"Negativity is pervading the radio business and threatens to paralyze us."
Those were the words from the NAB's el presidente David Rehr at the NAB Radio Show this week. He's right, of course. Negativity is
pervading the radio business, and does
threaten to paralyze the industry.
And the NAB hasn't helped in propagating this negativity. In relentlessly fighting new technologies. In resorting to smokey-room lobbying tactics. In setting up front-groups to appear as "consumers." In resisting the current of change, as opposed to embracing it.
"Never before has our business
faced so many challenges -- a rapidly changing media landscape that
makes us feel unsure and unbalanced, turbulent economic conditions that
impact our bottom lines, and regulatory and legislative hurdles that
threaten the way we conduct our business."
It's like a mallet has hit Rehr on the head (or, in the rear). You almost think he finally gets it. Until...
"...in order for us to move forward and build a
successful future, we cannot continue to operate as we have in the
past. We must stop listening to the negativity and false messages, many
of which come from our own people. And we must commit to spreading the
positive news about radio."
No. No. No. Spreading the "positive news" won't solve the negativity. Radio needs to be the positive news. There's no need to tell the world how wonderful radio is - the audience is far smarter than you think - radio just needs to be wonderful.
The thing is, Satellite Radio is already wonderful because of the niche content. It's relevant to its audience. It provides content that you can't hear anywhere else. Subscribers love what they hear, and over 18 million people are willing to pay for it every month.
The challenge for Sirius XM Radio is to not lose their way. In the goal to reach a mass audience, do not forget what got you this far to begin with.