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Chriss Scherer Scherer has been the editor of Radio magazine since 1997. His experience in radio includes work as chief engineer at stations in Cleveland (WMMS-FM, WHK-AM, WZJM-FM, WJMO-AM...more

Archive for April, 2008

NAB says 105,000. What do you say?

The 2008 NAB Show is over, and the NAB reports that registered attendance was just more than 105,000. This figure is only 3,000 fewer than the 2007 convention. It seems like there were a lot fewer than 3,000 people on the floor this year.

As I have said many times before, registered attendance really means nothing. Like most conventions, I hold more than one badge (news media, exhibitor, speaker and full convention). I’m told that I only count once, but I don’t buy it.

I have talked to exhibitors and attendees, and the general feeling is that attendance was more likely closer to 80,000 or so. That’s 25 percent less than registered. Because the NAB does not track actual attendance, we’ll never really know.

It wouldn’t be difficult for the NAB to track actual attendance. At some AES conventions, all badges are scanned when they enter the convention. Another way would be to imbed an RF ID chip in each badge holder and have attendees enter through sensor gates.

Until then we’ll just have to guess at the real attendance figures.

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Sat Radio Commitment

The Jacobs Media survey on satellite radio that was released this month included the observation that satellite radio’s “dirty little secret” is that subscription rates have been supported through free subscriptions and packaged offerings, so that subscribers who received the service as a gift or as part of a larger purchase seem less inclined to renew the service when it is due.

Is this really that surprising? Naturally, the NAB and several radio trades jumped on this item like it was a revolutionary concept. Think about it: what makes something have a value to us? If we pay our own money for something, we will likely take better care of it or be more inclined to use it than if we get something as a gift. Why is this any different? I am not surprised to hear this dirty little secret.

What if the tables were turned? What if a survey asked people who were given an HD Radio receiver if they use the HR Radio receiver more than another media device? I know it’s not exactly the same argument, but I think you see my point. I’m sure the results of my survey would show that HD Radio has a dirty little secret too. I also doubt that those touting the sat radio secret would tout the HD Radio secret in the same way.

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Another kind of blog

During the 2008 NAB Show, the Radio magazine staff and contributors were armed with cameras to capture the sights of the convention. We call it our photo blog. Check it out.

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