I consider this blog to be not only a another venue where I can publish Rock Reports which are for the Score's website, but I also consider this a place where I can get some stuff off my chest and clear the air on some things.
As most of you know, Mike North and some other investors including Dave Martinez are starting a new internet stream sports talk destination called ChicagoSportsWebio.com. It's going to be a 12 hour stream of locally based Chicago sports conversation. This is set to debut on April 6th which is also opening day for Cubs/White Sox baseball as well as the night of the title game of the NCAA Tournament.
While to some this venture may seem novel and unique.....it's truly just another skittle in the giant bag of internet destinations where you can hear live broadcasts. For example there are over 25,000 destinations (I say destinations because they're not really stations at heart) on shoutcast.com and over 6,000 on live365.com where you can hear anything from live talk to Joaquin Phoenix rap albums at the click of a mouse. Not to mention that alot of terrestrial radio stations are now online..(cheap mention 670thescore.com streaming 24/7)..the selection if you wanna use that avenue to listen to radio online is tremendous. Internet radio is not only been around since 1993, a recent survey showed that 13% of Americans listened to radio online at some point in their day.
Therefore this "Webio" thing isn't unique but however....it may work. There is more risk than reward when starting any new business.....but it'll be interesting to see if "Webio" can bring in as much as they say they can when the only place people can listen to them is at work or at home. Wi-Fi radios are indeed on the way with the adaptation of 3G technology and blue tooth but that's not coming for a bit. This destination will live and survive with the amount of hits they their site for at least the next year and then when wi-fi radio's become available in cars....not everyone is gonna get a new wi-fi radio right away. How long did it take you to get a cd player in your car?
Here's the thing......they're not reinventing the wheel of talk radio either. This destination "raided" (for lack of a better term) the two stations in town for their talent. They took from WSCR an update guy, a beat reporter, and some producers while from WMVP they took their night and weekend talent. They also added a former WBA Lightweight champion (that's boxing for the kids at home) plus an up and coming college basketball analyst on BTN. Where's the splash?
Internet radio is not like terrestrial where you can measure your ratings/sales are based on PPM numbers. You're revenue is based on how many hits you get on the website and how many people decide to click that listen live link. I understand they're gonna extremely advertise this with both CSN and some other outlets.....but let's all be serious here.....the numbers just aren't there...at least not yet.
If only an estimated 13% of Americans listen to radio online...is that enough of an audience to command the amount of money invested in this? I understand getting ahead of the curve....but it's been 16 years since internet radio has been around and yet not even an 1/8 of Americans venture online for their favorite radio program while at work. Plus also when dealing with the internet and companies....some corporations have firewalls that prevent you wasting time at work listening to Boom Boom and Chet talk about the Cubs 4th inning last night.
It's a big risk and it could have some reward, but as far as being competition to the other two stations.....maybe not yet. I understand they're using the model that when the Score started "People laughed in our face...blah blah blah...". Now you have two established outlets for Chicago sports talk that you can get online, at work and IN YOUR CAR!!
Change the Chicago sports talk landscape? Not really.
Change the way radio is done? Please
Change pay scales for corporate radio? In a recession...ah..no.
I respect what the investors of this new destination are trying to do, and if it turns out good for them than outstanding. There's nothing wrong with a little more competition.
I just hope this whole venture isn't driven by revenge because even post-MNMS....the Score has moved on.
To clear the air.......it's not that I will not be joining this venture...you never say never in this business....it's just MY GUY never called and asked. In the end, you should never believe an innuendo until you see it for yourself.
I'm happy where I am, and I look forward to maybe my chance at growing.