Conclave radio conference

At 35, this is the longest-running conference of its kind.

The Conclave just completed its 35th annual conference.  It’s more of a radio programming forum than a music discussion, and the subject matter usually covers all formats in general.  Lots of midwest radio peeps attend, along with a number of national-level execs and personalities.  Egos are checked at the door and the sense of community is high.  Scholarships are awarded to deserving students, and many college students are in attendance.

A few points of interest.  The latest ratings research shows that average time spent per listen is a mere ten minutes, which explains why songs are repeated so frequently.  Current large market ratings methodology created an increasing fear among programmers regarding potential damage of playing much new music.  The good news is that some of that fear seems to be abating, assuming the newer tunes are of high quality and presented correctly.  Saturday afternoon was devoted to Kurt Hanson’s RAIN Summit Midwest, which covered internet radio.  Of the online-specific music radio outlets, Pandora leads the ratings pack by far.   Thanks to the internet, Kurt states that radio in general may be heading towards a golden age the way FM broadened radio’s reach a generation ago.  Greatly increased radio streaming availability in cars will make a big difference, and that isn’t too far away.  A RAIN panelist said that with it comes to online approaches, “one must either be quick or be dead”.  In general, radio revenues are up a bit this year following a terrible 2009 so that’s encouraging.

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