Layoffs have permeated throughout the media industry over the past few months that will have a ripple effect in our business for years to come. There are many innovators who have already started a trend that will have long lasting effects on print and radio stations alike. Big corporations need to take notice that by laying off employees, they have allowed a lot of talent to move freely. Consumers have taken notice and are now getting more of their content in non-traditional formats.
The wave of non traditional outlets started years ago with the internet, which allowed media outlets to grow remotely without the need for brick and mortar buildings. This allowed companies, as startups, to recruit talent and use the resources normally set aside for fixed costs to be put into the pockets of the people who were doing the work. As the internet expanded, smart phones came about and the ability to broadcast from anywhere became more prevalent. Advertisers have taken notice, and traditional media buys have now been spread over multiple locations. It’s simple, advertisers can get more bang for their buck.
2020 has put more of us out of work, in what was already a limited market for employment. With this weeks news that The Athletic was laying off 46 more writers, the market has become more saturated with talented people who now don’t have a place to work. Who will hire them in a soft economy when a lot of the bigger companies have indefinite hiring freezes? How long can most people afford to sit at home with little or no income? I wrote a few weeks ago here that this is a time to try everything to keep a stream of income coming in.
Is the time now to start your own media group?
It’s a question I’ve pondered for well over a year now, and as months turned into a year, the question still lingers and builds in my head.
What does it take to make this happen? Honestly, a small bit of research, a few clicks on the internet, and the potential for putting your content out there is right at your finger tips.
The second, and most important part is how do you monetize your content?
This becomes a little more tricky, but with patience and the right ideas, there are plenty of ways to make money without working for your local radio station or your local news paper. Multiple startups have become very profitable in a very short amount of time, and the goal of making money is very attainable.
The third part is how do you want the site to be run? Do you want solo content or use the model that Bleacher Report or SB Nation have used, and that is saturate the market with as much content as possible. These 2 recruit up and coming writers and podcasters and get a lot of content produced for a relatively cheap cost, but are able to get a lot of clicks on a daily basis.
There are advantages to both. With the solo opportunity, you can give exclusive content that people can only get from you, but the drawback is advertisers want to see numbers before they spend dollars.
Do you have enough stroke to make this happen? Do you have the previous relationships to make this a reality?
If you go with a more inclusive approach, the key is getting the right content out there. You don’t want just any content, although this will get more eyes on your product and can open many other streams of revenue. These are all questions that you need to answer before getting started.
There are many success stories around the country from individuals who have branched out on their own. Obviously Barrett Sports Media is a shining example of this, and what Jason has done to corner the market is amazing.
“Big O” Orlando Alzugaray hosts The Big O Show daily on his own network, and in a few short months has generated over 1 million downloads of his podcast. You may be wondering how did he do it? Big O is a long time radio host in South Florida, who unfortunately was let go from WQAM about a year and a half ago. He had a short stint with 1210 The Man, and then branched out on his own.
To monetize, Orlando used his long time relationships with sponsors, who came on board with his solo venture. He’s been able to keep these relationships going by doing live shows at his sponsors place of business and because he produces the numbers he does, Big O continues to rock the airwaves of Miami and beyond without a traditional radio outlet.
Ethan Skolnick is another great case study. He was a long time beat writer for the Sun Sentinel, who also hosted a radio show on 790 the Ticket. After moving on from both he started the 5 Reasons Sports Network which has a ton of Miami sports coverage from multiple writers and podcasters. In a short amount of time, the network has become a go to source for unfiltered Miami coverage. Everywhere you turn there’s an article or opinion from his group, and advertisers and fans alike have taken notice. Ethan also incorporated merchandise into the site, and his Tua/Miami 2020 shirts are selling like hot cakes. The writers and podcasters have an outlet that’s getting tons of clicks, which in turn gets there name and content out there, and advertisers are taking notice.
I did a Twitter poll asking how people consume their media coverage and the results were just what I expected. People listen to the radio, download podcasts, pay subscriptions and take it all on the go. If your content is good, they will find it.
The industry has pushed a lot of talented people out the door, but the talent is fighting back and taking their own piece of the pie. The time is now to start something on your own and get on board before the train passes you by.
Keeping Premier League Games Shouldn’t Be A Hard Call For NBC
“Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans.”
NBC Sports is facing some tough, costly decisions that will define its sports brand for the rest of this decade. A chance to connect with viewers in a changing climate and grow Peacock’s audience as well. However, making the right choice is paramount to not losing to apps like Paramount+ (pun intended).
NBC is currently in the business of negotiating to continue airing the Premier League as their current deal ends after this 2021-2022 season. NASCAR is contracted to NBC (and FOX) through the 2024 season.
NBC’s tentpole sports are the NFL and the Olympics.
Negotiations for the EPL are expected to go down to the wire. Rather than re-up with NBC, the league is meeting with other networks to drive up the price. NBC has to then make a decision if the rights go north of $2 billion.
Should NBC spend that much on a sport that is not played in the United States? It’s not my money, but that sport continues to grow in the US.
If NBC re-ups with the Premier League, will that leave any coins in the cupboard to re-up with NASCAR? Comcast CEO Brian Roberts hinted that there might be some penny pinching as the prices continue to soar. This may have been one of the reasons that NBC did not fight to keep the National Hockey League, whose rights will be with Disney and WarnerMedia through ESPN and TNT, respectively.
“These are really hard calls,” Roberts said. “You don’t always want to prevail, and sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong, but I think the sustainability of sports is a critical part of what our company does well.”
Roberts was speaking virtually at the recent Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference. He told the audience that between NBC and European network Sky, that Comcast has allocated approximately $20 billion towards these sports properties.
Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh spoke virtually at the Bank of America Securities 2021 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference and echoed that the company is in a good position to make some strong choices in the sports realm.
“The bar is really high for us to pursue outright acquisitions of any material size,” Cavanagh added. “We got a great hand to play with what we have.”
While the European investments involve a partnership with American rival Viacom, the US market seems to have apparent limits.
Last Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway was seen by around 2.19 million people. It was the most-watched motorsports event of the weekend. That same week eight different Premier League matches saw over 1 million viewers. More than half of those matches were on subscription-based Peacock.
Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans. A game of typical soccer fan is used to a sport that is less than two hours long. The investment in a team is one or two games a week.
My connection to the Premier League began before the pandemic. When I cut the cord in late 2017, I purchase Apple TV. Setting it up, it asks you to name your favorite teams. After clicking on the Syracuse Orange and the New Jersey Devils, I recalled that my wife has family based in London, England. They are season ticket holders for Arsenal, and that family redefined the word “die-hard” fans.
I’ve long been a believer that sports allegiances are best when handed down by family. I love hearing stories of people loving the New York Giants because their parents liked them, and they pass it down to their children.
I’ve successfully given my allegiance to the Devils to my young daughters.
By telling Apple TV that I liked Arsenal, I get alerts from three different apps when the “Gunners” are playing. The $4.99 is totally worth it to see Arsenal.
Whenever I told this story, I was amazed to see how many other American sports fans had a Premier League team. Students of mine at Seton Hall University rooted for Tottenham Hotspurs, while an old colleague cheers on Chelsea.
This is not meant to say that NBC should sign the EPL on my account. The key for any US-based soccer fan is that between Bundesliga, Serie A, and other leagues, there will be no shortage of soccer available on both linear television and streaming services.
Besides, Dani Rojas did say that “Football is life.” NBC, originator of the Ted Lasso character, should make keeping its Premier League US connection a priority.
Media Noise – Episode 45
Today, Demetri is joined by Tyler McComas and Russ Heltman. Tyler pops on to talk about the big start to the college football season on TV. Russ talks about Barstool’s upfront presentation and how the business community may not see any problems in working with the brand. Plus, Demetri is optimistic about FOX Sports Radio’s new morning show.
6 Ad Categories Hotter Than Gambling For Sports Radio
“Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life.”
For years sports radio stations pushed sports gambling advertisers to early Saturday and Sunday morning. The 1-800 ads, shouting, and false claims were seedy, and some stations wouldn’t even accept the business at 5 am on Sunday.
Now, with all but ten states ready to go all in on sports gambling, sports radio stations can’t get enough of that green. Demetri Ravanos wrote about the money cannon that sports gambling has become for stations. Well, what if you are in one of those ten states where it isn’t likely to ever be legal like California or Texas? Where is your pot of gold?
Or, let’s face it, the more gambling ads you run, the more risk you take on that the ads will not all work as you cannibalize the audience and chase other listeners away who ARE NOT online gambling service users and never will be. So, what about you? Where is your pot of gold?
Well, let’s go Digging for Gold.
The RAB produces the MRI-Simmons Gold Digger PROSPECTING REPORT for several radio formats. In it, they index sports radio listeners’ habits against an average of 18+ Adult. The Gold Digger report looks at areas where the index is higher than the norm – meaning the sports radio audience is more likely to use the product or service than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. The report, generated in 2020, indicates that sports radio listeners are 106% more likely to have used an online gambling site in the last thirty days. That’s impressive because the report only lists 32 activities or purchases a sports radio listener indexes higher than an average adult. I looked at those 32 higher indexes, and I think we can start looking for some gold.
Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life. The gambling companies who commit significant money to get results will continue advertising and chase the others away. So, the future of sports radio needs to include other cash cows.
If it is evident to online sports gambling services that sports radio stations are a must-buy, who else should feel that way? I looked at the Top 32 and eliminated the media companies. ESPN, MLB/NHL/NFL networks, and others aren’t spending cash on sports radio stations they don’t own in general. But Joseph A Bank clothing, Fidelity, and Hotwire should! Here’s your PICK-6 list I pulled together that’s hotter than sports gambling:
- Sportscard collectors, Dapper Labs, Open Sea- read about Sports NFT $.
- Online brokerage firms-Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Robinhood, Webull, TD Ameritrade
- Golf courses, resorts, equipment, etc.- we play golf at home and vacation
- Hotwire.com, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Carnival Corporation, and Priceline.com- we’ve used Hotwire in the last year.
- FedEx, UPS, U.S. Postal Service, Venmo, PayPal, Zelle-we wired or overnighted $
- Jos. A. Bank, shein.com, macys.com, nordstroms.com- we went to Jos. A. Bank in last three months
The sports card/NFT market is 32% hotter than the sports betting market for sports radio listeners. Everything on the PICK-6 is at least 100% more likely to purchase than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. All listed are at or above indexing strength compared to sports betting. The individual companies I added are industry leaders. Bet on it! Email me for details.
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