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Saturday, September 13, 2014

(SALES) Is Radio A Zero-Sum Game?


Radio is not a zero-sum game.

In game theory and economic theory, zero-sum describes a situation in which a participant's gain or loss is exactly balanced by the losses or gains of the other participants. If the total gains of the participants are added up, and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero.

It?s time our industry recognized that radio is an infinite game. There is plenty of room for more advertisers in our media, and there are more than enough advertisers to go around. In fact, our research reveals that slightly over 80 percent of local businesses in most markets cannot even recall having been contacted by a radio account executive!

Creating more radio advertisers, rather than fighting for share of existing advertisers, would be better for all of us.
Author and Internet guru Seth Godin says that authors recognise reading is not a finite game and that more reading is better than less reading, even if what?s getting read isn?t theirs. Seth says, ?Authors often promote each other?s blogs and books, and tweet each others handles to their followers.?

He goes on to say, ?It turns out that in most industries in the connection economy, that's precisely what works. When a business that's comfortable not having 100% market share happily recommends a competitor, they're sending a signal about trust and confidence and, most of all, about feeding the community first.?

Are you feeding the radio community first? Are you making the radio pie bigger, or are you fighting for share of a shrinking pie to the detriment of the radio community?

Your competition is not other radio stations. Your competition is everything from direct mail to social media, and from newspapers to yellow pages and SEO consultants. If you want to send a signal about the trust and confidence you have in radio, and create a bigger radio pie in your market in 2015 and beyond, it's important to understand these facts.

Wayne Ens is president of ENS Media Inc and conducts local market surveys and educational advertiser seminars to increase local radio revenues. Contact him at

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