Video’s Failed Assassination Attempt on the Radio Star

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By Emily Labes, Associate Publicist

 

It seems that every time there is some major technological advancement in broadcast media, there’s always that one guy who pipes up and says: “I’m curious to see how this [insert catchy name of newfangled app or device here] will affect the radio industry.” This is almost always inevitably followed by that other guy, who knowingly replies: “Well, radio is a dying medium anyway.”

Is it, though?

While smug guy and even smugger guy might be content with this resolution and ready to turn their conversation to more pressing topics, perhaps they should look at all the facts first, or more specifically, one incredibly statistically significant fact: terrestrial radio reaches roughly 9/10 of the American population each week.

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2013, 91 percent of Americans over the age of 12 reported listening to the radio at least once a week. This number dropped a mere 1 percent from 2012, when 92 percent of Americans heard AM/FM radio each week. In fact, although there has been some fluctuation, this number has remained virtually unchanged for the last decade.

This data doesn’t even take satellite radio, online radio, and podcasts into consideration. Sirius XM subscriptions now sit at a hefty 26.3 million, up from 25.6 million in 2013. Given that many of these subscriptions likely belong to families of two or more people, it’s pretty safe to assume that there are at least twice as many listeners as there are subscribers.

Internet radio is, unsurprisingly, on the rise as well. Edison Research reports that 47 percent of Americans over the age of 12 currently tune in to internet radio at least once a month (up 2 percent from 2013), with 36 percent of Americans listening to internet radio each week. Terrestrial radio stations are starting to take notice of this trend. WGN-AM, the #1 News/Talk station in Chicago, with 1,085,800 estimated listeners, recently launched a .fm station, in lieu of an FM counterpart.

There is a subtle difference between internet radio and podcasts – internet radio is streamed directly from an online platform, while podcasts are typically downloaded. It shouldn’t take a master of deduction to guess that podcast listenership is also trending upwards (again). Apple boasts over 1 billion podcast subscribers on iTunes. Not to mention the undeniable cool factor that podcasts have going for them; it is completely beyond me how something that rose to popularity in 2004 could already be considered “retro,” but that certainly seems to be the case. I would be remiss if I didn’t include an obligatory mention of “Serial:” it has become a global phenomenon and has more downloads than any podcast in history. In short, people really seemed to like it.

When you really think about it, it makes sense that audible media remains a staple of American society. Television may be our main source of news (according to Gallup in 2013), but it has its limitations. One can’t exactly watch TV while driving to work, and it’s a lot easier to be productive when you aren’t compelled to keep looking at a screen. Besides, when is the last time you went on a date that ended with the phrase, “Make yourself comfortable, I’ll go pour us some drinks and crank up the ‘Seinfeld’ reruns?”

Perhaps radio isn’t immortal, but it will take far more advanced beings than us to truly vanquish one of America’s favorite mediums.

 

Related: What Does the Success of ‘Serial’ Mean for the Future of Traditional Radio?

 

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Twitter: The Bookstore?

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Dee Donavanik, Publicity Director

 

If you have a thought you feel the need to impulsively share, where do you go? Twitter!

If you see something you need to impulsively purchase, where do you go? A physical store perhaps, if you need to have it this very minute. Maybe Amazon or another online marketplace if you can wait for it to get shipped (only two days, if you’re a Prime subscriber!). And now, perhaps, also Twitter!

Publishing house Hachette recently announced that it will be partnering with Gumroad  to allow select authors to sell their books directly through their Twitter accounts.  According to Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Book Group:

With so much of our book marketing done socially now, in-stream Twitter purchasing is a natural next step. Gumroad’s success working with music labels and artists to enable sales to fans, and their partnership with Twitter, put them at the forefront of social media commerce. (via Publisher’s Weekly)

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Book By Former New York City Mayor Highlights New York Nuggets Of Wisdom

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By Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer

 

In a visit this past week to a Barnes & Noble store on 82nd Street and Broadway, near the heart of the Upper West Side, I found myself doing what I love best to do in a bookstore. I strolled across the shelves and let the books speak to me. I’d see a random cover and pull the book off the shelf, contemplating its adoption. I repeated this act dozens of times. To do just that, without reading or buying a book, is an act of fulfillment. I’ve been doing this my whole life and few other experiences equal the satisfaction this delivers.

Don’t get me wrong, eating chocolate, reading The New York Post, or watching Zach Wheeler pitch for the Mets could rival or exceed the act of browsing books, but the open discovery of ideas and knowledge one comes across by walking just a few feet is really amazing.

I ended up pulling a half-dozen books off the shelf for further skimming. I looked through them as I sat in the upstairs café and imbibed on green tea that was accompanied by a triple chocolate brownie. The first book I examined was The Little Red Book of New York Wisdom.

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What Does the Success of ‘Serial’ Mean for the Future of Traditional Radio?

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By Nicole Martineau, Publicist

 

Podcasts have been around for years, but none in recent memory have been able to generate as much buzz as Serial, a record-breaking nonfiction crime drama created and brilliantly hosted by This American Life producer Sarah Koenig. This addicting multi-episode podcast re-examines the 1999 murder of a Maryland teenager and the eventual conviction of her ex-boyfriend.

In a recent New York Times piece, columnist David Carr reports that since its debut in October, Serial has been streamed or downloaded for free on iTunes more than five million times and averages over 1.5 million listeners per episode, a number This American Life took four years to reach.

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2015 Book Trends To Watch For

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By Cori Cagide, Publicist

 

A recent post on Huffington Post Books had me reminiscing on some of the interesting trends I’ve witnessed in the world of books over the last year. I think we’re finally beyond vampires and werewolves, and barely made it through that random Amish vampire thriller stage that had floated around as a potential trend for 2014.

GirlOnline2014 seemed to be the year of books-to-movies, particularly dystopian thrillers – we had The Hunger Games 3, the first of the Divergent series and others that made it to the box office this past year and proved to be wildly successful yet again (even more of a reason for them to continue splitting up series into more and more movies to spin into cinema gold). It was also the year of short stories that help to bridge some gaps in the book, or in the case of some, keep readers from going insane until the release of the next book in the series. Veronica Roth’s Four proved to be wildly successful, and many other authors have followed suit.

We also saw a lot of political and presidential theme books, timed perfectly with the November election. It was also the year of the rising YouTube stars – Michelle Phan’s “Makeup” and Grace Helbig’s “Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grownup” were published in October. “The Pointless Book” by 21-year-old YouTube star Alfie Deyes hit shelves in September and his girlfriend and fellow YouTube celeb Zoe Sugg’s book, “Girl Online,” was published in November and became a bestseller almost instantly.

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MEDIA CONNECT’s Favorite Books of 2014

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Here at MEDIA CONNECT books are our jobs. That doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t enjoy reading in our downtime as well. In fact, outside of working hours, many of us are voracious readers, always on the hunt for the next great read.

In that spirit, here are some of our favorites from the past year:

 

giveyouthesunI’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. Beautifully written, a John Green spiderweb centering around- what else? The process of growing up. First love. Loss of a mother. Grief. Topics that can be easily overwrought. However, Nelson’s writing carries her all the way through, tackling LGBT material in a delicate way. Didn’t necessarily have to love all the characters to appreciate the prose, and that’s the kind of story I always have to heed praise to. One of those books that I read on the train, in bed, on the couch, and felt like it was the end of something when I finished. I’ll be attached to it for years to come and that is the best reception a book can give you.

–Lindsey Hall, Associate Publicist

 

 

 

 

lookingforalaskaWhile it’s hard to pick just one book that touched your heart in the last year, if I think of a book that made me think, that made me see the world a little differently after I put it down, and that made me take a deeper look at myself, that book is Looking For Alaska by John Green. I find myself investing in each character he writes about, which makes his work wonderful to dive into. I loved how the main character, Pudge, was obsessed with famous last words. I loved that Alaska had her own world and pulled not only Pudge, but the readers into it as well. It’s a great story about growing up, about the “great perhaps,” and has universal themes that extend beyond the average young adult story. Also, being born in the nineties, I always appreciate good labyrinth symbolism. Aside from the plot, John Green’s writing is brave and honest, which are two of the best qualities I think a writer can have. I’d recommend it to anyone.

Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist and Social Media Strategist

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6 Things To Tweet During #NaNoWriMo

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By Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist and Social Media Strategist

 

For many hopeful authors November 1st means more than just Halloween candy clearance sales. It means more than Q4 deadlines at work, or the first month of the holiday season. November 1st marks the start of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, where writers endeavor to write an entire 50,000-word novel in one month.

This sleepless, caffeine-addled, frenzied event costs writers about 1,667 words per day for the ultimate chance to get their full novel out of their head and onto digital paper – along with hundreds of thousands of fellow writers as a constant support system. The program was founded by Chris Baty in 1999, and it started with four writers from the San Francisco Bay area. Last year nearly 400,000 writers participated.

The sense of community can be particularly felt on social media, specifically on Twitter. #NaNoWriMo trended nationally for nearly the entire month, and millions of tweets went out describing how close (or how far) participating writers were from the finish line, offering words of encouragement for other writers, or even revealing one or two sentences they had written that day that they were proud of.

The event has grown so much that parody Twitter accounts have popped up, such as the popular @NaNoWriMo_txt, which parodies some of the more outlandish or hilarious things that are said in NaNoWriMo forums or other tweets.

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4 Ways Authors Can Use Pinterest To Maximize Book Publicity

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By Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist and Social Media Strategist

The following set of best practice tips appeared in the the latest edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our fall newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.

 

Pinterest has been hailed as the fastest growing social media platform of the last year, rivaling Instagram, by outlets such a Business Insider, CNN and Mashable. Content sharing on Pinterest jumped to 19.2 percent just this time last year, and is continuing to see a usage spike.

With this kind of popularity, more and more authors — and readers — are finding their way to Pinterest. Broken down, Pinterest is essentially a virtual pinboard, which allows users to “pin” images found on the web that can hyperlink back to websites.

Here are a few ways that authors can use Twitter to maximize book publicity:

 

Don’t neglect your “About” section. This is a critical element of your profile that will help Pinners identify and follow you. Be sure to include your name or penname, your titles, genres, and a compelling short description of your title(s). Make sure to add your author website URL as well as your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Create multiple pinboards for your book. Instead of just creating one general board for all things related to your book, breaking up boards will help you gain a broader following by expanding your pins across multiple boards with different subjects. Pinterest categorizes all pinboards by subject, such as “Film, Music & Books,” “Quotes,” “Travel,” “Art” and more. For example, create a pinboard of quotes from your book, a board of “places” (locations or settings) where scenes in your book take place, articles and reviews about your book, and a board of upcoming cover art or fan art.

 

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MEDIA CONNECT Interview Series: King Kaufman of SiriusXM Radio

The following interview with King Kaufman appeared in the the latest edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our fall newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.

King Kaufman is the host of CONTENT IS KING, broadcast weekdays 6-7 pm ET on Sirius 93, XM 208, SiriusXM. He is also the Writing Program Manager for BleacherReport and has also written for The New York Times, the San Francisco Examiner and Salon.com. His work has been anthologized in “Top of the Order: 25 Writers Pick Their Favorite Baseball Player of All Time” (Da Capo, 2010), “Afterwords: Stories and Reports From 9/11 and Beyond” (Washington Square, 2002), “Iron Mike: A Mike Tyson Reader” (Da Capo, 2002) and “Dialogues: An Argument Rhetoric and Reader, 4th Edition” (Longman, 2003). He graduated from Berkeley with a history degree and a master’s in journalism.

 

kingkaufMEDIA CONNECT: What book are you reading right now?
King Kaufman: THOSE GUYS HAVE ALL THE FUN. I’m a little late to it, I know. I’m listening to it.

 

MC: What’s your biggest pet peeve when working with publicists?
KK: Calling me on the phone if I haven’t specifically asked them to do so or told them it’s OK to do so. This rarely happens, but I hate it when it does.

 

MC: What types of books are you tired of covering? What are you hoping to do more of?
KK: I’m interested in books that explain process, how things happen. I enjoyed Jason Kendall’s THROWBACK, even though his personality shined through as abrasive and unpleasant, because he took the reader through what a catcher is thinking and how he approaches the game. “If I see the batter’s moved his back foot up two inches, I’ll know…”

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MEDIA CONNECT Interview Series: Alexander Kaufman of HuffPo Business

The following interview with Alexander Kaufman appeared in the the latest edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our fall newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.

Alexander C. Kaufman is an associate editor on The Huffington Post’s business desk. Previously, he worked as a staff reporter at the International Business Times, The Wrap and The Boston Globe.

 

AKaufmanMC: What book are you reading right now?
Alexander C. Kaufman: I’m reading THE POWERHOUSE by Steve LeVine, a journalist at Quartz. I’m also reading Haruki Murakami’s NORWEGIAN WOOD. I just finished THE WILD SHEEP CHASE by Murakami, so I’m really into him right now.

 

MC: When you’re not at the office, what do you like to do?
AK: I like to read, go for hikes, practice meditation, drink beer in pubs with my friends, cook, take pictures, and eat exotic foods.

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