I read a piece this morning about the SBS (Spanish Broadcasting System) selling time to musicians. Actually not a bad idea provided it’s controlled. While Spanish formats are struggling like urbans, if there is a huge response to the concept by musicians and labels, it would behoove them not to overdue it.
The money goes to the corporation so it’s considered legal and it keeps other musicians and labels from arguing about the station being unfair or does it? Perhaps in the grander scheme of things it doesn’t matter as labels and artists scramble to find other ways besides radio to get exposure… You can’t blame them. Mark my words, SOMEONE is going to come up with a killer online concept or App to give artists a huge boost in sales and the exposure they have been dying for over the last decades sans the corporate politics, greed, syndication discrimination (for rappers) and the extremely tight playlists. All this while the corporations, not programmers per say, at urban radio remain antiquated and keep the radio purse tightly closed from any new and innovative concepts including station websites to change the current revenue slump plaguing so many urban stations even with impressive ratings. The lack of sales at urban radio, as I have stated many times in RFFocus is not ALL the economy but It has a LOT to do with syndication and the fact that advertisers are savvy enough to realize 40 plus hosts are not going to reach the younger demos with technology, sports gear and energy drinks when the host themselves have no energy. Syndication is not saving urban radio it is a mere stabilization for the lack of local talent as listeners who like radio, don’t have options. The ratings are stable for the most part but a good local host can do just as well if not better if the door opens to give fresh young talent the opportunity. This is one of urban radio’s GREATEST mistakes and another story but how is urban going to make up for the great ratings and lost revenue?
Well, many programmers don’t want to admit it but we basically are in the business these days as urban stations of MOSTLY selling music, with syndication dominating many outlets we are certainly not community oriented anymore. The many programmers I talk to weekly would LOVE to have the ability to be creative, farm out new talent in smaller markets and proudly sit back and watch the industry give birth to new radio stars but that has not happened in the last decade thanks to urban’s need to consolidated and homogenize a format that has always been the format that OTHER formats followed. At this juncture, urban is following just like everybody else, thanks to overpaid and dated corporations heads who think Twitter is actually a bird, the question is if everybody is following, who in the hell is leading which is why everybody is struggling.
Innovative concepts like infomercials are great ideas because what radio across the board has to do is look for concepts to attract listeners where the internet can’t. If a label tries the technique for urban they can offset the costs by finding a sponsor, especially for major stars and I can see where it could be very convoluted on the urban airwaves if some of the syndicated shows are not knocked to the wayside which would have to be done. An overflow of syndication and informercials on urban stations would turn listeners off but If urban can MAKE money from running a show or an infomercial especially in slots like overnights, I think it would be a very attractive alternative to syndication which some urban programmers state is starting to cost the station more money than simply hiring a local talent.