Europe filled seven of the top ten results. Canada -- an early investor in broadband and digital wireless tech -- remains strong in the Top 10.
In a report from the Wall Street Journal, high speed connections mean more to a nation's economy than faster downloads and better quality streaming video: "the quality of communication networks is a major determinant of productivity growth, allowing products and services to be made more efficiently and opening up new markets.
The big reason why the U.S. lags behind so many countries for broadband penetration? In the U.S., broadband development is mainly a private enterprise...while in most other countries, broadband access and infrastructure costs are offset by government investment.
Does this contribute to the increasing perception of an offshore tech gap? Quite possibly. It surely encourages more and more foreign outsourcing as communication paths speed up on the information superhighway.
Red Herring article here
WSJ.com article available with subscriber log-on
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, April 12, 2006,
Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has surged in web popularity (one of the quickest hit sites in web history)...becoming a must-see watercooler destination for "viral videos". It's free to view, download and pass along to friends. Sound like another peer2peer model that got into trouble a few years ago? You remember them...the original Napster. Is YouTube just another example of the same file sharing model...only easier and more transparent?
YouTube is definitely hot, having spawned several new fresh video services (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.), but some critics wonder if the video sharing site is walking the same thin line as Napster, the first peer-to-peer file sharing service. We all know what happened there. RIAA and MPAA lawsuits. Congressional hearings. Metallica gets pissed off. Then Napster is banned and shut down.
Just as Napster made it easy for users to download free music, YouTube makes it easy to download free video. In its own way, it is a fresh (and better) version of 'America's Funniest Home Videos' combined with 'Entertainment Tonight' -- perfect for our short attention spans to give us a wide view into pop culture on the street level.
Often, the posted videos belong to copyright holders. YouTube doesn't police the site for copyrighted content, but it has adhered to requests from media companies to remove clips belonging to them (see NBC's demand to have SNL's "Lazy Sunday" parody pulled). YouTube hasn't been sued yet; in fact, many Hollywood studios have described YouTube as a "good corporate citizen." Which is interesting considering how content protection advocates were only 7 short years ago when it was still a dial-up world and not the high-speed world like today. Also curious is how corporate media masters apparently give YouTube a thumbs-up despite the abundance of pornographic material on the site.
Certainly a media trend worth watching to see how it plays out for long-term acceptibility.
Currently, YouTube users are posting 35,000 new videos daily at the site and watching more than 35 million videos per day...proof positive that high-speed broadband has demand and word-of-mouth watercooler talk has a new destination (and it's not on old TV, either). Viral video file sharing looks to be a long lasting media trend.
As long as YouTube's marketing/promotional value remains higher than content owner's concern for cash royalities, YouTube (and the rest) will be around much longer than the original Napster. February's failed Perfect 10 court ruling protecting Google's caching of search images only reinforces YouTube's positive position.
Makes you wonder...will YouTube get hit like Napster someday...will it remain best buds with corporate media...or is it neither/something else? We'll be watching...
related C|net article here
related AP article here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, April 11, 2006,
Some media trends evolve while others remain the same. Katie Couric broke through the news anchor glass ceiling last week with her announcement she's leaving NBC's Today Show after 15 years to become the news anchor for CBS's Evening News come June 1st...the first time a woman will be the solo anchor of a network news broadcast. A significant achievement in the male-dominated news industry.
So what were Katie Couric fans searching for online? Her legs. I caught this blurb in yesterday's Broadcast & Cable:
As the frenzied speculation over Katie Couric's likely departure from Today began to boil over in the weeks leading up to her announcement last Wednesday, some Katie watchers were apparently already missing her -- or at least her most famous pair of assets. According to the online-measurement company Hitwise, Internet search terms that included the words "Katie Couric" spiked in the four-week period that ended April 1. In a ranking of the most popular search terms, "katie couric leg pictures" was No. 3 while "photos of katie couric's legs" came in at No. 6.Over at Yahoo's Buzz Index, Katie Couric's legs were getting all the attention for search, where her gams were #1 over Britney, Jessica Simpson and Beyonce, among others. Is that the real reason Katie was hired by Les Moonves instead of Meredith Vieira? Did she win by just a leg? Will Katie be showing her legs during the broadcast? Are they insured more than Tina Turner's? I guess CBS just wanted to get a leg up on their competition...
Of course, people do have some strange searches, too...some may want for her to deliver the news sleeveless. No. 7 on the Hitwise list: "katie couric's biceps."
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, April 10, 2006,