Dear Radio Executive:
2007: Content is not king, distribution is.
Content was king for a while, but it's fallen to #2 on the hit parade of what's going to garner listeners, viewers or readers in the foreseeable future. Now distribution is king! It's not that content doesn't count; it's just that in 2006 distribution became more available to the masses thus surpassing content in importance.
We heard good news last week that year-end statistics reflect that traditional radio's on-line listening hit something of a tipping point this year with significant increases in listening to terrestrial radio's on-line streaming - and that's a good start.
But the public has access to all sorts of distribution. It could be the death of old time media if we don't get it right next year. Even my 89 year old mom is aware of new channels of distribution. THIS is the story. And it's magnified 100 fold for the youth generation that's losing interest in traditional radio as one of their distribution choices. Ever try to remember a dream when you wake up? You know how fleeting the memory of it is? That's what is happening to 12-21 year olds. They're slowly forgetting we even exist.
Get your brand, your best content & your most entertaining talent OUT THERE to the masses on as many channels of distribution as you can. It's distribution that will keep you competitive. What good does the best content in the world get you if that content can't be heard by the greatest potential audience. Guess what? Your 100kw transmitter alone can no longer compete! Today, the battleground is access to the public on as many distribution channels as possible. Traditional radio has a unique opportunity to spread its content. Let's not blow this one!
Traditional media and many new forms of digital distribution are not mutually exclusive either. Use them to power each other and expand your reach.
May your 2007 be your most exciting and successful yet.
I welcome your comments. Let me hear from you. Your feedback is vital to our company's on-going success. Respond to this letter.
Dave Van Dyke