Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What's In A name?

September 27, 2006

What Is In A Name?

If you are involved in satellite radio, you have likely heard several names that have been “tagged” to SDARS by organizations such as the NAB. They tend to label satellite radio as “PAY RADIO” or “SUBSCRIBER RADIO”, while at the same time assigning labels with more positive connotations to themselves. They refer to themselves as “FREE RADIO”.

NAB radio stations are coming up with many ways to downplay the fact that they carry a lot of commercials. They even employ strategies to downplay their commercials. One Jack FM station has D.J.’s make statements such as, “Were going into commercials, and these companies pay big bucks to advertise, so do us a favor and pretend you are listening to them”, or “They spend thousands making these commercials, but we are going to let you listen to them for free”. Sounds like a used car salesman telling a potential buyer that the dents in the fenders “add character”.

Why do they do this?

The answer is simple. Apply a “bad” label to your competition and a “positive” label to yourself, and hope that the stigma of the bad label resonates with consumers while the good label props you up.

Well, given the current track of the NAB, it would appear that it is time for satellite radio fans, consumers, and investors to strap on the gloves.

No longer will we call AM and FM “TERRESTRIAL RADIO”. We are simply being to kind.

Perhaps “COMMERCIAL RADIO” would be a better label to use. It describes the content of 20 minutes of every hour that these radio stations heap upon consumers.

Maybe “2/3” radio would work, and for the same reasons.

Perhaps “LIMITED SELECTION RADIO” would be a suitable moniker. After all, many parts of the country do indeed have a very limited selection.

This one is “politically correct”, but is descriptive……”CONTENT LIMITED RADIO”

Perhaps those that have made the switch are now conditioned to commercial free music and the ultimate variety. Perhaps we have forgotten how bad it was to spend half of your commute listening to a life insurance pitch followed by a personal injury attorney spot followed by an ad on how to fix your leaky basement and then followed by 3 or 4 more ads.

Those that have made the switch have seen the light. This has the NAB worried. This has the NAB pulling out all of the stops. This has the NAB taking every step possible to downplay satellite radio.

Why is the NAB so scared? They have good reason to be. For 43 cents per day, consumers can put an end to ad after ad. They can get diverse content that suits their desires. They can get a radio signal that works from coast to coast and does not fade out.

So, it boils down to this……..If the NAB wants to call satellite radio “PAY RADIO”, they can………BUT……..I will now make it a point to drop the more friendly “TERRESTRIAL RADIO” moniker, and adopt a new and more descriptive name.

Do you SSG readers have any interesting suggestions?

9/27/2006 10:14:00 PM

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