I write a lot about choosing radio or online music sources. It seems to be the most researched topic in the music business. Not only by record companies, but also by trade organizations and even radio stations.
We know that the purchase of music has gone from CD purchases to online transactions. Online has also taken over movie purchases. There are still a lot of DVD sales but when you see the cost going to $5 for non Blu-Ray DVDs and the actual DVD player for sale at $29.00 you know that this is soon coming to an end.
What I find interesting is the DVD player including software that will make the player itself obsolete. When I bought a Blu-Ray player I was sure to get one that allowed me to stream movies from Netflix, HULU or to buy or rent the movie from Amazon. Bam! No reason to rush out to Blockbuster, or Redbox when I can stream the movie at home or buy it from DirecTV. The actual DVD player is my connection to online viewing.
Apple is offering you a $99 device, called Apple TV, to replace that $29 DVD player and enable you to watch TV through their system. So far no takers from the TV and Movie companies. They have seen this play for control before and it ends with Apple being the holder of all of the aces in a two-handed poker game.
Apple has also included iTunes in their Apple TV. What a surprise there, huh? Right now they only offer YouTube and Netflix in addition to iTunes. There are about a half dozen other options out there today.
Only early adopters are in this battle right now.
Currently the transmission sources are also deeply involved with the content. Broadcast 100 episodes of Big Bang Theory and you have content forever through syndication. Invite Apple into the picture to sell individual episodes, and 22 minutes of BBT without the spots for 99 cents is tough to score with over and over again.
Anyway back to our issues, which can look very similar to those of the video industry.
Nielsen just did an online study with 3000 panelists. This is like going into CiCi’s pizza and asking the customers if they like pizza, but that aside, 48% of these folks…the panelists, not the pizza lovers, still reported that they discover music most often through the radio. Ten percent say they discover music through friends and relatives and 7% say YouTube.
YouTube crushed radio with teens, scoring 64% to 56% for radio. I know that this is over 100% but it must be that new math that teens are doing today. Another thing that YouTube does, if you have spent any time online with it, is hook you by suggesting other videos you might want to view. Going online to see “For You” -Keith Urban ended up taking 45 minutes, by the time I viewed 10 other things that were there on the page. Many of them were disappointing, by the way. But if I am going to click on a cat singing a Brad Paisley song I deserve three minutes of torture…twice.
Okay back to my point. Most radio stations have apps for Smartphone listening. Great idea. Easy to access and hopefully encourages listening when…when I guess that you can’t hear the station on a broadcast radio. Does encouraging the transition from broadcast radio to app listening hasten the demise of traditional listening?
Nielsen says younger listeners opt overwhelmingly for the technologically advanced methods but that broadcast radio is still a strong driver.
Yeah, and I still see a lot of Blu Ray DVD players on the shelves too. I wonder just how long they have been there.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of MusicRow.)
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About the AuthorCook is currently on the board of both the ACM and the CMA and serves as Director of Programming and Brand Management for West Virginia Radio Corp, based in Morgantown, WV. He is also President of McVay/Cook and Associates, a Cleveland-based media consulting company. He has served on the CRB Board for over 20 years.
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