Marty Forbes Reports From HIVIO in San Diego


Things I heard or overheard at HIVIO in San Diego


by Marty Forbes

Marty’s Musings

June the 7th, 2014

Hivio (means Hive in Spanish) is an annual ‘non conference’ in San Diego, California put on by Mark Ramsey.

Non-conference means it’s by ‘invite only’ – as he gathers a wide variety of people from media from around the world to discuss current and future trends in radio, television, and new media.

As Mark states “….gather a ‘hive’ of smart people and amazing speakers to see, discuss, and develop big ideas and rising rends in on-demand, radio, content, social, mobile, and technology that will shake up all audio entertainment and information platforms.”

I proudly made the cut and highly enjoyed an 8 hour whirlwind day of high energy thoughts; positive thinking; innovative ideas; and interesting comments from not just Mark and his special guests but from the people I chatted with or simply stood beside waiting to introduce myself.

It’s generally agreed that both radio and television are undergoing a huge paradigm shift in consumption mostly from technology but also from the dramatically changing habits of a new generation (that is often followed by the older generation).

Through consolidation companies have gotten larger and less mobile – and usually less ‘innovative.’  I’m not criticizing just expressing my opinion.

It’s awfully hard to roll out new platforms and ideas when you control 100 plus properties in various market sizes (remember how long it took/is taking to roll out HD?)

Here are some of the thoughts and comments from Hivio 2014.

Media/new media:  “It’s a hodgepodge.  We’ve confused the customer/listener/viewer.”

“You don’t fall in love with the distribution channel.  You fall in love with the content.”

“Old media is losing consumption to ‘everything’ digital.  There’s a huge platform of choice now.”

“As brands become media – media become brands.”  (Describing how Red Bull does ‘all’ their own promotion/advertising/marketing through extreme sports tied to their target demographic)

“Take control of your own stream.  Go big or go home.”

“It’s all about storytelling in marketing.  The 30 second commercial is dead!”

“Emotion – get in their heads!”  (discussing the positive commercials out there – ie. Dove type)

PD from large Australian corporation “We used to come to North America often to listen and get ideas.  We stopped coming a few years ago.”

“Invest in your own brand.  Be your own media.”  (Referencing podcastone – Adam Corolla)

PD’s/Talent:  “Look for companies willing to innovate and try new things.  Most often these days that’s in a smaller market and a smaller company willing to learn from mistakes.”

Question from Audience:  “Where’s the farm team these days?  There’s nowhere to learn on the fly anymore and no one to teach at those levels.”

“Google hang outs are big for Next Gen’s – they travel in packs.”

Podcastone had 97 million downloads/listeners last month – quote from agency speaker “nobody has pitched me on a podcast!”  (Opportunity)

“You don’t run commercials on a podcast – you integrate the commercial into the podcast – and the best ones are honest testimonials from the hosts.”

Australia again: “Our number one focus is talent.”  Note:  Hammish and Andy work for this company – and hold multiple platforms in media – radio, tv, Youtube, etc.

Question to Aussie PD:  “What’s the best promotion they ever did?”

A:  “They dropped a car out of an airplane and right on the target – the clients logo in a field.  Huge video exposure.”

“Your social media accounts are part of your branding…if you don’t or can’t say it on the air don’t….”  (Note: Most senior management are not even ON most SM platforms and few know of some of the crap that gets sent out under their brands.)

With Social Media it’s all about the share – or RT.”

“Make sure your Social Media is mobile friendly – amazing how many sites/apps crap out.”

“Make sure your Social Media is compatible with all platforms (and releases….some are cut when companies upgrade)”

Robert Rose:  “We need to again create ‘delight’ for our audiences.

“Share your audio in bite size pieces”  (Television does this best – who doesn’t want to watch 24 after that short promo?)”

“The battlefield is the car dash. There is great change on the horizon.”

“Downloading is dying a fast death – it’s a streaming world now.”

Final guest:  Randall the Honeybear….”Honeybear don’t give a shit!”  (Youtube it…)

“The battle is for the car dash board now – I wouldn’t want to be selling transmitters in 5 years.”

“We’ve completed devalued the talent now – telling them people turn the station dial when they come on.  PPM is a creativity killer.”

“We shop for talent in the Comedy Clubs – that’s where you find the best storytellers these days.”

From Twitter:  @hiviosd

Podcastone – “it might be tough to sell, but providing a network of shows and personalities enables podcastone to (package.)

“Remember that youtube is more than just a free place to host video – use the social platform.”  (More monthly views than NBC/CBS/ABC/Fox combined.)

“Can’t lives on won’t street.”   (Try new things.  More is learned through correcting mistakes than not trying)

“Building your email list is not about extending your marketing reach.  It’s about being more engaged with your user.”

“You’re not in the radio business.  You’re in the content curagtion and creation business.”

“Pandora is now selling ‘channels’ and National clients are buying/programming their own feeds.”

The wrap:

It’s pretty obvious to see that change is going to continue in a rapidly evolving media/new media world.

To me it’s not a ‘them versus us’ scenario which seems to come up every time I get into a discussion with current media folks.

Yes I’m into digital.  Yes I’m into creativity.  Yes I’m happy I lived through the greatest era in media (hence the invite) but the sooner RADIO has a full media plan to ‘co-ordinate’ and ‘integrate’ Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, Text, into their operation – constantly assessed from the top down – constantly evolving – then the quicker I think the ‘rebuild’ is going to take place.

And I don’t mean built by your ‘digital kid’ but by Management, the PD, Promo, and Sales people.

Social Media should be the ‘loop’ that brings the listener/viewer back to Traditional Media.  

When you remind me via your SM platforms that ‘something I’m interested in’ is coming on then I schedule the tune in.

“On demand” in television is beginning to shape “on demand” in radio.

We all don’t live under YOUR schedule and still want to see – listen – and enjoy your best work but more and more so now ‘on our own time frame – and on our own platform.”

For businesses out there you too ‘must’ get caught up to mobile technology and the impact it is having on your current and future customers.

The best time to plant a tree is…’today’…and the same goes for Social Media.

It doesn’t need to be completed ‘tomorrow’ but get on a platform that works for you, start to develop it, ‘engage’ with your customers and you too will benefit from the shifting viewing, reading, and listening habits that are going on currently.

It was a thrill to be part of such a progressive media/new media gathering and most of the innovation and creativity seems to be coming from ‘outside’ the business – but it matters not.

Media is media.

I’m passionate about it from the past.

I’m more passionate for the future – but only in the hands of ‘creators.’

Marty Forbes
Radiowise Inc.

*San Diego is a stunningly beautiful city…highly worth spending a few days here.*

Mark Ramsey‘s website



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