Thursday, July 10, 2014

Another sign that everything has changed

By Don Keith N4KC



If anyone is still not convinced that a sea change has taken place in how consumers get their television--thanks in part to technological change--just look at the Emmy nominations, announced this morning (July 10, 2014).   (In case you didn't see them, I have included most of the major awards below.)

Traditional over-the-air networks are hard to find on the list, and even then, most of the nominations going to the "tower on the hill" gang are to PBS.  Instead, most of the kudos for best this-and-that go to everything from HBO to Netflix. This tells us two things:  1) People don't care where they get their video...over the air, cable/satellite, Internet, and, 2) The folks producing truly unique programming content do not hold FCC licenses or own towers.

Here's one more bit of proof: the only categories in which traditional networks dominate are those labeled "Reality."  I know they have their fans and viewers, but these, to me, are the least unique and creative categories of all.

Scroll through the nominations.  See how often Netflix, HBO, FX and AMC pop up.  Then look for CBS, ABC, Fox or NBC.

I rest my case.

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television
Louie • FX Networks • Pig Newton, Inc. and FX Productions
Modern Family • ABC • Picador Productions and Steven Levitan Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Orange Is The New Black • Netflix • Lionsgate Television for Netflix
Silicon Valley • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Judgemental Films, Alec Berg, Altschuler Krinsky works, and 3 Arts Entertainment
Veep • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Dundee Productions
Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal
Game Of Thrones • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions
House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
True Detective • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Neon Black, Anonymous Content, Parliament of Owls and Passenger
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Bryan Cranston as Walter White
House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood
Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Jon Hamm as Don Draper
The Newsroom • HBO • HBO Entertainment
Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy
True Detective • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Neon Black, Anonymous Content, Parliament of Owls and Passenger Woody Harrelson as Martin Hart
True Detective • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Neon Black, Anonymous Content, Parliament of Owls and Passenger Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley
The Good Wife • CBS • Eye Productions in association with Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick
Homeland • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Fox 21, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison
House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
Robin Wright as Claire Underwood
Masters of Sex • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Sony Pictures Television, Round Two Productions, Timberman/Beverly Productions Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson
Scandal • ABC • ABC Studios
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Dancing On The Edge • Starz • Ruby Film and Television in association with Endgame Entertainment and Playground Creative England and Lip Sync Productions
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Louis Lester
Fargo • FX Networks • MGM and FX Productions
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard
Fargo • FX Networks • MGM and FX Productions
Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo
Luther • BBC America • A BBC and BBC America co-production
Idris Elba as John Luther
The Normal Heart • HBO • HBO Films in association with Plan B Entertainment, Blumhouse and Ryan Murphy Productions Mark Ruffalo as Ned Weeks
Sherlock: His Last Vow (Masterpiece) • PBS • Hartswood West for BBC/Cymru Wales in co-production with Masterpiece
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
American Horror Story: Coven • FX Networks • 20th Century Fox Television
Jessica Lange as Fiona Goode
American Horror Story: Coven • FX Networks • 20th Century Fox Television
Sarah Paulson as Cordelia Goode Foxx
Burton And Taylor • BBC America • A BBC Drama Production co-produced with BBC America
Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth Taylor
Return To Zero • Lifetime • Cannonball Productions
Minnie Driver as Maggie Royal
The Spoils Of Babylon • IFC • Funny or Die for IFC
Kristen Wiig as Cynthia Morehouse
The Trip To Bountiful • Lifetime • Ostar Productions
Cicely Tyson as Carrie Watts
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper
Derek • Netflix • Derek Productions Ltd. for Netflix
Ricky Gervais as Derek
Episodes • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Hat Trick Productions, Crane Klarik Productions
Matt LeBlanc as Matt LeBlanc
House Of Lies • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Crescendo Productions, Totally Commercial Films, Refugee Productions, Matthew Carnahan Circus Products
Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan
Louie • FX Networks • Pig Newton, Inc. and FX Productions
Louis C.K. as Louie
Shameless • Showtime • Showtime Presents, John Wells Productions, Warner Bros. Television
William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Girls • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Apatow Productions and I am Jenni Konner Productions
Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath
Mike & Molly • CBS • Bonanza Productions, Inc. in association with Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. and Warner Bros. Television Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn
Nurse Jackie • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Lionsgate Television, Jackson Group Entertainment, A Caryn Mandabach Production, Clyde Phillips Productions
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton
Orange Is The New Black • Netflix • Lionsgate Television for Netflix
Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman
Parks and Recreation • NBC • Deedle-Dee Productions, Fremulon, 3 Arts Entertainment and Universal Television
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope
Veep • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Dundee Productions
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President Selina Meyer
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race • CBS • WorldRace Productions, Inc.
Bertram van Munster, Executive Producer Elise Doganieri, Executive Producer
Jerry Bruckheimer, Executive Producer Jonathan Littman, Executive Producer Mark Vertullo, Executive Producer
Dan Coffie, Co-Executive Producer Giselle Parets, Co-Executive Producer Matt Schmidt, Co-Executive Producer Patrick Cariaga, Co-Executive Producer Phil Keoghan, Co-Executive Producer Michael Norton, Supervising Producer Darren Bunkley, Supervising Producer Neil Jahss, Supervising Producer Micheal DiMaggio, Supervising Producer Chad Baron, Senior Producer
Vanessa Abugho Ballesteros, Senior Producer
Dancing With The Stars • ABC • BBC Worldwide Productions
Conrad Green, Executive Producer Joe Sungkur, Executive Producer
Ashley Edens-Shaffer, Executive Producer Deena Katz, Supervising Producer
Tara West-Margolis, Supervising Producer Daniel Martin, Supervising Producer
Peter Hebri, Senior Producer
Ashley Shea Landers, Senior Producer Megan Wade, Producer
Ryan Goble, Producer
Project Runway • Lifetime • The Weinstein Company, Bunim/Murray Productions and Full Picture Entertainment
Harvey Weinstein, Executive Producer Bob Weinstein, Executive Producer Meryl Poster, Executive Producer Jonathan Murray, Executive Producer Sara Rea, Executive Producer
Heidi Klum, Executive Producer Jane Cha, Executive Producer Desiree Gruber, Executive Producer Rob Sharenow, Executive Producer Gena McCarthy, Executive Producer David Hillman, Executive Producer
Barbara Schneeweiss, Executive Producer Gil Goldschein, Co-Executive Producer Teri Weideman, Co-Executive Producer Rebecca Taylor Henning, Senior Producer Tim Gunn, Producer
Sasha Alpert, Producer
So You Think You Can Dance • FOX • Dick Clark Productions, Inc. in association with 19 Entertainment
Barry Adelman, Executive Producer Simon Fuller, Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe, Executive Producer Jeff Thacker, Co-Executive Producer James Breen, Co-Executive Producer
Zoe Brown, Senior Supervising Producer Dan Sacks, Senior Supervising Producer Adam Cooper, Supervising Producer Mike Deffina, Senior Producer
Colleen Wagner, Senior Producer Matt Kinsey, Producer
Jensen Moon, Producer
Top Chef • Bravo • Magical Elves for Bravo
Dan Cutforth, Executive Producer Jane Lipsitz, Executive Producer Casey Kriley, Executive Producer Hillary Olsen, Executive Producer Tara Siener, Executive Producer Tom Colicchio, Executive Producer Padma Lakshmi, Executive Producer Erica Ross, Co-Executive Producer
Doneen Arquines, Co-Executive Producer Shealan Spencer, Co-Executive Producer Christian Homlish, Supervising Producer Blake Davis, Supervising Producer
Wade Sheeler, Supervising Producer Ivan Oyco, Senior Producer
The Voice • NBC • Mark Burnett’s One Three Inc. and Talpa Media USA in association with Warner Horizon Television
Mark Burnett, Executive Producer John De Mol, Executive Producer Audrey Morrissey, Executive Producer Stijn Bakkers, Executive Producer Lee Metzger, Executive Producer Chad Hines, Co-Executive Producer Nicolle Yaron, Co-Executive Producer
Amanda Zucker, Co-Executive Producer Mike Yurchuk, Co-Executive Producer Jim Roush, Co-Executive Producer
Kyra Thompson, Supervising Producer May Johnson, Senior Producer
Teddy Valenti, Senior Producer Ashley Baumann, Producer Carson Daly, Producer
Keith Dinielli, Producer Barton Kimball, Producer Kyley Tucker, Producer Brittany Martin, Producer
Outstanding Miniseries
American Horror Story: Coven • FX Networks • 20th Century Fox Television
Bonnie & Clyde • Lifetime • Sony Pictures Television
Fargo • FX Networks • MGM and FX Productions
Luther • BBC America • A BBC and BBC America co-production
Treme • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Blown Deadline Productions
The White Queen • Starz • Starz presents in association with Company Pictures (an All 3 Media Company) and Playground Entertainment
Outstanding Television Movie
Killing Kennedy • National Geographic Channel • Scott Free Productions for National Geographic Channels
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight • HBO • HBO
The Normal Heart • HBO • HBO Films in association with Plan B Entertainment, Blumhouse and Ryan Murphy Productions
Sherlock: His Last Vow (Masterpiece) • PBS • Hartswood West for BBC/Cymru Wales in co-production with Masterpiece
The Trip To Bountiful • Lifetime • Ostar Productions
Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report • Comedy Central • Hello Doggie, Inc. with Busboy Productions and Spartina Productions
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • Comedy Central • Central Productions, LLC
Jimmy Kimmel Live • ABC • ABC Studios in association with Jackhole Industries
Real Time With Bill Maher • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bill Maher Productions and Brad Grey Television
Saturday Night Live • NBC • SNL Studios in association with Universal Television and Broadway Video
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon • NBC • Universal Television and Broadway Video Films in association with Rainmark Films and Sakura Films
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal
Jim Carter as Mr. Carson
Game Of Thrones • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
The Good Wife • CBS • Eye Productions in association with Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions
Josh Charles as Will Gardner
Homeland • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Fox 21, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson
Ray Donovan • Showtime • Showtime Presents, The Mark Gordon Company, Bider Sweet
Jon Voight as Mickey Donovan
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Anna Gunn as Skyler White
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal
Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates
Game Of Thrones • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
The Good Wife • CBS • Eye Productions in association with Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart
Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris







Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pollyanna strikes again!

By Don Keith N4KC



My favorite radio broadcasting "the glass is not only half full but it contains a fine, fine wine" publication does it again in today's edition:

July Fourth listener drop is a one-day phenomenon.
From trips to the beach, barbeques and firework outings, it’s little wonder radio use typically ticks down on July Fourth. But Nielsen data shows the drop may not be as large as many believe it is, and listening habits quickly return once the calendar page is turned.

That is the word from INSIDE RADIO, that any idea that radio usage is down on a major summer holiday is a fairy tale.  Actually, July 4 in particular and summer in general was a fine time for traditional radio listenership.  Anytime people were out and about, in their cars, at the beach, doing stuff, they had their radios with them.  Radio provided music, info, companionship, and background noise for all those outdoor activities.  It was, after all, portable.  Unlike TV, the newspaper, or any other medium.

Now, consumers have plenty of other choices for that music, info, companionship and noise.  Radio is actually pretty far down the list because those other choices are equally or more ubiquitous.  And they are more reliable.  Ever tried to find a traffic update on most stations on a weekend?  Or spotted storm clouds and tried to dial up someone who could give you a weather report?

Probably not.  You have an app for traffic and weather.

Look, radio listening may have appeared to drop on Independence Day because of the way radio was once measured...by people keeping diaries of their listenership.  People who were not quite so diligent in their record-keeping on holidays.  Now, with a more passive means of determining listening, more of it probably gets reported.

But keep in mind that same passive means of measurement is showing listening to traditional radio has already had its fireworks finale.  The medium may soon be as much old news as yesterday's bottle rocket.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

AM and FM own the auto dashboard and always will...

By Don Keith N4KC



Google will soon stake a major claim on your car's dashboard.  To counter Apple's CarPlay, the Google folks took time from putting all those World Cup cartoons on their search home page to introduce Android Auto.

Take a look HERE.

Remember when the middle of the dash was dominated by the ubiquitous AM/FM radio with CD player?  Heck I remember when it was just an AM radio.  Then FM came along.  Then 8-track tapes and eventually tape cassettes and finally the compact disc.

Many AM operators ignored FM.  Where is AM radio today?  Then FM operators pooh-poohed 8-tracks, and cassettes.  They were pretty much right since those technologies were so clunky.  CDs didn't appear to be a threat, either, since the average-quarter-hour shares were still based on 100%...100% of people listening to radio...not a percentage of the whole population, many of whom were finding other things to listen to, like CDs.  Radio still tries to sell its air time using shares...a percentage of people listening to radio, not a percentage of all the people out there in the population.

In the car?  What else you going to do but listen to "The biggest hits of the 80s, 90s and today on FM108!!!"  Or "The biggest and best country, Yahoo 95.7!"  Or three guys arguing for an hour about whether the Padres have the pitching to challenge for the division title?

No wonder people began preferring CDs to dull, boring personalities and two ten-minute chunks of commercials every hour.  Or they listened to audio books.  And people began talking on their cell phones instead of listening to radio or CDs.

But shares of audience were still based on 100%...of people listening to radio.  Even if people listening to radio were becoming fewer and fewer and for much less time.  The radio still dominated the dashboard, after all.

No more.  That big chunk of real estate to the right of the steering wheel has become far more than an AM/FM radio receiver.  Choices are becoming almost infinite.  

Can traditional radio still play a big part in what people do in their cars?  Can Yahoo 95.7 still be a significant part of CarPlay and Android Auto?

Sure they can.  But they won't.  Talent costs money.  Creativity runs risks.

Why should radio spend money and take risks to produce compelling content that keeps them a part of the auto dashboard?  AM and FM own the dashboard, right?

Will the last one out of the last radio station please turn off the transmitter?

(Note: just a reminder that I am on record as predicting that the current AM broadcast band will be given to the ham radio operators by 2025.)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Are broadcasters ready for their Waterloo?

By Don Keith



Regular visitors to this blog know that I often give the guys at the Inside Radio email newsletter grief.  This industry "news" source consistently tries to put a positive spin on every aspect of how rapidly changing technology is affecting its primary readership: traditional, over-the-air broadcasters.

Believe me, they could have found something positive to report to Napoleon and his army after Waterloo!

Well, here is today's example:

Cross-platform data shows more devices boost listening.
As comScore continues on the second phase of its cross-platform Project Blueprint research with ESPN and four other media companies, the data is revealing a pattern that may help settle some broadcasters’ worries that more platforms will mean less radio listening. In fact, multiplatform users are consuming more content overall.

So, radio transmitter-on-the-hill broadcasters, since there are more and more ways for potential listeners to consume audio, things are just rosy for you all.  Break out the champagne!  comScore has determined that since people have more and more ways to get the songs and talk they want to hear, then you guys can continue to stream music--the same music that listeners can get on all those other platforms they adopt, but without your endless self-promotion, repetition, tight playlists, and little else to listen for--and your syndicated talk shows and your listenership will only go up, up, up.

Huzzah and hosanna!

But wait.  As I understand what comScore is saying, the number of listeners is not going up with the proliferation of devices on which they consume media.  The same number of people are consuming slightly more media because they have the devices.  Where in that research does it say that this group of people will listen more to dull, boring broadcast radio with their shiny, new devices when there are myriad more attractive entertainment and information choices available to them?

As I have pointed out to broadcasters for years, if someone is talking on a cell phone, he or she is not listening to your radio station.  And clearly, if he or she is consuming satellite radio, Pandora, Spotify, or any other source on those cross-platform devices that are quickly becoming more ubiquitous than the radio in the dash of the car or on the nightstand at home, then that person is not listening to "the biggest hits of the 80s, 90s and today" that your station continually spews out.

Please, Inside Radio, tell me how that is good news for radio in the midst of a traditional-media Waterloo!






Monday, April 21, 2014

Milestone



For many, this particular milestone may not seem like much:

Milestone moment as radio overtakes newspaper.
In a historic crossing of revenue trend lines, for first time the radio industry was larger than the newspaper industry in terms of revenue last year. Eight consecutive years of declines for newspapers are to blame. The Newspaper Association of America reports total revenue fell 9% to $17.3 billion. That’s $349 million below what radio logged last year in what turned out to be a flat year for broadcasters.
To those involved in the radio and newspaper businesses and the advertisers who use those media, it is a massive change.  Be assured it is a day many thought would never come...that is until the last few years.  Then it became inevitable.  Rapid technological development in the media realm made it so.

Now, I would like to see stats on where all traditional media--over-the-air TV and radio, print newspapers and magazines--rank against new media such as satellite radio, music streams, and the biggest big dog of them all, internet search.

Radio and newspaper advocates might then be arguing about whether their horse finished ninth or tenth.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hooray for us! as we lose the battle



Followers of this blog are aware that I firmly believe traditional over-the-air/tower-on-the-mountain radio broadcasters have long since given up in the battle against all the other newer-technology competitors for the ears of listeners.  Oh, they don't admit they have given up, but they most certainly have.

At a time when they should have been gearing up, innovating, creating vivid and dynamic content, and doing all they could to keep a share of the public's attention, traditional broadcasters did just the opposite.  They pulled in their horns, cut everything they could cut, streamed music and political or sports talk from syndicators, and, in effect, stuck their heads in the sand.

Example: one of the industry trade pubs consistently looks for tidbits of good news to make subscribers believe things are not so bad and all will turn out fine, just as it did when radio was threatened by TV in the early '50s.  Here is a blurb from today's email issue of that publication:

Radio still top pick for many Millennials.

The investment bank Piper Jaffray just released its semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” report. Survey takers asked 7,500 teenagers which platform they spend the most time listening to music on. One in five (21%) reported local broadcast radio captures the biggest segment of their music listening time.

Well, thank goodness!  All is fine!  Teens--the very demo radio feared was going to web streaming, satellite, smart phones and anything else but their grandparents' old FM radio--still pick that ancient technology and dull, boring programming over all the other choices.  The future of tower-on-the-mountain radio is secure!

Horse hockey!  How could radio be anything but scared to death when they see that only 21% of their future still listens to "local" radio for music?  (Don't get me started on "local.")

That means almost 80% of the very people radio needs to become loyal fans are getting their music somewhere else.  80%!  Even ten years ago, I suspect that number was less than ten percent...and they listened to tapes and CDs of songs they had originally heard on the radio.

Oh, and no minor point: what do advertisers think when they want to reach teens and see that 80% of them no longer spend most of their time with good old Superhits 107?

So, INSIDE RADIO, explain to me why this is good news.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Goodbye 60- and 30-second commercials...and good riddance

Written by Don Keith N4KC



I’ve been preaching for a while that the traditional electronic media mainstays—the 60- and 30-second commercial spot announcements—are going to soon fade into the ether.  They have to.  Blame the DVR, the proliferation of programming choice, satellite radio and Pandora, the short attention spans of Gen X and Y, or the simple inability to easily tie results to investment, but the spot announcement will soon join the newspaper classified ad, the Yellow Pages, and the ad-supported wall calendar in the pages of advertising history textbooks.  Assuming the textbook itself still exists much longer, which I doubt.


Word of disclosure: this is the same Relativity Media that still holds the film option on my novel FIRING POINT and still says they are going to get it made this year.  I assume our
submarine will float in a sea of Evian water!




Agencies who think they can still skate along, dazzling their clients with their skill buying CPM or cost-per-point or Tapscan rankers, will see less and less return for the people who keep the company juice bar stocked and a charge on the agency CEO’s Tesla battery.
Advertisers who rely on “social media consultants” (read: “charlatans”) to help develop strategy will end up prolonging the life of MySpace, Yahoo, and others who have long since outlived any ability they might have once had to deliver brand loyalty or eager customers for a company, product or service.  (I’m not quite ready to throw Facebook into that pile of drying bones, but the time is coming unless some of these seemingly goofy investments they are making turn out to be just what they need to actually give some value to all those eyeballs they have assembled.) 




Media—and especially traditional radio and TV—who don’t realize that they must be what Relativity calls itself—a “content engine,” and one with myriad ways to reach and engage potential customers for advertisers—will soon have nothing left to sell. 

Nothing except air.