Through The Radio Lens

March 28, 2012

Regular readers of this blog know my position that radio has essentially become a visual medium by virtue of the available digital tools.  From websites to social media links to YouTube videos to webcams, the opportunity for radio to “supply pictures” has never been better.

But many radio traditionalists fight this idea, thinking that they still have a front row seat in the “theater of the mind.”

Antony Young, CEO of Mindshare, recently wrote a piece in AdAge about the importance of the visual culture in the social space.  The growth of Pinterest, Instagram, and other channels, along with the knowledge that pictures on Facebook and Twitter motivate sharing should not be lost on the folks sitting behind the mics or scheduling music logs.

A number of radio people are doing a great job in this space, something that I will be talking about at this year’s Morning Show Boot Camp.  Leo LaPorte (“The Tech Guy”) was talking about the power of using a webcam for every one of his radio shows way back at Summit 13 in 2008.

And from the Bonneville stations in Chicago to Entercom Sacramento to Andy Chanley’s daily venture into video at Bonneville’s KSWD/Los Angeles, more and more radio people have gotten the video memo.


As Antony Young notes, “Consumers are compiling and sharing photos and video, like an earlier generation collected LPs and bumper stickers, as their version of defining and projecting their individual identity.”

That earlier generation Young talks about is us – whether we were wearing Loop T-shirts or plastering our cars with WRIF and KQRS stickers back in the ’80s.  These visual signposts were a reflection of who we were and the type of images we wanted to convey to others.

The chief revenue officer of Luminate, Chas Edwards, calls it an “image strategy,” and like mobile and social, it is now becoming standard operating equipment for media brands.

Even in radio.

Especially for radio.


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8 Responses to Through The Radio Lens

  1. Greg Stevens on March 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Great video from The Sound in L.A. ! It was especially fun for me to watch this because I programmed & did mornings on the same signal (KQLZ) when it was known as “Pirate Radio”, and when we flipped it to the short-lived but fun “100.3″ alternativw. Thanks for taking me back through my own personal rock history !

    • Fred Jacobs
      Fred Jacobs on March 28, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      Thanks, Greg. The Sound is a whole lot different than Pirate, as is the ability to connect with audiences today. Appreciate you taking the time.

      • Greg Stevens on March 28, 2012 at 6:12 PM

        Understood. We use a some very similar video updates to engage with our online students at Full Sail. Great idea !

        • Fred Jacobs
          Fred Jacobs on March 29, 2012 at 6:13 AM

          It’s simple and opens up a whole new world – to your students and to listeners of traditional radio. Thanks again, Greg.

  2. Emily Thousand on March 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    I completely agree with this – we are actually trying out some new strategies on Facebook that are visually-based…if you want something to go viral on Facebook, it’s all about photos. Radio stations are typically not equipped or don’t have their first “go-to” content to create be visual or photographic in nature. We need to create original, branded, entertaining content that could be shared amongst our brands and enable them to spread our brand message for us. That’s the holy grail! t will be exciting to see how it plays out!

    • Fred Jacobs
      Fred Jacobs on March 28, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      Emily, thanks for your perspective from the POV of a company that isn’t afraid to take risks and try new things. We share your excitement and appreciate you chiming in.

  3. Mike Anthony on March 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Fred -

    Another very timely topic broadcasters need to be knowledgeable about but more importantly need to act upon. I wanted to share what I thought was inspiring comments from Roger McNamee, highly respected visionary and voice in Silicon Valley. Besides being partners with U-2′s Bono in a billion dollar equity fund he’s a musician and plays hundreds of shows a year.

    Roger is famous for statements like – social networks are so 5 years ago…Google has missed social, the world is evolving away from Google and the “hyper-net” is the future. Roger believes its about “video anywhere” on any device. It’s getting consumers the content they want in a mobile setting.

    I felt this was a very enlightening interview that will cause everyone to think about how “what’s next” applies to broadcasting as an industry and to us as individuals in broadcasting.

    Mike Anthony

    • Fred Jacobs
      Fred Jacobs on March 29, 2012 at 6:12 AM

      Roger is a great speaker, loaded with ideas. Thanks for sharing a good one & of course, for reading our blog.

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