I’m on a tight schedule today, so not the usual analysis filled post. Instead, a few articles which have recently intrigued and amused:

Fed Will Stay With `Measured’ Rate Increase
but try to Jawbone you that they won’t

Freebird! — Rock’s Oldest Joke
very amusing WSJ column!

Neuroeconomics to topple the notion of rational decision-making
about time!

The History of Independent Film Finance
surprising parallels between Tech VCs and FIlm Producers

White House Economic Team: Not exactly major league
I’m shocked to find gambling here!

Interview: father of “life hacks” Danny O’Brien   
Hacks defined as "a way of cutting through an apparently complex system with a really simple, nonobvious fix"

Revenge of the Dorks 
Geeks beating online casinos

13 things that do not make sense 
Science quandries

Category: Web/Tech

2005 in 2005!

Category: Markets

Adjusting the Dial



Wsj_radio03172005202250Here’s something enormously gratifying:  A front page WSJ article about why Radio sucks.

The reporter even got the cause & effect right. Satellite  and iPod’s successes came about because Radio was so bad. Even my whipping boy, The 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act, catches blame. You can also see the impact of the Wired article (mentioned here earlier in the month) on the overall flavor of the piece.

While I place a lot more emphasis on the actual reasons for the migration away from radio, this piece is very much in the Big Picture spirit. As someone who has been kvetching about this for years, I am very pleased to see this front page WSJ coverage.

One thing I note as missing is a discussion of the long term generational effect, and the threat to a possible radio recovery: Since 1996, radio’s decay has led to an entire generation of listeners who have essentially written off radio (at least, when it comes to music).

The other key issue: Radio as a source of new music, and its relationship to the labels. (Not really discussed). It used to be part of the draw — a relationship with a trusted DJ who plays music you like, combined with introducing you to new songs (trust is the key component in granting someone taste-maker status).   

I do not see how merely imitating the iPod’s shuffle feature will do the trick. Walk along the beach this summer — there are hardly any radios blaring — a peaceful easy feeling eerie quiet, and lots of white headphone cords.   

We discussed the The Hamburger Helper Effect previously. What will undo a complete shift of media consumption habits of an entire generation of listeners? Can the broadcast industry recapture these lost ears? (I dunno). If they can, then what will they have to so in order to bring back their lost audience?

1) Is it
even possible; b) how they might accomplish that trick?

I’m not sure that anything short of a massive unwinding of radio concentration, and a return to local managers, program directors, DJs and playlists will undo the damage. Even then, you have to win back the listeners who felt betrayed and abandoned. 

The 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act provides us with yet another example of the law of unintended consequences . . .



Hit by iPod and Satellite, Radio Tries New Tune: Play More Songs

After Mergers, Bland Sound Left Giants Vulnerable; Fewer Ads, Added Variety Engineering a ‘Train Wreck’

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, March 18, 2005; Page A1,,SB111111009578183338,00.html

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Category: Finance, Music

Oil Top Sets up Next (Last?) Market Leg Up

Category: Commodities, Markets, Trading

Chart of the Week: Leading Indicators Trend Downwards

Category: Economy, Markets

Odds & Ends

Category: Film, Music, Psychology

Media Appearance: Power Lunch (3/16/05)

Category: Media

I have Apple’s Legal Dept on Line 1 . . .

Category: Finance

Defining Bubbles

Category: Markets

redesign coming

Category: Weblogs