The new AI voices that have begun appearing on radios stations already sound good. They really do. And they’re going to get better. Whether you love it, hate it, welcome it, or fear it doesn’t matter. It’s just another example that the entertainment world is filled with signs that point to an emerging trend that should terrify traditional content creators. Technology continues a relentless march to encroach on the public consciousness with an onslaught of new competition. Here’s another plea to take immediate action and develop personalities.
Historically, it was possible to build a brand and own a franchise based on one of four primary areas of interest: Music, Information, Promotion, and Personality. Competing in one category was enough to succeed. Excel in two or more, and you could thrive. Today, only one path remains.
Music belongs to streaming solutions with unlimited variety and personalized choice with no commercial interruptions. Trying to compete by offering a better (or even unique) music mix is a dead end. Music is still important and can be a useful ingredient, but brands won’t stand on a music position alone.
Information spreads instantly through notifications and alerts. Customized feeds deliver exactly what the user is interested in from multiple sources, usually delivered with a viewpoint reflecting the individual’s worldview. No matter how quickly or accurately you’re able to distribute information, the audience already knows or doesn’t care. That doesn’t mean the information is irrelevant. Facts can still be ingredients for entertainment but your brand will not last by specializing in breaking news updates.
Promotions impact active respondents and motivate casual users to take action, but giveaways can’t compete with the lottery and online gaming. Plus, there’s growing skepticism that contests are legitimate. Building a brand around promotion alone is a weak stance.
Develop Personalities Now
Personality is the last frontier.
Unique, interesting talent that attracts, retains, and leads a fan base is the only path to sustainable success. Financial analyst Tom Rogers appeared on CNBC’s Fast Money to comment on the decline of legacy media like television and radio.
This is the comment that got my attention:
Prime Time Tv has lost more than 50% of its’ ratings. Children’s programming has lost 70%. We’re going to continue seeing a massive awakening in the near future. There’s a day of reckoning coming. And it’s a warning sign for all media.
He credits the decline as a loss of attention because of countless options. The long tail of endless choice has affected television and radio broadcasters and is now aiming at digital content creators like podcasters and video streamers.
How can you compete? Or is it hopeless? Is there any way to cut through the endless clutter and stand out? Yes. The answer is to develop personalities, not just announcers or people distributing information on audio or video. I’m talking about real personalities with powerful voices who know how to tell stories that can’t be heard anywhere else.
Talent Is The Answer For Radio If Broadcasters Invest
Rush Limbaugh is credited with saving AM radio. Thirty years ago, AM was in danger of becoming irrelevant. Then conservative talk radio happened, and Rush was the tip of the spear that revitalized stations that had lost the music franchise to technology (FM Radio).
Decades later, talk stations migrated to FM, leaving AM with an ultimately unsolvable problem while putting FM music stations at risk. Just as listeners abandoned AM, music land information audiences are exiting FM.
But for radio, there is hope. Pew Research reports radio personalities are a primary driver of listener satisfaction. Studies prove that 67% (that’s two out of three) of respondents say air talent is important to them. And 64% of all respondents say they would follow a favorite personality wherever they go! Yes, they’ll even listen to commercials (or at least come back when they’re over) to hear worthwhile stories from great personalities.
But great talent doesn’t happen without investment. Personalities must be nurtured and grown. Blockbuster Video refused to evolve from a model of renting DVD movies in video stores while Netflix drove them into bankruptcy. Are market managers making the same mistake?
Podcasters Have A Similar Problem
Many entertaining personalities have waded into the wide-open spaces of podcasting. It’s attractive, and there are plenty of compelling success stories. Yet most podcasters and video streamers are pinning their hopes on either finding unique content that nobody else is providing (good luck with that) or piling into the most popular categories that attract the most attention. But how many True Crime podcasts does the world need?
They don’t understand that it’s all about unique characters with a clear point of view communicating stories in an interesting way. It’s not about finding the most unique content, though topics are certainly an important ingredient. But the difference-makers are those that have a distinct and charismatic voice performing in a way that inspires a fan base.
If your podcast or video stream is going to succeed, invest in developing your God-given talent. It’s the only way to make your mark.
This is not a wake-up call. Most creative types are wide awake. They know there’s a problem. This is a call to action. This is hard. I get it.
But invest in assets that can sustain your future. I can help with that. For information on talent coaching and consulting services, click here. At the very least, find your unique character voice with my 5-Star Character Brand Course.
Develop personalities. Radio: brighten those dark and empty studios with colorful talent. Podcasters, invest in your future. Stop trying to find a solution and learn to be the solution. It’s time to develop personalities. Your future depends on it.