Waiting For Deals

Written Sep. 30, 2010 by Tom Webster in Terrestrial Radio with 1 Comment

I missed the RAB/NAB Radio Show's group heads panel, but a little birdie told me that a great deal of time was spent lamenting the fact that "no deals are getting done," or speculating that "more deals" (specifically, more consolidation) would jump-start the industry and wake it from its doldrums.

I don't know much about this side of the business, to be honest - I assume that stations are currently trading at a multiple of "x", and for deals to start happening, they have to trade at "Z," where Z<X. I am glad to see the captains of the radio industry hungry for deals, but I am afraid that the "deals" they are waiting for represent a pretty myopic view of the opportunities that are out there.

Consider: for the price of a few major market radio stations, some enterprising radio group could have closed a "deal" for TechCrunch, which AOL just snapped up for a reported $25 Million. TechCrunch is one of the biggest blogs in the business and generates tons of content every day. Furthermore, it's possible that some empire building radio group could make a deal for Gawker Media, which operates top-ranked blogs on topics that include gadgets, sports, cars and gossip - the mainstays of many a radio morning show. Presumably Gawker would fetch a higher price than TechCrunch, but it's exactly the kind of deal that radio groups should be making - content deals.

Too rich for radio's blood? There are other, potentially attractive partners out there, from RawVoice to Wizzard to Revision3. Want to make a credible claim on music discovery/curation? Why not snap up IndieFeed or The Hype Machine? Self help/advice is another great category, and there are players like Quick and Dirty Tips or Personal Life Media throwing off loads of content every day.

Now, I have no specific knowledge that any of these properties would even entertain a sale - but maybe they would. In any case, an investment in any one of these properties would be a content investment, and it's ownership of original content that the radio industry desperately needs - not more towers.

Besides: what happens if radio's lust for consolidation reaches its natural conclusion - all programming centralized in one location and syndicated worldwide via the web with no local jocks? Well, you'd have Pandora - and they are already there.

Reader Comments

Your 2¢, in chronological order — add your comment below.
1  Alden Fertig on October 6, 2010 1:38 AM

Brilliant post once again and right on in your analysis. Having just attended the TechCrunch "Disrupt"conference and seeing what is going on in that sector, that is where the future is. The tone of both the content creators and the investors is very different from a radio conference. No one is lamenting the loss of anything, rather just trying to stay ahead of all the exciting innovations happening. As the conference name itself suggests, that industry has realized that disrupting the status quo is the key to success, not trying to maintain it.

Add Your Comment

No <p> tags necessary, valid XHTML is always appreciated.

Edison Research

Receive new research and insight first. Subscribe to the Edison Research mailing list today!

First Name
Last Name
Email Address

What updates would you like to receive?

Election Research Updates
Broadcast Media Research Updates
Technology & Internet Research Updates
Consumer and Opinion Research Updates

Search The Infinite Dial

WWW Infinite Dial

About The Infinite Dial

No longer bound 'between 88 and 108 on your local FM Dial', radio has been liberated and now can be found virtually anywhere. This is a site to track radio in all its forms.

We are fans of great radio, whether it be on AM, FM, Satellite, Internet, HD, a Podcast, in any country on earth, or on any platform. The Infinite Dial will explore, analyze, and keep you informed about all the intersections of broadcast media and technology.

Have something to contribute? Just pop us a note and we'll get right back to you!