Saturday, April 25, 2015

Promotional transparency

Kind of excited about how useful pondering traditional radio has been in helping me unravel the snarl of how I think promotion works, so will keep with it, on how promotion can go very wrong.

So my understanding is that with traditional radio in the US it is actually illegal to pay radio stations to play a particular song. And as a listener consider if that weren't the case and you were puzzling over repeated plays of some horrible song where radio stations had been paid to play it. That breaks the social contract.

And if that information were publicly known that the song was repeatedly being played because someone had paid for that to happen, it would probably trigger negative reactions. The song wouldn't sell anyway, and lots of people might be angered.

So I'll presume that the transparent promotion listeners want is for radio stations to choose to heavily promote favorite songs because those are the ones listeners indicate they wish to hear.

In the early days of television you'd have sponsors, who would say at the beginning of a show that they paid for it, and viewers would see advertisements in the form of commercials. So there also you had transparency.

My guess is that promotional transparency is wanted across the board whenever anyone promotes anything, as people want to know why. Knowing why something is being promoted is critical to evaluating whether or not it actually interests you.

There's a weird thing there though where people tend to be suspicious if you promote your own things, even if that is transparent and they understand why.

My guess is that people suppose your own judgment is naturally skewed when evaluating your own things. Oh yeah, or those of someone close to you.

James Harris
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