So Many Commercials, So Little Time

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  • Posted In: Cleveland


  • Participant
    #184383

    A recent post remarked on the extraordinary number of commercials on radio. In addition to the obvious reasons of they can and greed, I offer another reason: desperation. The mega broadcast industry is devouring itself in a last ditch attempt to get all they can before it ends for them. And there is little competitive incentive not to, since everyone is doing the same thing. Few seem  interested in trying other ways to compete with the new media.  While some have embraced certain aspects of the new media options, they are bringing over the same business and programming models, seemingly bent on forcing those onto that landscape rather than trying to blend in with it and its audience. Where in radio are the visionaries, the risk-takers, the creators, the bold? Is there any future, or is radio the buggy whip maker in the age of the automobile?


    Participant
    #184385

    I’m glad I brought this up.  It’s definitely worthy of mentioning here.  Listen to a couple of the local talkers on WTAM 1100 for example and note how much of any hour is taken by commercials.  I like Geraldo’s new program, but what do they think they’re doing!!  It has become unbearable with all the advertising.  He doesn’t even have any time to speak with the callers.  Geraldo even spends live time on the air reading advertising.  Triv’s show isn’t much different.  I’m turning it off in favor of podcasts.


    Participant
    #184387

    Seems like the commercial breaks on Nolan, Malone & Kullik have gotten longer.  They are around 5 minutes now.


    Participant
    #184392

    Radio’s only bullet left in the chamber, should they see the wisdom of using it, is paying quality talent to create unique, excellent content and have a modest, reasonable commercial load.  Content that is not available anywhere else.

    Businesses of all sizes have figured out how to promote themselves on the web at a much, much lower cost and high effectiveness. Translation: if done right, advertising on line is a lot less expensive, is far more targetable, and does it work!

    Mass media advertising for most businesses is too costly, and there’s too much “waste”. It’s not about audience levels, it’s about advertising efficiency and effectiveness. The internet has won big time…and it’s just in it’s infancy.

    Radio’s only shot is to be excellent & unique. But, as the 1st poster said…they keep beating the same thing as they’ve always done. Consumers & media habits have changed. Radio hasn’t….at least not for the better.

    Radio’s fat lady is warming up, getting ready to sing.


    Participant
    #184404

    Seems like the commercial breaks on Nolan, Malone & Kullik have gotten longer. They are around 5 minutes now.

    5 minutes? Try longer, like up to 8 minutes or more.

    Participant
    #184413

    My favorite is on WKNR where they’ll do a live read into a commercial break and then come back out of that commercial break with another live read.  Also you know a commercial block is coming as soon as the host starts doing that first live read….so its a natural reflex for me to switch right over to 92.3 or back to SiriusXM.  Its like on WNCX when the jock says their “wrapping up another 30 minutes of non-stop classic rock”….I know at that point I’ve got 5+ minutes of commercials to look forward to, why would I stick around??

    I’ve always wondered, especially with music formatted radio, if there isn’t a better way to handle commercials.  Maybe just even during certain day-parts, why not just have one or two advertisers buy out an entire hour??  They get featured for that whole hour with several 10 second spots between songs or quick mentions by the talent.  Either way, its mind-boggling that in spite of the internet, and satellite radio, and podcasts, and streaming services….that radio essentially hasn’t changed a darn thing about the way they handle commercials.  Ugh.

     


    Participant
    #184417

    Right now, podcasts are where you can find better content than anything on the radio.  When I get off work, I drive across town to pick up my kids from school, and I can get almost 100% meaningful content from a podcast with very few commercials.  With most podcasts, the host typically breaks in by reading quick sponsored material, and that’s it.  I don’t have to listen to over 50% commercials and waste my time.  I bought one of those cheap FM transmitters that plugs into my iPhone and charges the phone at the same time, and it’s not a drain on my data plan at all.

    Regarding commercials, it would seem that 1420 WHK has the least.  WTAM and WHLO are just unbearable.  Is this an iHeartRadio problem?  Even Rush has too many commercial breaks… he must spend the last half hour of his program reading sponsored content!!


    Participant
    #184419

    When I look back on the days of the dominant AM station powerhouses, many would play one song then one commercial….lather, rinse repeat,  Occasionally, they would squeeze in two songs before the 30-60 second breaks.

     

    I never added up the total average amount of commercial time there was per hour on those stations (finding enough unscoped airchecks make that hard to figure), but one positive benefit of those stations is that you couldn’t stray too far from the station during the commercial before the next song came on.  Nowadays, you can almost do your weekly grocery shopping during an average commercial break on some stations.

    Back in the days, those stations seemed to require commercials to be funny, live and/or have catchy jingles in order for them to be aired, which also kept listeners from straying.  Performance enhancing drugs for the bedroom ads just don’t cut it!


    Participant
    #184430

    When I look back on the days of the dominant AM station powerhouses, many would play one song then one commercial….lather, rinse repeat, Occasionally, they would squeeze in two songs before the 30-60 second breaks. I never added up the total average amount of commercial time there was per hour on those stations (finding enough unscoped airchecks make that hard to figure), but one positive benefit of those stations is that you couldn’t stray too far from the station during the commercial before the next song came on. Nowadays, you can almost do your weekly grocery shopping during an average commercial break on some stations. Back in the days, those stations seemed to require commercials to be funny, live and/or have catchy jingles in order for them to be aired, which also kept listeners from straying. Performance enhancing drugs for the bedroom ads just don’t cut it!

    I take looooooong showers and usually have the radio on. Very often I’ll hear one song, sometimes none and then there’s an 8 to 10 or 12 minutes break of commercials, PSAs, station promos, etc. I’m usually out of the shower, shaved, teeth brushed, raised a child and aged a year before the music is back and even then it’s 2-3 songs then another commercial break.

    Participant
    #184435

    And, some still wonder why YouTube is popular. 😀


    Participant
    #184474

    Seems like the commercial breaks on Nolan, Malone & Kullik have gotten longer. They are around 5 minutes now.

    The stopsets were redone to three per hour instead of the previous four, coupled with Kullik’s newscasts being redone and shortened (he no longer plays any actualities or soundbytes from WTAM’s news department and the Drake “20/20 News” sounder was retired).

    In short, there’s less commercial breaks, but they are considerably longer, so I don’t know how that is a good thing.

    Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!

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