Cover of Jimmy Durante
When I started my career in media I worked for a content distributor – the station division of a national TV company. We bought programming from content creators and used our distribution system to put it in front of consumers. Other than some local programming such as news and public affairs, we didn’t create much and I suspect we’d have done a bit less had we not been mandated to provide what we did in return for our broadcast licenses. Our business was to buy content and sell eyeballs and it was a very good business indeed.
By the time I had moved over to the network side, 10 years later, the business has changed a bit. Networks now produced some shows and invested in others. The business was still primarily about distribution but things were starting to change. And now? Continue reading
Image by John Wardell (Netinho) via Flickr
One of the weird experiences of playing loud rock music is that of not being able to hear. No, I don’t mean the dulled hearing that many of us ex-musicians are experiencing later in our lives. What I’m talking about is standing 5 feet away from someone who is singing their lungs out and watching their lips move without hearing any of it. Watch how most bands set up – the amplifiers are behind the musicians but the PA system speakers – the ones from which the vocals emanate – are in front of the band, closer to the audience. This is why there are also usually monitors of some sort.
You’ve seen them, maybe without knowing what they were: the boxes in front of the band that face backwards. Today, of course, those might be prompters that show the singers the lyrics (at one point I would have attributed that need to drugs and alcohol; now it’s usually age) since most musicians seem to wear ear monitors that let the singer hear whatever mix helps them stay on time and in tune. Good business lesson too! Continue reading
Today’s screed is about dumbing it down and how it can improve your business thinking as you grow dumb. I’m pretty sure you’re aware that I’m not an advocate for the willfully stupid among us. They might be spending too much time behind the wheel of the car in front of you to be reading this anyway. However, I do find myself trying to reduce things to their most basic elements a great deal of the time. It’s not that I don’t care about detail – sometimes there’s a lot of important stuff in there. But I find that the details tend to clutter up one’s mind when you’re trying to have a basic understanding of something – it’s like worrying about what color the room will be before you’ve figured out the square footage and the amount of paint needed so you can budget properly. Continue reading
I used to work for a couple of broadcasters when the Internet became a big thing (you’ve heard of it, right?) When we used to talk about putting content on the web we’d always say video would not be among it. At first it was because the quality would be so terrible that no one would watch it. Then the pipes got fatter, processors got faster, and the discussion changed to shredding the ratings. The fear was that if we gave users control over what they watched and when they watched it we’d destroy our audiences and revenue. Turns out not so much. Continue reading
I don’t get what all the fuss is about. Or maybe I do. See, lots of folks seem very disturbed by the fact that they’re doing the same old thing in new and different ways. Sort of like when you get a new TV and the remote is different. You’re doing the same old thing but in a different way.
“Get to the point, bozo.” Right. Radio’s the point today, the oldest of our broadcast media. It’s changing more than the others. But it’s still the same. Continue reading
This will come as a shock to those of you who know me pretty well. I took Studio Art when I was in college. That’s right – the guy whose handwriting is indecipherable (no Catholic school education here, kids) tried to make pretty pictures (and failed miserably although I passed the course).
The reason I bring this up is that I did something way out of my comfort zone that actually helped me later in my business life (although who knew at the time). No, not because I could do a great job on the white-board (my diagrams are awful and that’s being generous). It helped because I got a look over the fence at real artists and here’s how it helped. Continue reading