For the past few months, I have been overhauling and updating my websites for better optimization and user experience. I have come across a lot of valuable industry data that I usually use to promote and improve RadioFacts but I was also thinking that perhaps industry people would be interested in some of the data that I come across like with Google searches and trends, for instance, as it pertains to our industry.
These numbers are for the United States only but you might be surprised to know that many of these numbers are either greater or neutral in other countries like the search for “Radio” is 162,000 in the States and hover around that same amount in Germany, Spain, the UK, but is double that amount in France. For this story, we will just focus on the States as I said.
These are searches based on the last 30 days from the date of this story. They can change from month to month but usually not by much, it’s normally only a significant change when something is trending.
Let’s start with some of the radio corporations. Most are more or less around the 10,000 monthly searches point but iHeart and NPR clearly stand out at almost 1 million monthly searches in Google. Both are two of the most progressive corporations in the industry and a large part of that is their online presence.
You may ask yourself why someone would search for a radio corporation and that’s a good question. Out of most of the corporations, iHeart and NPR use the brand and couple it with the stations and other products to get the biggest bang for the buck. These are iHeart and NPR’s website addresses or permalinks which Google credits for searches. Notice what the permalinks say:
Notice how iHeart uses their corporate name in the link to LA’s real 92.3, the station slogan AND the dial position. They are going to rank for several keywords with this address like:
- Real 923
- 923 radio
- iheart 923
- iheartradio real 923
- real923 la
So if someone types in “923 radio” because iHeart uses it in all their branding for the station, they will most likely come up first.
NPR does the same thing with their KCRW station. This is great SEO link quality and brand recognition. You see the corporate name, the station, the call letters and even the city.
Not to pick on Radio One, they do some things very well too, and it’s not just them but several of the radio corporations do the same thing. “wzakcleveland” doesn’t tell me who owns it or what the dial position is.
When I go to any of the above links, I see corporate brand recognition immediately … except for WZAK. I won’t go into too much more detail about the other great ways I see NPR and iHeart using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but corporate brand recognition WITH the call letters AND the dial position are just the start to help garner greater revenue and recognition for the brand.
NPR has also been making strides in improving programming to target younger audiences with their music offerings like the very popular NPR Tiny Desk Concert. They use “NPR” in the name for “Tiny Desk Concert.” If you do a google search for “Tiny Desk Concert” this is what you will see (below) “NPR” Tiny Desk” and “Tiny Desk Concert” in the red block. You see the corporation and the show.
The NPR team is also on it for online promotion and social media for a greater marketing bang as they promote the concerts and podcasts on their Youtube channel which is basically the biggest search engine under Google.
Having a Youtube channel that is consistently updated is not only a great passive income generator, but it’s also a MUST have for radio shows that want to garner greater marketing interest in their brands.
iHeartradio On Top of Digital Trends
Since the name change from Clear Channel in 2014, the corporation has dominated the “radio” landscape by diving into just about every new digital concept that there is from online radio to podcasting to award shows. It was evident that they saw where the industry was going and they are obviously determined to stay ahead of the curve.
Out of ALL the radio corporations, we get the MOST press releases from iHeart. They are very well written and loaded with SEO benefits for the brand.
Some of those SEO benefits are they have iHeartradio or iHeartMedia in every headline on their press releases. They know how to use headlines, links and keywords unlike many other radio corporations, they don’t open their press releases by bragging about the corporation being the biggest or the best. When websites print the information, they don’t care about that information and they will usually delete it. In addition, popular sites get so many press releases that if you don’t grab our attention with a headline or by the first paragraph, it’s likely to be skipped. iHeart gets right into whatever it is that they are promoting and they do it several times a day.
Press releases help with branding and SEO because it generates valuable backlinks and press for a company to other sources. Without question, this is one of the main reasons why iHeart leads the pack. They do the MOST promotion of any radio corporation including their growing podcast network.
Radio Hosts: Greater Than Radio
“Radio Hosts” is what this column should be called instead of “Radio Terms.” These numbers are actually significant for these national hosts in the states all of which have Youtube channels and a strong social media presence.
Charlamagne, for example, has a great team for his SEO, no doubt his amazing manager Karen, who stay on top of the trends and take advantage of them.
The thing that Charlamagne does so well is he constantly updates his IG account with “compelling content” instead of a plate of food or useless unlimited selfies. He offers life quotes and funny statements that build his brand to be GREATER than radio.
Same with Envy with his Real Estate seminars and car shows and Yee with Lip Service. For anyone on the air in radio today, these opportunities are available in all markets depending on who they work for. It’s not an option to take advantage of digital concepts today, it’s a necessity.
Rickey Smiley blew the RadioFacts site up last month with great promotion from Reach Media. A company that is largely owned by Radio One. They did an excellent job of saying goodbye to Tom Joyner and bringing Rickey Smiley, Headkrack and Sybil Wilkes into new folds and the RadioFacts numbers reflected that. In addition, they did campaigns with PRNewswire for Rickey. It’s not cheap to run press with PRNewswire but it’s effective.
Radio people have gotten mad at me for saying it but it’s just the truth. We are heading towards an entrepreneur and branding world in the industry and for those who know one or the other the opportunities will be plentiful.
Being an entrepreneur myself for 25 years I can tell you that everybody can’t be one but branding is easier, it’s more or less online marketing and MANY successful music acts, podcasters and Youtube channel hosts are doing this today.
Also, investing in new media companies is explosive. So you will either have to be an entrepreneur, branding manager or an investor in the industry from this point forward or all three. At best, you will need to hire someone if you can’t do it.
“93.1 WZAK” is 1900 searches but “93.1” is 15,000. Unfortunately, this cannot be attributed to WZAK only since there are other stations around the country who are also “93.1”
- 93.1 WNOX FM Classic Hits,
- 93.1 WPOC – Today’s Best Country, Easy 93.1,
- WFEZ 93.1 FM, Hollywood, FL
- Mix 93.1 – KTYL, East Texas’ #1 Hit Music Station
This is a branding problem for commercial radio stations around the country that will have to be resolved in order to individualize their brands on a national level instead of just locally.
This indicates the station is losing valuable rankings, clicks and links. A domain name like:
would be a much greater benefit to the station and the corporation and there is a way to do it without losing their current audience.
As far as people searching online for the station, if they type in WZAK they will get the right station but if they type in 93.1 or Kiss FM, for another example, they will get a bunch of options.
When you look at the chart below, you will see that there were a lot of searches for online promotions. “Music Streaming” is very general, check “Spotify” below to see those numbers.
Podcasting continues to grow and dominate and as ad agencies continue to pour money into online marketing, you will see, or I should say hear even more podcasts. We were on this concept too early (RadioFacts)(2009) and could not find a way to monetize it back then but I saw this coming.
You can also see that there is great interest in the term “entrepreneur” as I have stated, everybody can’t do this but people are becoming more and more intrigued by it.
Social Media Dominates
Anyone who thinks that social media is a trend is a damn fool, in addition, anyone waiting for it to be over is even a bigger fool. These are the monthly searches for the terms. Let me know if you have any questions.