Ads subtract

Ads subtract

: I can’t find the story now but I saw an article this week about Clear Channel creating a new division to help local advertisers create better, shorter commercials. The service is free and it’s not mandatory, but Clear Channel hopes advertisers improve their ads.

The reason wasn’t stated but it’s obvious: Ads are a detraction from commercial radio as it competes with ad-free satellite.

And local radio ads do pretty much suck. Haven’t you changed the station just because the ads sucked?

  • Another very clear reason is that in the cities like LA where Clear Channel can’t legally own anymore stations they are still able to be the “ad sales” people for other stations and maintain a tight grip that way. If ads are improved, they will sell more of them.

  • Rootbeer

    And if ads are shorter, they will be able to fit more of them in during each ad break, increasing ad revenue…

  • ronbo

    Radio ads didn’t always suck. Back in the day, there were campaigns like Molson’s that were fabulous little radio plays – funny, engaging and effective.
    You may remember Stan Freberg, an ad guy from the 50s and 60s who did great radio ads and also produced successful comedy albums that included (parody) ads. Here’s a link to a fan page:
    The thing about radio is, it only works when the audience thinks. No think, no work. Eventually, all you hear is screaming. Someday, someone will start making great radio ads again. They might even run on satellite.

  • I still think there’s a huge market for a right-of-center version of NPR. Nearly commercial-free listener-supported radio that makes you think.
    Although, as I hear your description of podcasting and other subscription alternatives, that may be the direction this takes.
    In short, few or no ads.

  • button

    Yes, I have. There were way too many obnoxious hospital commercials on NYC-area radio stations. It got to the point where I just couldn’t tolerate them anymore. Whenever one came on the air, I would immediately switch the station.

  • Jeff … FYI, I’ve just thrown out $0.02 in the issues2004 bucket on my blog.

  • Angelos

    I don’t know if they suck, but I do know there are too many of them.
    I only listen to ESPN radio, because I’m in my car so little, and music radio sucks. I maybe listen to 2.5 hours of radio a week.
    I estimate that in every hour, there’re 40 minutes of radio and 20 munutes of ads, but it feels even worse than that.
    I switch back to a CD, listen to a few songs, come back, reliaze I’ve missed most of the actual programming, all of a sudden the ads start again, back to CD, listen to one song, 4-5 minutes long, go back to radio, STILL the damned commercials.
    In those 2.5 hours a week I’m in the car running errands and try to listen to Dan Patrick or the Herd, I might get 30 or 40 minutes of actual content.
    It’s just brutal.
    But then, the CEO of Clear Channel himself said it: We’re not in the music business, we’re in the advertising business. To them, shitty much is just a way to prop up the ads.

  • MWB

    Will satellite radio stay ad-free? I remember the beginnings of cable TV, when the excitement was that it would be commercial-free because, after all, viewers had to pay to get it.

  • Carmichael

    I don’t think satellite radio is ad-free now…there’s just lots less of them. Sirius has less ads than XM but costs more per month, that sort of thing.

  • Walter E. Wallis

    I automatically change stations whenever that screamer comes on.

  • Ruth H

    Yes, I have and the Clear Channel stations seem to be the worst. We travel a lot and keep talk radio on when we can. It is a true fear they just want them shorter so they can squeeze more of them in. I live in Texas and the one that is the most ad ridden is KTSA. And it has a really, good coverage area!

  • J.R.

    Ad-free satellite is a pipe dream. It will not be ad free for long, as someone above has already mentioned what happened with cable. Stern will bring a whole new revenue stream for advertising on Sirius, and they will use it. Stern can’t talk non-stop for 4 hours! What do you think they are going to do during his break, play music?
    Anyway, back to the post. I agree the moment ads come on the radio I switch the station. But I don’t see what’s wrong with what Clear Channel is doing, sounds like it makes good business sense. I doubt it has anything to do with competing with satellite radio.

  • biggerbrother

    We seen it first in 2000, and we