For many years Radio has been the world’s first form of electronic communication which led to the rise of television, cable the internet and now social media. My question is how are today’s radio DJ’s and personalities using social media to stay competitive with all of the other platforms that are available to customers. Today customers can get their music from various platforms such as Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Blog Talk Radio, Live 365, and Sirius XM Radio. To stay ahead of the curve many Radio DJ’s have created individual radio podcasts and online radio shows, using these platforms it gives professional and non-professional broadcasters the ability to create their own radio broadcast and using social media to reach out to their core niche audiences.
Using these Platforms gives radio personalities the ability to brand themselves on many different ways using social media and the benefits are it enables there listeners to connect with them and makes them belong and feel connected them with the music and the artists they follow. Second, it helps their listeners discover new music as well and find out which events their favorite Radio Personality is going to be thru their own social media networks.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Barry Mason who is a radio veteran for over 10 years workingat various radio stations but today he currently works for one of NYC’s top radio stations 98.7 Kiss-FM. He gave me some insights on the state of the Radio Industry and how he uses social media.
1. How did you get your started at Kiss FM and why do you love it?
Actually I had been on the air in New York City already for almost 10 years. My first semi -professional (free-form) radio gig was at 91.5 FM (Medgar Evers Community Radio) The late Dr. Mary Umolu , a professor and head of the radio department at the time, gave me my first big break in the industry. It was there I met Lenny Green (98.7 Kissing After Dark) host and began working with him at 91.5 FM. We were reunited when I was hired at WHNC-1050 in Connecticut. After he (Lenny) left, he was hired at 98.7 KISS FM. I called him and he got me a job in promotions at KISS. I met with Kim Heywood, the promotions director at the time, and she hired me on the spot. Almost a year after I was hired, I became the board operator for Vy Higgensen. She was doing midday’s 10a-3pm at the time. Pat McKay, whose roots was in Reggae music, was doing Kiss Club Classics at the time and when she left, Toya Beasley, the program director, hired me as the host Kiss Club Classics and that was the beginning of a long journey. Doing Kiss Club Classics for 8-10 years opened up the door to a bunch of opportunities for me.
2. What is the biggest challenge facing the radio industry today?
The biggest challenge is staying consistent and on top of your game, constantly growing and perfecting your craft the best you can.
3. How do you use social media to promote yourself as an on-air Radio Personality?
The invention of social media has made it possible to maintain your fan base. It allows you to personally interact with each listener on a personal level. It also gives you another vehicle to cross promote your events.
4. Will companies like Spotify, iHeartRadio and Pandora replace the radio jock?
I don’t think so. At the end of the day listeners still want to hear someone who complements the music they are listening to. One of the advantages to traditional radio is that listeners can connect on a more personal level with each jock.
5. What advice do you have to give a person that wants to be in the radio business today?
I give the person the same advice as they were entering any other career.
1. Study your craft,
2. Perfect your craft.
3. Give 100 percent to the product you put out there. Know the music that you are playing because you can’t fool the listeners.
6. You started a business called Track 1 entertainment what is the mission of the company? And what does the company do?
Yes, Track 1 Entertainment is an event promotion company I created to independently promote my events and myself at the same time. In recent years we have collaborated with Double R Productions, the company the Felix Hernandez 0f 98.7 KISS FM Rhythm Revue heads to produce a number of events in the New York City area. Some of the events T1 has produced include “So You Think You Can Sang” our annual Mother’s and Father’s Day events, outdoor concerts and more.
7. What do you think the future of Radio is going to be in this digital age?
The business of radio will continue to evolve with the invention of the internet. In the future the internet will play a very important role in the development of radio and broadcasting industry in general.
Roger Maloney is the VP of Vanguarde Consulting Group and company that prepare small business for the digital age. Roger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.