Monday, December 31, 2007

Blogs, the new Radio?

In looking at the development and evolution of the blogosphere it occurs to me that the dynamics of the marketplace are very similar to radio, only better.

Like radio, you never know how many people will be tuning in at any given time. Unlike radio, your message is there waiting for them whenever they decide to show up. The marketplace is demand driven. Blogs are sought out by people seeking specific information and points of view. There is no content "gate keeper". No doubt one political party or the other will soon be pointing out how "unfair" this is and propose some kind of "Balanced Blogging Bill"

Blogs are extremely versatile. I have several areas of interest and enjoy writing, so I have several blogs. Taking a page from the radio advertising play book, I decided to experiment with "call in contests" on one. This morning I posted a question of the day, along with a link to where one could find the answer. The first person to email the correct answer before the deadline wins a free pizza. Of course, the winner would have to be someone close enough to come pick up the prize, which is why it's posted on a locally targeted blog. I'll let you know how it goes.

The marketing opportunities are vast. Sites like and can help you make money and/or advertise on other blogs. An ad often consists of being paid to put a link within a blog post or do a review of someone else's blog. Unlike radio, a blog post doesn't go away as soon as it's aired. Who knows how much "airplay" you'll get for your $5.

The blogosphere isn't new, but I believe it's on the verge of becoming HUGE (or HUGER). The potential is tremendous. Once again, Google is ahead of the curve, leading the market in blogging tools and gadgets, not to mention free web space. From here I see the blogosphere branching out into video stations as the technology catches up with demand. Other media could have evolved along side it and taken advantage of the trend, but they seem to be content in trying to fend it off, a lost cause.

Here's something I'd like to see: A radio station that has a site where you can download free (or for 20 cents or so), unrestricted mp3's of up and coming bands. The station uses the download data to determine which songs to play and how often. The bands get great exposure, the consumer gets great new music. The radio station operates not as a radio station, but as a brand name for a particular genre of music. They could sell ads on the website, the radio, even a monthly newsletter or magazine.

As for TV, how about YouTV? An expansion of the "public access" channels. You have a series of channels that feature viewer submitted content. Different channels for different content. 3 minute clips submitted by viewers. The cable or satellite provider also makes individual clips available in the ON DEMAND menu. Again, they use the demand data to determine which videos to replay. Of course they also make the videos available on the web.

The marketing industry shifts back and forth, sometimes favoring distribution channels, sometimes content. At the moment and for the foreseeable future, it looks like Content is King. Hitching your wagon to a particular distribution channel is probably not a good idea.

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