"In FM radio’s heyday from the late 1960s to right after deregulation of radio in America in the mid-1990s, radio was the single most powerful source for consumers to find out about new music. On a no-cost media that was installed in every car, Walkman and AV receiver, radio was everywhere and had the power to literally make or break an artist overnight.
Financially, radio has always been TV’s bastard stepchild, with some radio insiders saying the media has never earned more than seven percent of the total ad revenue in a given year. Despite this relatively small portion of overall ad revenues, radio stocks boomed with almost the same enthusiasm as dotcom stocks in the late 1990s. It was during this time of consolidation when radio’s leadership took their eye off the ball, looking to economies of scale to cut costs and boost profits. Wall Street loved it, but what FM radio needed to be doing was creating new formats. But who needed new formats when the stock price is through the roof? FM radio did – badly."
Of course, they didn’t realize that until way too late:
"Enter satellite radio in the early 2000s. For the first time in radio’s history, it potentially had a real competitor on its hands. While the numbers of satellite subscribers were relatively small, this new media looked at the business and media of radio in novel ways, ways that stubborn terrestrial radio might not have an easy answer to, other than mergers and acquisitions. On a programming level, satellite radio has the ability to offer many times more channels than any major U.S. radio market. With these added channels, satellite radio is able to niche-program while terrestrial radio is trying to cast a big net around an audience that is increasingly difficult to capture. With dozens of niche stations ranging from death metal to ‘70s ballads, satellite radio’s odds of finding the exact genre of a listener’s tastes are far better than FM’s offering, which results in increasing listener loyalty for satellite."
The uphot of all this? As we mentioned back in Radio’s Wounded Business Model, "Traditional radio will likely never be the same nor is it likely to recover."
What Makes Satellite Radio So Great Anyway?
Jerry Del Colliano
Audio Revolution, November 24, 2004
Way back in October 2003, we looked at master technical analyst George Lindsay’s repetitive chart pattern, Three Peaks and the Domed House. That version showed a fairly prescient call by Ned Davis, before the January ’04 top. That was then, this is now. Its time to revisit the pattern, this time via Jeff Hirsch of…Read More
In the midst of the recent big drop in oil – which is likely at least partly due to forced/margin selling – there is an interesting point to be considered.
Writing on the financial website Street Insights, Richard Ritholtz [Editor: no relation -- as far as I know] made the following comments today:
· It’s too early to write off the winter even though the weather has been quite mild in the Northeast and Midwest to date.
· Heating oil inventory is still at a low absolute level, although it is clearly in a building mode over the next weeks.
· The market experienced significant long liquidation yesterday as several large funds locked in their profit for the year; December 1st clearly signaled that year end is not far away.
· Based on information from several private forecasters, I believe that the overall winter temperatures from Dec. 21- Mar. 21 will be average to below normal even, though the November through early December temperatures have been milder.
As to the weather (ok…cue the “Let’s Make Fun of Rob Fraim” theme music here) here is something of interest (or fun if nothing else):
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a noteworthy record for medium-to-longer range weather forecasts.
Oh, I know you’re laughing at me now. You’d rather pay attention to Skippy the Weatherman on your local Accu-Weather at 6:00 who can’t, for Pete’s sake figure out whether it’s going to rain tomorrow. (And who each year predicts 4 huge snowstorms that never materialize and misses on the blizzard that blindsides you.)