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Stations Explore Value, Ideas

If your business is looking for genuine answers to tomorrow’s questions, two back-to-back sessions this afternoon offer insight into this world of new media.

“The future of radio” is a phrase being heard again and again as radio business leaders look for new concepts and technology amid changing tides. If your business is looking for genuine answers to tomorrow’s questions, two back-to-back sessions this afternoon offer insight into this world of new media.

“Monetizing Your Streaming,” 1–2 p.m., looks at the emerging need for online radio broadcasting and how to make it profitable.

Join Zachary Lewis of Liquid Compass to discover the direction of tomorrow’s streaming media; tools for capitalizing on this venture such as ad replacement and branded media players; and some important dos and don’ts of selling.

Lewis sees a broad acceptance of ad replacement technology in the radio industry, and how it benefits an individual station’s bottom line.

“Now that stations are effectively replacing their on-air commercial inventory with targeted Internet-only commercials and making enough money to cover their costs for streaming, we get asked more and more, ‘What else can I do to reach my financial goals for my station.’”

The solution is branded media players; custom-designed, interactive billboards that stream content while promoting the station’s brand as well as the advertiser’s. Expect to learn plenty about pricing models, sales concepts and sales packages that entice advertisers.

“Creating Radio’s Interactive Future,” 2:15–3:15 p.m., will concentrate on building long-term, profitable marketing campaigns that blend with traditional media, to the benefit of your advertisers and audience alike.

Session panelists include Bonneville Salt Lake City’s Brett Atkinson; Refine+Focus’ Zach Braiker; and Green Grotto Studios’ Marc Girolimetti. This session will be moderated by the Pollack Media Group’s Jim Kerr.

While the session is billed to feature “high-dollar interactive campaigns,” Atkinson and Girolimetti choose to look at the idea in a different light.

Atkinson believes greater value lies in pursuing high-traffic campaigns that focus on scalability and the end user.

“We try to develop long term products that integrate well with our core product and core demographics. These products have multiple sponsorship opportunities as well as traditional display and streaming capabilities,” he said.

Girolimetti’s view is that of high-value campaigns, those creating big returns without hefty investments. He cites national marketing promotions such as last year’s “Elf Yourself” campaign from OfficeMax, their current “Penny Prankster” videos and Blendtec’s “Will It Blend” video series as prime examples. While start-up costs were minimal, word of mouth and accessibility helped boost consumer response.

Girolimetti would like to see streaming content delivered akin to that of traditional radio, by unique personalities to which listeners gravitate.

Girolimetti concluded, “Radio may be considered an old industry, but it’s not a hopeless one as long as it becomes a culture of innovation across the board within leadership, management, sales and operations.”