A Seeking Alpha investment writer rocked my world this week by recommending that investors take a good, hard look at Entercom, the radio group owner with over 100 AM/FM stations in markets of varying size, including San Francisco, Boston and Seattle. (See Article)
Could it be? A legitimate Wall Street advisor chanting “Step right up!” and not heralding the praises of some new web-driven platform with 11 followers and 1,100 swooning trade reviews?
Perhaps I exaggerate, but the sound fundamentals of broadcast companies like Entercom – and other traditional broadcasters – are easily lost in the flashy, techno-driven media, where a single new feature makes the iPad 3000 the darling of the media community until v3001 comes to market.
The reality is a century-old medium like radio can, at times, seem Neanderthal next to the ever-morphing WOWS of modern day technology, despite the fact that 92% of all Americans still listen to AM/FM radio every week. But you’d never know that to read the 1,001 new ways songs are being delivered via dashboards, smart phones and refrigerators.
Don’t get me wrong. I love technology and technological advances. And I’m out-of-mind-crazy over how the web has enhanced and enriched audio/radio content and delivery. But, from first-hand experience, I can tell you that not every new bell and whistle has rung and tweeted for every advertiser willing to throw cold cash at something new, cool and shiny.
Despite all the press for iTunesRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM, Slacker, iHeartRadio, Grooveshark, Spotify, Rdio, Live365, Sonos, HD Radio and the countless other tune-slingers out there, all of them, COMBINED, do not equal the listening audience of good old AM and FM.
Call me old fashioned. I’m just making sound investments. So long as America chooses AM/FM over all of these other awesome, new, radio and audio delivery systems, we will continue to sing the praises of – and continue to invest in – AM/FM. Sure, we’ll buy time in all forms of Sound Advertising that work, but we won’t chase something slinky and sexy just because it’s new and alluring. After all, isn’t that why brands and direct marketers trust these decisions to an advertising agency?