NAB Show: Day Three | TALKERS magazine : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

NAB Show: Day Three

| April 10, 2014

NAB Show convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke


cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Did I say 93,000+?  The final attendance figure for the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual convention is…?  Cue that Jerry Lewis Telethon-style tympani roll.  98,015!  And the vibe here has been bustling and upbeat.


And here’s what I gleaned from the most radio-pertinent sessions I attended on Wednesday.

“People don’t want to be talked-at.  They want to be talked-with.”

Keynoting the NAB Show Disruptive Media Conference, Huffington Post founding editor Roy Sekoff spoke of “the revolution in the way we’re engaging with content.”

  • He noted how many of the comments left by HuffPost readers are commenting on other comments.  “The shift from presentation to participation is the key.”
  • Look at the HuffPost Live screen and you’ll see how they “make engagement as important, if not more important, than consumption.”  Tens of thousands “from 100 countries join us live.”  Talk radio blowhards take note.
  • Tip: Real people make stories real.  “Unemployment is 6.7%” is less compelling than “Meet Mary…” 

Witness also what Sekoff called “the shift from search to social, as primary means of information-gathering.”  That behavior was hard NOT to notice a year ago during the Boston Marathon bombing.  And he noted that, as we participate in life’s conversation, “we don’t share what we search.”  In psych terms: “Search is our id, social is our superego.”

Unlike many other media seers, he predicts that “Breaking Bad” type real-time-viewing-then-sharing will win out over on-demand, binge-watching.  “We haven’t cracked the code,” Sekoff admits.  “We’re just trying to stay on top of” shifts already underway.

Programming for Millennials

Bullet points from #1-of-2 afternoon sessions about engaging this looming demographic:

  • Echoing that fundamental Sekoff described, this panel cautioned that broadcasters shouldn’t “sit on pillars and talk down to people.  We need to bring people into” the conversation.
  • “Give the same respect to” your digital product as to your on-air product.  To Millennials, mobile isn’t an adjunct to your legacy product.  It IS your product.  USA Today user data demonstrates “very little overlap” between digital and print editions, so social media is “reaching new people.”
  • Without monitoring real-time analytics, you don’t know what’s of-interest/not-of-interest on your website.
  • Because all media are reporting the same stories, “share in a way that looks a little different than” other media’s reporting.
  • Tailor how an item looks differently for each device.  Don’t just re-purpose what aired online and in social media.
  • Some stories are worth doing digital only, others might only work on air.  “Give me something I can’t get on TV.”
  • 18-34’s have “a shorter news cycle.”  They’re interested earlier in topics older folks will be interested in later.
  • Attention span for most videos is 1 minute.  If pre-roll ads precede online videos, display the length of the pre-roll.
  • Learn how hash tags work.
  • “Millennials are on Instagram.”
  • Where to find staffers to handle your station’s social media?  “Look for audience members who engage with your brand.”
  • Want to engage 20-somethings?  Hire 20-somethings.
  • Study BuzzFeed style.
  • “Avoid using ‘TV news words’ people don’t use in conversation.”  Obsess on authenticity. 

Millennials: What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You

Data points from this very next session:

  • Millennials are “digital natives.”  Older people are digital immigrants.
  • Young people are “uniquely empowered, and their media expectations are different.”  “The fear of missing out is” very real for younger people.
  • “They expect authenticity.”  So it’s imperative that companies “have a human voice” in all media.  “Social media is called ‘social’ for a reason.”  It’s a conversation.  And the personal availability of company leadership via social media impresses Millennials.
  • Millennials prefer to rent things, i.e., and Zipcars.
  • They’re not as antsy as Boomers were to get a driver’s license.  For Boomers it was “a get out of jail card.”  Growing up connected, this younger crop feels less cooped up culturally.
  • “They’ve de-coupled TV content from the TV box.”  They pick-and-choose, rather than consume scheduled content in real time, and don’t watch it on a broadcast receiver nearly as much as older viewers.
  • Many Millennials are “digital omnivores,” simultaneously on smartphone and tablet and laptop WHILE watching television (of various sorts).  Deloitte research: 86% are multitasking while watching TV content.  They’re browsing the web, reading emails, and texting.  And it’s true multitasking: Only 22% of this other simultaneous activity is related to what they’re watching.
  • Product recommendations from people they know — AND DON’T KNOW, i.e., product reviews on Amazon – are more influential than advertising.  They pay for content to avoid advertising.  “They get the detail they need for purchase decisions from others.”


Holland Cooke ( is a media consultant working at the intersection of radio and the Internet.  You can meet him at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday, June 20, where he will unveil a just-fielded national perceptual research study on talk radio.  “Expect surprises,” HC hints.

Tags: , ,

Category: Analysis