While the looming threat of new media has demoralized radio and created a bunker mentality among many of its leaders, television has refused to accept that new media is anything but a great opportunity.
You can see the difference in how the two media are preparing for the future.
While radio trims, consolidates, and focuses on the expense side of the ledger, television invests in the future.
According to MediaPost:
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman reiterated Monday how the company’s commitment to research has helped resuscitate networks such as MTV:
"We’ve increase our investment in research–market research on our viewers, brand research. In turn, study insight has hopefully led to smarter content investments–focusing the programming around what the research tells us."
Media moguls don’t often credit research for turning their products around. They more often attribute success to their own brilliant "out of the box" thinking.
So it is heartwarming to a research company like Harker Research to hear a CEO credit research for doing the heavy lifting.
The greater the threat, the greater the importance that programmers and marketers understand their markets and understand their brand.
Greater understanding comes through the right research, something that Viacom under Mr. Dauman clearly appreciates.
Radio’s financial funk will not be reversed by trimming expenses, creating more nationalized robo-radio, and cloning the same tired formats.
There’s a reason that post-recession television revenues are growing faster than radio’s. Television still believes in itself and acts like it by investing in the future.
Too many radio leaders are locked in their bunkers.