Focus Your Attention Online

Posted By Phil Hendrie on Dec 02 2011 05:10 PM

It's important on-air talent focus on developing a lasting and loyal online audience. I'm not sure why but radio somewhere along the line gave itself over to the most inept generation of executives any industry has seen in a long while. The result is, like Detroit, a business that can't make any money producing something everyone uses. You got me. But then my job and yours has always been about the 'creating.' So the good news is: For talent a new day has dawned.

This crazy thing called the Internet is used, absorbed, cherished and loved by billions of people. Almost all are consumers, the willing recipients of what the web has to offer. The podcast has blown up. Internet radio at-home use is going up. Internet TV is now a part of your entertainment systems. It's all direct competition with radio. And all of that stuff needs product, something to constantly deliver. You and I have what it needs. We are the content creators. And my friend, just as they say in space no one can hear you scream, on the Internet no one can hear program directors scream.

The future is the web by way of wireless. That is the mobility the Internet needed and now has. Begin today, letting everyone know who you are by way of the Internet. Let them know what you do, where to find you and when. Get comfortable there and eventually buy some real estate. Your web site should be your headquarters. And your show should be first and foremost Internet friendly. Not radio friendly. Internet friendly.

Your shows should be downloads available to your fans. They can be sponsored or subscription based. Invest in video. Create content apart from your radio show. Do a Sunday morning videocast. I once did a show called "Professor Emory Clayton's Gospel Hour." I wore shades and a cape. Be original. Get so you don't solely rely on radio income any longer because you've created your own 'revenue streams.'

Start today. There isn't one move being made in radio that indicates anything has changed. Even on the web. 'I Heart Radio' held a massive music event last summer. I couldn't figure out what the big deal was because it was one day. There are 364 more. And how much did they pay those acts? What do they think you're worth? Do they actually know what they're doing with this juke box sensibility? We no longer have to sweat the weird math of radio. As talent we have never had a better opportunity to completely control our own product and market it ourselves to billions of people. You can do it exactly as you like, target exactly who you wish and create a 24 hour stream of your work with interactive features like chat, merchandise and downloads. The best part is you get to take all the money to your own bank. I don't know if radio will follow newspapers into the basement of recorded history but you're not tied to radio anymore.

Phil Hendrie is a syndicated host on hundreds of radio stations across the country. His program, more like theater, is distributed by TRN. Leave your comments for Phil below. Check out his website at



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