Originally Posted by kenglish
Sad thing is...."Monetize" too often means, "Copy the same format that everybody else is doing".
I hope not. There should be ways to make some reasonable profit by offering some programming options.
And, copying (diluting) the other stations' programming doesn't do that.
Yeah, but at the moment, you can't monetize "the same format" without ratings. The formats that are on main channels are all ratings driven. No way you're posting profitable numbers with a mass appeal subchannel. It would have to post ratings in the top 20 in the market to sell any ads at all. Not happening without a LOT of radios.
No, this is an opportunity for niche formatting, such as what we're doing in Detroit with our HD3 subs. Selling the ads is different, because you're looking for clients who want to target just the audience you're serving. For example, we have a rather entertaining sub called "Sky" which is mostly talk shows from psychics, new age gurus and other existential experts. And, if you've ever looked in the classifieds of one of those kinds of magazines, you'll see there's no shortage of talisman-selling, tarot-card-reading, snake-oil making firms just dying to gain new customers. The stream gives us hard numbers to show them, not that they need them. As long as SOMEbody is listening, they'll buy the ads, which are cheap.
Combine the sub with streaming.. maybe network a few metro areas.. program to a niche audience that has spendable income and the sub will do well. Until the radios are in every car and workplace, that's the only way to monetize a subchannel.
However, if and when HD radios become mainstream, then look for a shift back to mass appeal, same as when FM hit its stride in the late 70s. Until then, it was niche, too.