Triton Media: How they are using mobile to move radio from broadcasting to conversation making – wit

Triton Media: How they are using mobile to move radio from broadcasting to conversation making – wit


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better. Check them out at www.macadamian.com.\par \par Hello, everybody, and welcome to UNTETHER.tv.
This is the place to come to each and every day of each and every week to find out how
people are building companies in the mobile space. How they’re manipulating the existing
spaces into mobile and how they’re leveraging this great platform. Well, we call mobile
but smartphones, iPads, the dash in your car, the dash in your kitchen, the dash in your
living room, for some good and innovative uses.\par \par Today, listen, I used to be
a radio listener. Boy, did I ever listen to the radio – Top 50, Top 10 radio. So it’s
certainly talk radio, news radio, you name it. I listen to it. But I have not turned
on the radio in my car, I swear to God, since I got my iPad two-and-a-half years ago, or
my iPhone two and a half years ago.\par \par So, what is going on in the radio space? There
is an innovative company called the Triton. and I’m sitting here with Patrick Reynolds,
who is the EVP of Marketing for Triton. And we’re going to talk about what they’re doing
in the radio space. And I love this. It’s almost, like, I wish I was listening to the
radio. We’re going to get perspective on what Triton is doing. We’re also going to dive
into that conversation about the future of radio and the way that we define radio, and
what is radio with all of these, you know, streaming services coming online with Cloud
streaming services, like Pandora and such. It’s going to be a really interesting conversation.\par
\par I’m not even going to go into it anymore. I’m going to bring Patrick in and welcome
him. Patrick, thanks, man, for doing this. I really appreciate your time.\par \par Patrick:
Appreciate the invite. I’m happy to be here talking with you.\par \par Rob: How cool is
the radio space? What you guys are doing is pretty amazing. I love the innovation of what
it is because it just makes sense. When I read the press release about what you’re doing,
it just struck me like, why isn’t everybody doing this? So, why don’t we just start? What
are you guys doing at Triton? What do you do there, and we’ll jump off there.\par \par
Patrick: Well, in the simplest terms, we provide technology to media companies, and we have
a particular emphasis with radio. So that can be everything from hosting their streams
and delivering their content to a measurement platform that allows people to know how many
people are on the other end of those streams. We have things in our applications and services
division like check in radio that you just mentioned that allows somebody that would
formally have to be the eleventh caller can now use their smartphone and respond to a
call from the station, and then either, it could be content, it could be tickets, it
could be merch, it could be a number of things. So we also do ad insertion in-stream as opposed
to over the edge. So, we have a broader array of things. But everything we do is pretty
much oriented around making a formally traditional media digital.\par \par Rob: What we’ve been
watching, or if listen to what people are talking about is the crumbling of the old
guard, which is nobody needs this band of radio, like, AM died first, so to speak. And
now, it’s just gospel channels, right? And as Springsteen says, “Gospel channels with
lost souls looking for salvation in the AM dial”, right? And then there’s FM which was
greater quality but all of a sudden, I don’t know if listening or listenership is down
in radio. I’m going to assume that the advent of podcast and streaming technology has wiped
out radio. Is that an accurate statement?\par \par Patrick: No, it is not an accurate statement.
It seems that there is a lot of friction, you might say, between sort of the new radio
and the old radio. And we honestly keep out of that thing. We work with many of the very
largest traditional radio companies. There is CBS, there’s your Clear Channels, Entercom,
Cumulus, et cetera, et cetera. And we also work with people like Pandora, Slacker, AccuRadio,
and a number of pure play, Internet only radio stations.\par \par But I do think it is incredibly
fair to say that radio is changing. You might even say it’s sort of molting. It’s kind of
shedding its skin with morphing into something quite different. And it’s really in no way
diminished. And in many ways, it’s actually, it’s offerings are becoming enhanced through
the application of technology. So, I really would not say that it’s crumbling. You’ll
still find, I’m sure, good numbers of the strongest radio stations. You might say it’s
possible. I suspect this isn’t really my area of expertise. But I might suspect the technology
is killing off the weaker ones because if you have a weaker signal, an AM or FM station,
and it’s competing against the really excellent digital offering whether it’s from the Pandora,
or even from like an iHeartRadio from Clear Channel, people are going to spend their time
where they perceive the best quality of contact to be. But I don’t think it’s crumbling. I
don’t think it’s eminent that in two to five or ten years even there will be no AM-FM,
and it will all be digital. But I do think it’s changing and right now it’s a mix. And
that mix will continue to find kind of its own level over time.\par \par Rob: So, why
don’t we talk about this? There is a slight delay in our audio and our video. So, we’ll
work this through but why don’t we, when you say that it’s changing, how are you seeing
this changing? Because the way that I consume radio is still coming from a transistor ultimately.
Like traditional radio stations, you know, the Clear Channels of the world. All of these
massive, I mean, what Clear Channel has 70% or 75% of the radio stations of the airwaves
in the United States.\par \par It’s pretty massive as a company, but how are they changing
the way that they get in front of a listener? Are they changing or are they trying to change?
And are things like Podcast and Slacker and Pandora just kind of showing them the way.
And ultimately, they’re going to dominate or are we witnessing the birth of brand new
radio companies or media companies?\par \par Patrick: Well, I think that the answer is
all of the above. We are witnessing the birth of new companies, but I also think that the
older companies are changing. You brought up a couple of really good points there. I
think it’s important to say that both sides are really learning from the other. I think
there is a number of things that Pandora and Slacker see in terms of established best practices
from something like a Clear Channel or CBS, Entercom, Cumulus, et cetera. When they say,
“Ah, that’s very smart.”\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: I also think that, without a
doubt, the larger traditional companies are looking at the market share that these newer
companies are able to gobble up in relatively short order, and I’m thinking, “Ah, there’s
obviously something going on there, and the consumers are voting with their ears.” In
other words, the online numbers are growing, growing, growing, and this is something to
be reckoned with.\par \par What’s interesting about this is there’s really two ways for
a traditional . . . you said we’re kind of all coming from an over- the-air sort of perspective,
kind of. So, you take a CBS or Clear Channel as an example where there are two offerings
that they have. The first is a simple simulcast essentially of what’s over the air. You can
listen to via your computer or via your mobile phone increasingly. That’s one thing.\par
\par But if you look at iHeartRadio, for example, it’s not a simulcast. It is taking all of
the stations content aggregating into a big bucket, if you will. And letting people go
down the path that is most interesting to them in a non-station, non- format specific
way. So, it’s very much listener driven.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: So, that’s
a key difference there. But the other thing is, you have to remember that Pandora, which
is clearly the 800-pound gorilla in the streaming area, does not have an analog equivalent.\par
\par Rob: Right.\par \par Patrick: There is no tower to refer to. So they’re inventing
things very much from a digital perspective as a Slacker and a number of other people.
But you know, Spotify would be another one. So there’s really a number of things that’s
not as simple as a unit dimensional thing as radio was for decades and decades. It’s
now very, very multifaceted and if you look at a Slacker or even Pandora, north of 50%
of their audience is being consumed via mobile.\par \par Rob: Yeah, that’s crazy.\par \par Patrick:
It’s an amazingly large number.\par \par Rob: Well, let me put a different hat on here when
we talk about this because I’m of the age. I’m 41. I mean, radio was a very important
aspect of my life. Listening to baseball games. Listening to radio. Listening to music when
I was a kid and probably up until the first iPod that I bought. You’re consumed on radio.
I had a tape deck that I used to record right off of radio. So, radio has been very influential.
But I look at this and I think, okay, Pandora, but at its heart Spotify, Pandora, these guys,
is it just not Radio 2.0?\par \par What we’re witnessing is, like, I used to walk around
with a transistor radio. Listening to the radio station and it was portable. I carried
it with me. It was this small, right? It got smaller as I got older. But what we’re really
seeing here is radio 2.0. It’s just a different delivery mechanism. I don’t need a tower.
I just need a cell tower, ultimately. Is that what we’re seeing here?\par \par Patrick:
Well, going back to the prior, that’s one way. So, for example, I grew up in Buffalo,
New York, right? So I can listen to 97 Rock in Buffalo when I get a little lonesome for
my hometown, if you will.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: And in fact, my mobile is very
much that portable radio that everybody used to have. I literally open it up and I can
go to, for example, we have a product, Check In Radio. I can go to Buffalo 97 Rock and
listen to it just as though I was there. It keeps me connected to that community, right?\par
\par Rob: Sure.\par \par Patrick: So, that’s a simulcast of something that is over the
air that is now streaming as well, and it broadens the reach because you can access
that from anywhere in the U.S., and in some cases abroad. The second chip, though, is
not simulcast where it’s more listener directed. So, at the end of the day 97 Rock, God bless
their heart, gives me what they think I want, what’s best for me, what I want to hear. If
I go to Pandora or Spotify, or iHeart, to a degree, I am co-program director.\par \par
Rob: Right.\par \par Patrick: I feel like listening to Wilco or something in that area,
and then from there we can kind of go back and forth, metaphysically speaking, about
what I’m going to get; or in the case of Spotify, literally I want to listen to these songs
exactly. So it actually gets more into the iPod area. So, I guess the point is Radio
2.0 is not a single delivery mechanism. There are a number of ways, and it has more to do
with consuming wherever, whenever, however you want, and less to do with whether it’s
simulcast or player based, or playing in the space. It’s just a new way to consume music.\par
\par Rob: I’m fascinated. How long has Triton been around, kind of looking at this space?\par
\par Patrick: We’ve been doing this for five years, as such. And it’s really kind of an
interesting story. We kind of call it creation myth here. But, you have two guys that are
really in competing companies in the traditional radio space, and they basically at the same
time come to the conclusion that radio is inexorably, at that time, moving toward IP
based delivery. It’s moving digitally. And nobody’s really paying much attention to it
at that time. Nobody’s really saying, well, how are we going to do that, literally from
how will it be delivered, what’s the technology that will deliver a stream, to how will it
be measured?\par \par Advertisers aren’t going to know what’s going on there, so they can’t
spend their money. Who’s going to measure that? Who’s going to insert ads into the stream
that are different than the ones over the air, because there are royalty implications
and all those other kinds of things. So, these two guys, God bless their heart, they figured
things out very quickly, formed the company, made a series of investments and acquisitions,
and just straight sweat equity, and we’ve grown up into a company of about 250 people,
now that it’s five years. And we’re working with some of the biggest people in the business
on both sides of the equation around the globe.\par \par Rob: So, they saw this in the distance
coming, obviously? I’m still involved with some of the radio stations, and they are just
figuring out how to work around this whole podcasting thing. What do they do? We don’t
want to give it away. We want you to listen in real time. We don’t want you to have access.
How do we monetize this? So, they’re just coming to terms with it now. And these guys
were, five years ago plus, thinking about this. Do you think that it was a hard sell
back then, to say, listen, this is coming? Watch out. Watch out.\par \par Patrick: It
absolutely was, and to a degree, it still is. I won’t lie to you. A burning platform
is a really powerful motivator; and five years ago, certainly there was not a burning platform.
These guys had done it their way for a long time and had been very, very successful doing
that. They were making good money; they were held in high regard. It was still a media
that was on most buys, and things were really good.\par \par To a degree, that is the case
today. Although, I really think that, on the advertising side, I think it really is inescapable,
but those numbers are declining as dollars switch from all traditional media, including
radio, to digital. And that has become more of a burning platform, where now people are
saying, hang on, hang on. We’re losing money. We’re not getting in on the buys. What do
we have to do?\par \par Oh, we have to be online. Oh, we have to have the measurement
to take us online. Oh, we have to be able to segment audiences online. Oh, we have to
have one-to-one communication online. Oh, we need to let the audience participate, too;
and instead of us just beaming out to them, we have to be able to receive information
back from the audience. So, all these things have made us kind of very busy in the last
couple of years.\par \par Rob: Was the vision in mobile? You said 50% of consumption now,
from some of these major brands, like Pandora and Spotify. This is what’s really intriguing
is that we took radio into the car, and we used to take it to the beach with us already.
But now we’re taking it in a different form in the smartphone format. Was that a surprise
to them, or did they see that coming, as well?\par \par Patrick: I think we’d be lying if anybody
saw the rapid adoption of smartphones that you’ve seen now. I don’t think anybody ever
anticipated that. I thought that they thought inevitably there would be a way that one could
stream analogically on the phone. I don’t think anybody saw the proliferation of smartphone,
the proliferation of really good bandwidth and the way that you could do things elegantly
and in some cases more elegantly than you can on your desktop with your mobile. We’re
smart, but we’re not that smart.\par \par Rob: Yes. Well, you know what? For me, I think
when it hit me very clearly was when I could spend $9.95 a year on mlb.tv and get every
single game streamed to my iPhone at the time, first my web browser and then my mobile device.
Then all of a sudden, it was over for me. Pure radio? I’m in Ottawa and while we have
radio stations, we don’t have radio personalities on these stations. There’s nothing intrinsically
of value for me to listen to. When I saw this, that was the game changer for me.\par \par
For all intents and purposes, the radio as I knew it was dead, the new radio that I’m
about to embark on is incredible. It’s laid rise to TV stations and podcasts like on UNTETHER.tv
and a bunch of other ones, hasn’t it? When you’re looking at this and you think how are
you able to compete as a radio station with what used to be a regulated environment in
your area, to now in Ottawa we have, maybe nine radio stations, but we have probably
1,000 podcasts emanating from a small city. What has that done to change this landscape?\par
\par Patrick: Ottawa may be the exception. I can’t speak to Ottawa, which is a lovely
place and I’ve been to several times, but I can’t really speak to the radio scene there.
Take where I’m talking to from is Boston. Boston has literally one of the strongest
stations in the country and certainly the strongest station in the area in WEEI, which
is a sports station, so they do have loads of personalities and they talk 24/7/365 about
the New England sports scene. People bow at their altar.\par \par They have incredible
content, personalities people respond to. They have an incredibly local spin on things,
which I think is really, really important. It in no way feels like a syndicated program
that could be coming from anywhere. You’ve got guys with accents this thick talking about
the neighborhood bar and the gossip about various players and such, and it’s really
compelling stuff. So I think being local and being very topical and, to a degree, being
very narrow makes them very powerful, and I think that’s the thing about your program
and podcasts, the thing that people love about them, especially me, is you can be very, very
narrow.\par \par I don’t want to know about something that’s this wide, I want to know
about something that’s this wide and I want to go deep. That’s the beautiful thing about
digital. There are a lot of narrow cast stations, too. I think AccuRadio does a really good
job of this. Where I like all country, they have an all country station. I can go and
I can listen to something very much in one vein without stuff that I’m not particularly
interested in.\par \par Rob: Right.\par \par Patrick: I think if you’re a wide station
without personality, without a lot of localization, that’s a tough deal.\par \par Rob: I think
this happened and I think this happened quite effectively during the ’90s and early 2000
before this mobile revolution came along for radio stations. They made radio stations efficient
hit generators, which was basically they said, hey, digital for us is great because then
we don’t have to keep the inventory, we can just cue up 30 songs, hit play, insert some
ads. We don’t need a D.J. There’s no more Johnny Fever; there’s nobody spinning records.\par
\par It homogenized the sound of radio, not only the U.S., but across Canada. It created
mega hits, one hit wonders, but mega hits and then that’s what they played. And then,
a feature of radio became you’ll never hear the same song played twice during the work
day, during working hours and that was a feature. Back in the day, it was at the whim.\par \par
Now, you said it so well, the future is going to be highly personalized, narrower, local
radio for them to succeed, which is a massive shift. It’s back to the olden days of radio.
Is that an accurate picture that I just painted of what happened?\par \par Patrick: I think
you have and in a lot of ways this is back to the future where this is getting back to,
guys, how do we come up with really compelling content that people want to hear, and I do
think that radio lost its way there a little bit in the last ten years. It became a bit
bloodless, if you will, right?\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: Sort of got cold.\par
\par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: So now you back to focusing on coming up with incredible
content, right? And then, I think, the second thing is you figure out how to give it to
people when, where and how they want it. They don’t have to consume it on your terms.\par
\par Rob: Right.\par \par Patrick: If my schedule is such that I can’t listen to your show,
from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m., I can listen to it from 10:17 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or whenever
I get done with it.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: Time shifting is really, really
important and it’s just greens fees in a digital culture and if you come from a live broadcast
culture, it’s a little bit anathema. But I think everybody is wrapping their head around
it, and the people that are really getting on that train are doing very, very well. I
think you’ve summed it up great: you can’t just beam out at people one way, one time
and say, “Catch it if you can” anymore.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: People are
going to be more demanding and say, “I’ll take it when I want it, how I want it, where
I want it, and you’ll give it to me or I’ll find one of these legion of other people out
there who will.”\par \par Rob: And that’s like, just mobile has pushed retail back in
the hand of the consumer where you’re definitely in control as a consumer when it comes to
retail now but research and pricing and all that kind of stuff, it’s the same thing that’s
happened here. It’s like, “Well, I used to be kind of constrained by my geography about
what I could catch.” So you’re Boston, I’m a Yankees fan, right?\par \par Patrick: Me
too.\par \par Rob: Oh, good. You admit that in Boston?\par \par Patrick: Yeah. We’re closed
doors.\par \par Rob: That’s good. Well with Yankees, you used to be able to get, late
at night, WCBS 880, right, which is their flagship radio station, but I could get it
on my AM radio if I held it up in a certain way, and I could catch, maybe three innings
before it would fade away. But gone are those days, right? So now the world is mine. So
that’s got to put the fear into some radio stations and embraced by others, but how do
these guys turn this into revenue? I think that’s one of the biggest things. It’s a hurdle.
It’s got to be a hurdle.\par \par Patrick: Well, it is and it isn’t. It’s all in how
you look at it. That’s a perfect example, right? So before that station, I think you
said it was WCBS?\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: In Buffalo, I want to say it
was WPIX, if I recall correctly. That may have been the TV station, but I did the same
thing, rigging, you know, coat hangers to try to get the station, and that was the best
you could do.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: Fast forward. Now, you could listen
to that game in all but HD quality from Los Angeles, San Francisco, south Florida and
all parts in between, right? So, inherently, you’ve widened your audience. You’ve exposed
your content to a much bigger net than ever before. So that’s a good thing, right?\par
\par Rob: Yep.\par \par Patrick: You’re driving audience, you’re driving viewers. And then
the second thing though of going back to this theme is that radio provides depth to what
was once just why. So now you can check in to the Yankees game and you say, “Who replaced
Bobby Mercer in right field for the New York Yankees?” You can check in with the answer,
you can win merch, et cetera, et cetera. I would call that indirect commerce and here’s
what I mean by that. It’s not necessarily something that the station can, or even should
sell, but what it does is it grows the engagement, which is an awful word, but it grows the quality
of time spent listening that you have with that property. It proves that you’re attentive.\par
\par Rob: Yep.\par \par Patrick: Also, it is inherently social. So you can say, “Hey,
I just won this,” put it on your social graph, your Facebook or Twitter and now it goes sideways
as well. So, again, you can reach a much wider audience but with that audience you can go
much deeper and talk to them on a one-on-one basis and then it’s kind of like an hourglass,
right? They can go and get apostolic on your behalf and say, “Hey! Everybody tune into
this station because they are doing blah, blah, blah and you can win, or you can hear
it or you can get free content, et cetera, et cetera.”\par \par Rob: So, it is. I think
of audiences, right? So you take a podcast like this.\par \par Patrick: Right.\par \par
Rob: I’ve been doing this for 18 months. I have built up an audience.\par \par Patrick:
Yeah.\par \par Rob: And it’s been an audience that started with zero. When I put up my first
video, I had zero views. It was terrible, but I had zero views. And gradually what’s
happened is I’ve increased my audience but then I look at a newspaper with an established
footprint and a radio station with an established footprint in listenership. And these guys
have a very huge advantage because they have an existing audience that’s listening to this.
So to be able to turn what they’re doing into a mobile piece, or a web piece, it would seem
like this is a broadcaster’s dream to be able to say, “Listen, OK? You’ve got an audience.
Now what you’ve got to do is fill in the digital side.” Is that what you’re seeing or is that
not it?\par \par Patrick: No. It can be and in other ways it’s not. I’ll be honest with
you. So I’ll give you three people in the media space that I think do an exceptional
job of what you just said.\par \par Rob: Okay.\par \par Patrick: They are in no particular order,
ESPN, Discovery Network, and National Public Radio. So, they use the bully pulpit, again,
of their broadcast platform to drive awareness of all of their properties, online and offline,
but they do an absolutely fantastic job, all three, of what we said earlier, which is taking
their content and packaging it in ways that is appropriate for the delivery mechanism
and the audience.\par \par So, they have sort of one set of reporting, one story that you
can download as a podcast. You can watch that live on the television. They talk about it
on their radio. They have blogs about it, and it’s basically doing one thing, one time,
and then just sort of spinning it in different ways for different channels. And they extend
their content so brilliantly, I think, those three. So, they do exactly what you just described.
They have the bully pulpit. They’ve got a big brand, and they can say, hey, check out
our podcast. Check out our website. Check out our live streaming. Check out ESPN 4.
Do all these things, and it’s really powerful.\par \par Now the converse to that, though, is
the very traditional station, or media property across any channel, who has been very successful
over a number of years, done a lot of good things one way, and I would just put this
under the heading of “muscle memory is a powerful thing.” They don’t know how to do it another
way; though some of them actually do know how to do it, but they just flat don’t want
to do it, because they believe in the way that they’ve done it, or they just don’t have
the wind in their sails to do it differently.\par \par I guess the third component to this is
consumers also get a vote in this. So, if you have been known for fifty years in a particular
way, and I’m making it up, let’s say the Wall Street Journal, you are a very traditional,
conservative, financially- oriented newspaper. For them to come out and say, we’re cutting
edge, left wing podcast is going to be a bit of absurd. You can say it, you have the bully
pulpit, but nobody’s going to believe you. You are what you are at the end of the day.
So, that’s another thing. A lot of times these bigger companies have a massive overhead,
a massive brand image in place, and it’s hard to steer a ship that big.\par \par Rob: I
often don’t think about that aspect of it, because audience is audience. And what you’re
doing is you’re changing behavior, consumption behavior on the listener side. I come back
to if I was trying to explain to my father that you go to a podcast, you go here and
download this podcast. It just would be a challenge for him. It’s just better to let
him listen to the radio, whatever he listens to.\par \par But you guys haven’t given up
on terrestrial radio, have you? The product that you guys announced at the beginning of
October was this head scratcher that said, why aren’t people doing this more often? Which
is, for contests, and checking into the radio station based on your proximity, and the contests
that run to be able to check in to say, yeah, I’m interested in winning that without having
to call in.\par \par When I saw it, it made absolute sense, and I had that moment where
I asked myself, why didn’t I think of that? I’m sure everybody did. But, first of all,
what were you seeing out there that made you jump into that? And the second thing is, what
are the radio stations saying when you go and pitch this to them?\par \par Patrick:
Well, they’re saying much like you, like duh, why didn’t we think about that?\par \par Rob:
That’s the answer.\par \par Patrick: It’s a fairly near in idea for sure. You know what;
I think there’s a little bit of a fixation, frankly, if I’m being very honest with you,
on shiny things in the digital world. I would say this is very much an evolutionary thing.
It’s not a revolutionary thing. We looked for an opportunity where through technology
we could take a current business process that was a little bit floogie for both the publisher
and the listener.\par \par We simplified it and made it just a little bit more robust,
a little bit easier, put some sort of tentacles on it so that it had a few more bells and
whistles than you put in an analog world and they said, “Yeah. That’s a dumb-dumb simple
prospect. Let’s just do that.” And it makes all the sense in the world, especially when
we’re giving it away, literally. So, it’s just a way to employ technology to make a
business process just a little bit better for all parties.\par \par Rob: It might be
so simple, but these are the things that resonate with people. It’s that next step. So, a lot
of times this technology is shiny. Look around me. I see shiny things. But we often overlook
the idea that’s right in front of our nose, that’s right here, but our eyes just can’t
see. And this is one of those ideas. It just shows, look, you got to think about next steps,
not grand vision, but what’s the next step that you can do to engage with an audience.
Engagement is tough, but to communicate with them, to reach out to them, or to get them
to identify themselves, saying that I’m actually actively listening? And you know that on the
eleventh caller you got 11 listeners, right?\par \par Patrick: I think you have to do both,
really. You have to pick the low- hanging fruit as well as you do have to dream big
plans, and you have to have longer term vision. But, I think one of the great things about
radio, and we try to work with them on this, is they’re pretty good listeners. They get
a lot of feedback, and when they say, hey, this is a pain point. Let’s just go ahead
and bang that out and fix that, while we’re working on reimagining some other things.\par
\par Rob: How does mobile from this point impact the radio? There’s always bandwidth
constraints, or consumption concerns around bandwidth. Certainly, for me it was, if I
listen to a full baseball game on a 3G network, what’s that going to cost me ultimately at
the end of it? If I listen to every game, how much is this going to cost in bandwidth
consumption, whereas radio ends up being free.\par \par But, you know, I have an order when I
get into my car. First, I put my iPhone and hook it up to my Blue Tooth piece, and if
I’m listening to a podcast, I’ll throw in a podcast. The second thing that I do is I
might go over to TWiT.tv, Leo Laporte’s channel, and see what he’s broadcasting live, because
it’s relevant to me. And then, I might listen to some music, and then I might listen to
some silence. And then, I might remember that there’s a radio attached to my car, and then
go to my radio. How do these companies transition to mobile, and what do you think is the broad
play for these guys? Where does radio go from there?\par \par Patrick: Well, it’s a very
good question. There’s a lot of different perspectives on it, but I think what’s really
critical is that we think of mobile as THE way to deepen relationships with audience.
The marketing landscape, the advertising landscape, in many ways has been really clear cut. So,
we advertisers have taken anything that people used to like and made it all but unwatchable
or unlistenable. One of the major issues that we have with terrestrial radio is you’ll have
these giant radio blocks where there are three minutes where you can go grab a soda, grab
a coffee, go to the bathroom and come back.\par \par Rob: Sure.\par \par Patrick: Because
you know there’s nothing on there that you want to hear. And television has this same
thing, and I actually think that online, vis-à-vis display, is arguably the most egregious case
of this, where it’s just interruptive marketing at its absolute worst. And so, I think the
worst thing that people could do would be look at mobile as this untapped arctic shale,
or whatever they call that, where we can just drill-baby-drill, and just drop ads in there,
and eventually people will learn to hate that, too, in short order.\par \par But what I think
it’s great at is delivering content, and really creating a dialogue with your audience. For
example, hey, if you heard this song, check in here. You check in, and maybe you get some
ring tones, maybe you get song lyrics, maybe you get tickets, maybe you get merch. Here’s
something that you can spread to your social network. It shouldn’t be about selling, selling,
selling, advertising, advertising, advertising. I think if we think of different ways to use
the mobile, say, oh, I’m traveling. I’m in Saskatchewan, and I see that The Tragically
Hip is playing here, because it’s got a local know-how that I don’t have. Oh, I’m going
to check that out.\par \par So, if you look at it as a way to deliver actual consumer
benefits, and not just as an advertising platform, I think what you’ll find is indirectly it’s
going to grow your sales, because your audience is going to grow and grow and grow, and it’s
low cost growth. Because largely, the audience is growing itself by people saying, hey, this
is a great station. They deliver great content. This is really cool. Check In Radio is really
cool. I can go to a concert and I can upload video and pictures, and stuff from the concert,
that maybe a station sponsored.\par \par We have a product that’s really cool coming out
now called Digital Ivy that allows for user-generated content to be uploaded via mobile really simply.
So, I think there’s a lot of things that people can do to have dialogue with their audience,
that does not have to be inherently commercial in nature, that is going to be a really, really
good thing to both grow audience, but really strengthen the bond between a media property
and its audience. And I hope that everybody thinks of it, at least partially in those
terms, so that this is a really robust platform that we can really build off for a long time.\par
\par Rob: I want to shift it to really about helping or facilitating these radio stations,
or content producers, to actually make some money because ultimately that’s what they
have to do in order to stay in business. I mean, maybe, guys like me, who do this as
a hobby, don’t. I’m not looking to monetize this and jam it full of ads. But I think about
this very much around, so once I’ve got listener engagement. So, they’re coming back and forth
with me. OK, so, now I’m going to figure out, OK. They’re an audience. I know my audience
type. I know who they are. Now I’ve got to match it with something that allows me to
generate some revenue.\par \par So, I’m on the road. I’ve got my radio. I mean, it’s
true, I was in California. I was listening to an Ottawa radio station to get some news.
You know, I was gone for a long time. I wanted to get the news. That kind of stuff you can’t
do. But because I’m over there, how do these guys leverage that, an audience building exercise
like this and generate some revenue from it? Can they?\par \par Patrick: Well, in that
example, you could actually turn the camera around and say, “I’m an Ottawan,” if that
is the proper expression.\par \par Rob: Sure.\par \par Patrick: In California, rather than just
going back to Ottawa for your content. You can say, “OK but I don’t know my surroundings
here. Let me use the local-ness of radio to help me kind of navigate this area.” And by
the way, there may be a terrific restaurant or a coffee shop four blocks from where you
stand. Because we have your mobile and it is not at all inconceivable that we could
though despite what I just said prior deliver you an offer via mobile to go check that out.\par
\par That is a way to tap into extremely hyper local dollars that is really not doable if
you’re advertising to the entire Los Angeles DNA. It’s just not cost effective for the
local coffee guy or local pizza guy. And conversely, if you are listening to ads only from Ottawa,
it doesn’t really help you a ton if you’re standing in sunny California.\par \par Rob:
No, it doesn’t.\par \par Patrick: So this hyper local door that gets open via mobile
is going to be a really powerful revenue generator for sure in the not too distant future.\par
\par Rob: So, do you see ad mediators or intermediaries that actually say, “Listen, when you’re broadcasting
through a mobile device, we’ll give you rev share.” So that it will bring us under the
umbrella and so you, Ottawa company, or you, California radio station, or you, California,
wherever you broadcast, but we’re not going to do local display. We’re localized. We’re
going to do proximity- based advertising. And you kind of build up that Google AdWords
type of business around radio, and geo-location. And based on time of day and weather and all
that. That’s where we’re going, right?\par \par Patrick: That is where we’re going. And
there are some people that are actually well down that path right now. I think, it’s kind
of a heady distinction but it’s critical. There is no more critical distinction to make
in terms of the monetization from my perspective. Forever, the whole industry has been built
on buying distinctions, OK?\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: So, you buy WXYZ and
you get all of their audience. You don’t want all their audience, but you get all of their
audience.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: In a digital context, you’re buying audience,
not stations. In other words, if I’m listening to WABC versus WXYZ, I’m still me and it’s
not fundamentally different how I’m consuming that. So, you’re buying me. You are people
that are 40 to 45 living in Boston, males. You should be buying whatever I’m listening
to. It doesn’t matter. So the shift is going from buying stations. It has a lot of waste
to buying audience which is very, very precise. And we can do that through mobile because
it has so much DNA attached to it in terms of who is using it.\par \par Rob: It fundamentally
alters the way that these companies or that media is consumed and the radio is broadcasting.
Because you’re right, I just envisioned when I check into a contest. Hopefully you’ve pulled
over or you’re not driving your car. But you checked into a contest and it would be somewhat
overwhelming. I would assume that. Because they checked in, you’ve now got not just–no,
you’re number 10. OK, you’re number 11. You got one guy. Say, there is a hundred people
that checked in. You’ve got a 100 people that have identified themselves that are marketing
opportunities ultimately further down the road. So, it really is a fundamental change
in behavior for the radio stations and the consumers as well, and the listeners.\par
\par Patrick: And the agencies.\par \par Rob: And the agencies. We haven’t even talked about
that.\par \par Patrick: The agencies are a really important part of this equation where
we’ve got publishers over here, we’ve got audience that’s driving a lot of change over
here. We have to make sure that there is a really straight line between publisher and
audience and right in the middle of that is agency, because they have to understand both
ends just really, really clearly. So if they’re kind of over here, you get a disconnect where
either the space is being undervalued, or it becomes too complex because we’re using
an outmoded process.\par \par Rob: Right.\par \par Patrick: So we have to just make sure
that all those things line up very straight.\par \par Rob: So how do some companies, or how
if you’re in mobile or you want to leverage mobile and you’re a radio station or a podcast,
what kind of advice would you give somebody who is trying to develop an audience through
these mechanisms by building a deeper relationship with these guys? Do you walk them through
a process? Is there something that you can impart on some of the folks here?\par \par
Patrick: Yeah, I mean, it’s a bit of a long answer but we would sit down with them and
try to figure out their business goals. For example, you said, “I’m not trying to get
rich off this deal.” where there are people who . . .\par \par Rob: I lied. I totally
lied. I’m totally trying to get rich off this, right?\par \par Patrick: That’s very Canadian.\par
\par Rob: That was the humble guy. Yeah, exactly.\par \par Patrick: Funny.\par \par Rob: I don’t
know what happened. But, no, I don’t need it. No, no, no, no.\par \par Patrick: Some
people that are more overtly capitalist than you, let’s say.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par
Patrick: So we try to get to the root of that, right? And then we figure out what their objectives
are and then we would basically say, “Let’s make sure that you are leaning into and leveraging
the channel for what it is. Don’t take offline the best practices that you may know from
another life or current life and just assume that they translate to online.” Very often,
they don’t.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: That’s the first step. The second thing is:
we make sure that, again, you are giving up the content that your audience wants in the
way that they want it, not necessarily the way that you want to deliver it. And then,
we just try to put some rigor around it, where’s there’s metrics that you can chart your progress.
You said, “On day one, I had no downloads.” Well, OK. On day ten how many did you have?
Where do those come from? What device were they downloaded onto? Were those male or female?
Were they in the U.S. or were they in Canada?\par \par You have to get very sophisticated on
your analytics so that you can say, “Ah, this group is responding, that group is not. I
can either, sort of, lean in to the group that is or try to impress via my content,
the group that’s not.” And just put some rigor around it because the blessing and the curse
of digital is you get overwhelming feedback in real time.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par
Patrick: In many ways, offline is just a hell of a lot easier, I’ll be honest with you,
because, “I think it all worked great and let’s just assume that it did and go grab
a drink”, you know?\par \par Rob: Exactly.\par \par Patrick: You get digital, you have all
this stuff in very short order that says, “That worked great here, but that didn’t work
at all.” and you have to be constant course corrections.\par \par Rob: So how would a
radio station adjust as often as they need to? That’s one of the things, agility is key
here, isn’t it? You don’t want to over adjust or jump too soon or move too fast, but there’s
got to be a way to say, “That didn’t resonate. OK. We’ll adjust course.” But, I’m doing this
with a $150 mic, Skype, $200 camera and a Mac Book Pro and a bunch of other equipment,
but you could literally broadcast from anywhere, on any subject, and not have that overhead.\par
\par Patrick: That’s right.\par \par Rob: So how does a radio station pivot like this
or adjust like this?\par \par Patrick: It’s tricky. And the nimble do and they’re doing
well and the more complex organizations, I think, struggle with it a little bit more.
I think that, to sum up this whole thing, is that the people that are embracing mobile
and social, particularly, uniformly are doing the best.\par \par The reason is those pivots
are not being driven by the ivory tower. Those pivots are being driven through dialogue with
audience, which is something that both social and, particularly, mobile give you. Don’t
guess about where the audience is wanting to go or just don’t do it on faith. Get feedback
based on either data feedback, nobody’s doing this and we want them to, or literal feedback,
“Hey, what do we think about this?”. Form communities, let everybody participate and
get a vote and you’ll really get a better sense of the pulse of your audience.\par \par
Rob: So we painted a really great picture for this because we’re talking about Radio
2.0, Radio 3.0, just a different delivery mechanism. Some are still going to be over
the air waves. And I think, you know what? So many people thought and spent so much money
on spectrum, on wireless spectrum, and then all of a sudden what we’re doing is broadcasting
music and talk again, just on a more expensive spectrum. But we already have these AM and
FM channels that are more than appropriate for carrying this kind of content.\par \par
Patrick: Right.\par \par Rob: So, I get conflicted there. I say, why do we spend so much money
on spectrum just to recreate what we had in spectrum? So, let’s mix it up a little bit
and do something innovative. As you said earlier, don’t bring old school thinking into the new
school. That’s where I have a conflict of this. It’s, like, God, we’re just doing this
again. Let’s do something different which is what appealed to me about the way that
you, guys, took this very simple approach about checking into contests. What future
conflicts are we going to see? What’s going to be a barrier? How is this going to resolve?
But, really, what are the stumbling blocks or the potential stumbling blocks that we’re
going to see here?\par \par Patrick: Well, I think, the two gathering storms are audience
. . .\par \par Rob: That’s a better way. That’s a better way to describe it. What are the
gathering storms? [Laughs] Thank you.\par \par Patrick: Yeah, the two gathering storms
are really audience. The audience story is you have these pure plays that are now getting
of the size that they are shaking the establishment of traditional radio. They are formidable.\par
\par Rob: Do you have, like, so these are Pandora, these are Slacker?\par \par Patrick:
Slacker, Spotify.\par \par Rob: Spotify.\par \par Patrick: I don’t have that line of sight
into the U.S. members, but I know that they are monster in the U.K. and abroad. So, they’re
getting audience now that is obviously significant. And if I’m a traditional radio station, they’re
not exactly what I do. But they’re close enough that it gives me pause.\par \par Rob: Okay.\par
\par Patrick: So, the hearts and minds stuff of audience is one gathering storm. The second
is different but related, and that is hearts and minds of advertisers. As those guys, because
they have demonstrated audience, because they have things like audience segmentation where
I can do men only, or I can do a certain age only, or I can do a certain zip code only
. . .\par \par Rob: Right.\par \par Patrick: I have much more sophisticated tools in many
respects than the digital world versus traditional. I’m now going to get potentially a disproportionate
share of the balance, which is really where the rubber meets the road. So, if I used to
make a $100–nudge, nudge, wink, wink–as a traditional radio station, and I’m now making
80 or 70.\par \par The forecast for next year is 65 in certain places. I’ve got a problem.
As you said earlier, I’ve got a huge overhead. I’ve got a large organization. I’ve got lots
of mouths to feed. What do I do? Whereas these guys are much nimbler. They are much quicker.
They are much less encumbered. They are often financed in a different way than I am. And
they’re ready to lock and load. And they can make pivots in a moment’s notice. So those
are the two things that I think bear watching over the next months and years.\par \par Rob:
As we see, in kind of traditional television, cable television . . .\par \par Patrick: Yeah.\par
\par Rob: As we see in the traditional print industry, and now we’re seeing it, obviously,
in the radio industry, these industries are being uprooted. Being turned around, disrupted.
Whatever you want to call it. This is happening. And it’s happening at a rate that is quick
and sort of caught them off guard. But, then I look out and I see ABC and CBS and NBC and
these guys aren’t going to disappear. And I see these massive radio conglomerates in
the U.S. These guys are not going to disappear. What’s their move? Do they walk in here and
say, “Look, Pandora, you’re mine.” “Slacker, you’re mine.” Like do they start arming themselves?
Do they go out and are they going to be forced to buy or, at least try to buy Spotify? Did
you see that coming down the road?\par \par \par \par Patrick: I certainly see continued
M&A.\par \par Rob: Right.\par \par Patrick: Where you saw a Clear Channel buy a company
called Thumbplay.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: And I think it was instrumental
in the iHeart Radio.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: I think there will be more of
that. I don’t know necessarily that it’s going to be a traditional radio station buying a
digital station. Whether to have an enhanced product sweep or addition by subtraction,
if you will.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: It could be somebody like Google
that’s going to be coming in and buy somebody like Spotify and I’m completely making this
up. But, it could be a technology player buying with another technology player to really go
in for a kill shot on the weak ones.\par \par Rob: Yeah.\par \par Patrick: That’s a possibility
that you could see out there. And at the end of the day, we really don’t care because they’re
all God’s children in our eyes. And we’re working with everybody. And we just want the
people that want to aggressively go after the future rather than looking back at the
past. We want to be friends with and do business with. And we have some of those in each camp.
We have some of those that are pure play digital, and we have some of those that are very progressive,
traditional radio guys and we work great with all of them.\par \par Rob: It is pretty incredible
when you think about that. It’s going to come down to audience development and growth. Obviously,
this is why Google looks at Hulu, it is a distribution company, and it is the way Google
would look at Spotify because it is just another cheap avenue to get ads out to their audience,
done in an effective way. So yeah, you are right; this is a pretty interesting time to
be a part of this, isn’t?\par \par Patrick: It’s very cool. I got into this business because
I thought that this is going to be a wild ride. I don’t have any idea where it ends
or how it ends, but I like a good roller coaster and it has not disappointed. It has got incredible
hairpin turns, ups and downs, it is a blast. It is full of really, really interesting,
smart people on all sides of the equation, and it has been nothing short of fantastic
so far. I think it is just getting heated up now, and I think this year and the next
are going to be really wild times.\par \par Rob: I couldn’t agree with you more because
when I look out at the mobile horizon and people ask, “What does that mean in mobile?”
And I say, “Well, at some point it is not going to matter, you are not going to use
the word mobile. It’s just going to be you are going to consume all kinds of different
content, video, audio, print, digital print, directions, coupons, money, all those kinds
of stuff.”\par \par So name an industry that is not going to be disrupted by this. I think
that when a step in technology comes like this, you see a massive change in a stable
industry, and that is what we are seeing right now, this flux, everybody is trying to figure
out what is going on. Nobody knows the way but they’ve got to try everything. They’ve
got to try or else they are done.\par \par Patrick: They do and the other thing is that
you don’t know that it is the last wave, much the same way that nobody really saw this 4G
world that we live in even two or three years ago. Everybody is certainly trying to get
up on their board and ride it as long and as hard as they can, but you honestly don’t
know that there is not a meteor type of technology that is right behind it that makes you about-face
and go down another path, which is what is so awesome about this.\par \par You do the
best you can with the information you have available at the time, and there are certain
underpinnings, foundational strategic things that if you do correctly, you don’t get caught
completely unaware. You just have to ride it. Technology is just ever changing, and
you just go with it.\par \par Rob: I love it. What a great way to finish off. It is
an absolute joy ride that you are on here. You could be at the pinnacle of success and
then turn around and realize that everything that you have built, that entire mountain
that you built and are standing on top of has crumbled before you, right as you reach
the apex. You hope that it does not happen, but it certainly happens to a lot of industries
today, a lot of companies today and it is because of a little disruptive thing called
a mobile device. It’s just kind of crazy. Who knew a phone would have this power?\par
\par Patrick: Not me.\par \par Rob: Yeah, not anybody. At least, we have got to be honest.
I did not see it, you did not see it, nobody saw it and anybody who said they saw is full
of it. Now we are just living it, which is the greatest part. Where can people find out
about you guys? What is the best way?\par \par Patrick: Www.tritondigital.com\par \par
Rob: Tritondigital.com\par \par Patrick: There’s the site, and there’s ways to contact us.
There’s demos and all kinds of things we work with and all kinds of good stuff there, but
we’d love to hear from you.\par \par Rob: You guys are a 250 person organization out
of Boston.\par \par Patrick: We are spread throughout the world actually. There are people
from Los Angeles to Boston, in terms of West to East in the U.S. and everywhere in between.
We have people in London and Switzerland and Spain and Asia. You name it, we’re all over
the place.\par \par Rob: I have one question about this. Are you seeing the same things
across the globe or are we at differing stages? You almost got out of here. Are they differing
stages across the globe when it comes to this kind of stuff?\par \par Patrick: They are
at differing stages. A lot of the challenges are common, but there are many that are very
unique and a lot of it has to do with the royalty structures from country to country.
Some people have a very definite burning platform to be streaming, others have a burning platform
to not stream because it is financially prohibitive, and so that is really on a country-by-country
basis. Everybody is thinking about similar things, but the reality on the ground is quite
different from country to country.\par \par Rob: I can imagine. I figure we can talk about
this forever, and I will have you back on, Patrick, because we have got to see how this
thing evolves over the long-term and see if there is a fork in the road or a new technology
that comes in, or an adjustment that happens in this space. But certainly, who would have
thought?\par \par I get excited about newspapers and their opportunities. I get excited about
television and its opportunities. I get excited about radio and their opportunities. Some
of these guys are going to disappear, but I just wish they would kick it up a notch
and it seems like what you are doing at Triton is just that; helping them kick it up a notch.\par
\par Patrick: That is what we’re doing.\par \par Rob: I have been speaking with Patrick
Reynolds, who is the EVP of Marketing for Triton. Go to www.tritondigital.com, and take
a look at what they can do. There are some great resources up there and if you are a
radio station and you happen to be listening, or a content producer, you should get in touch
with them. If you are running contests on the radio, I swear, just do a simple thing
about checking into your radio station, something like that is a no-brainer, you just have to
do it. It grows your audience. It helps you create a relationship with your audience.
Two-way dialog over radio, unheard of, unheard of, unheard of.\par \par This is it. Patrick,
I really appreciate you doing this, thank you for your time.\par \par Patrick: I appreciate
the time. This has been a lot of fun, I hope we can come back and see how the story ends.\par
\par Rob: I think this will be a long-term story. Thank you guys who are still watching
and listening. You know that I appreciate the fact that you do this each and every time
that you do. It might not be every episode, but every episode that matters you guys are
listening to, so thank you so much for doing it. If you have any feedback, comments, suggestions,
critiques, whatever it is reach out at [email protected], I do respond to every single email that is
sent my way and I really appreciate the feedback and the comments. How is that for two-way
dialog out of there, Patrick?\par \par Patrick: Perfect.\par \par Rob: That is as far as we
get. Thank you guys for watching. Patrick, thank you for participating. This has been
another episode of UNTETHER.tv. See you next time.}

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