Pandora Equals Distraction

People at broadcast radio stations are sure spending a lot of time thinking and worrying about Pandora.

I would propose, instead, that it’s a distraction.

Pandora can individualize music streams for you.  Is it a worthwhile product?  Like many others, I love it.  There’s even stuff you can learn from them.

Is that a problem for radio?  Radio stations are not about to be able to individualize their product the same way.  Also, I love good ol’ radio, too … there’s no reason this is an either/or situation. Radio still offers the best instant convenient entertainment value, bar none.

Pandora moved into an area (customized music streams) that no one else was in.  Congrats to them on their creativity.  Broadcasters are never really going to do that.

Broadcast radio brands are still the big dog on the porch when it comes to listening choices of any sort.  It’s time to act that way.  Instead of sweating Pandora, we need to quit trying to solve today’s problems with yesterday’s tools.  We need to start using our digital tools … websites, social media, texting, streaming, whatever we got … to build community and engagement and branding with our fans.  However …

  • Why, in the 21st century, would we still be doing a request show with phones when you could use Listener Driven Radio or Jelli?  Or, CBS Radio’s Instant Feedback?  Most of our jocks aren’t doing entertaining phone bits.
  • Why would you not use Twitter to help field listener questions and complaints, instead of having listener voice mail no one takes seriously anymore?
  • Why does your website content look and feel so little like how your radio station sounds?
  • Why do you not use social media to give fans more access to what they already love about your brand?

It’s the digital age.  The more time goes by, the more people expect to be able to get what they love about their favorite products in multiple ways online.  Radio brands are still warmly thought of by their fans, but their digital initiatives are almost all viewed as not very helpful.  That’s because they want you to get them closer to what they love about you … not your next sales appearance or what you saw on YouTube that caught your eye.

You’ll never be their best friend.  Instead, you’ll be their favorite radio brand.

You want a digital strategy?  To thine own brand be true.  You’ll find you won’t even think about Pandora if you do your own digital engagement right.

Chris Miller


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