There is little debate that the greatest radio host in history is Howard Stern.
In addition to reinventing himself multiple times, from the long-forgotten battles with the FCC in the 90s to giving Charlie Rose a run for his money over the past decade as ‘greatest interviewer alive,’ Howard’s savviest role is behind the scenes as a platform rainmaker.
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First he syndicated his show across the nation after being told his New York humor wouldn’t fly in other markets — heck, they told him he wouldn’t work in Boston and DC! He hit 60 markets and 20m listeners.
Then they told him he couldn’t do books, movies and TV, and he became the King of all Media.
When a new platform emerged called satellite radio, he jumped ship, made a couple hundred million, and literally put a Sirius and XM on his back.
Of course, what was great about satellite was that he could be in every market with one deal, but the drawback was that you had to pay. Can you imagine how huge Howard would have become if satellite radio chose to be ad-based?
Anyway, SiriusXM has reached the end of the line with satellite radio because, well, the Internet. With LTE/4G speeds and smart phones, listening to Howard on-demand is soooooo much better.
You no longer have to miss half an interview; you can simply listen to anything that occurred in the last 10 days. A huge benefit, but still only 1% of the potential.
It’s time for Howard to leave satellite and go direct to consumers or join Spotify. Either of these will make him $1b. Here’s what Howard 3.0 would look like:
- Howard tapes his show at any time. No more waking up at 4am and worrying about not being able to take Beth to parties. If you want to start at 10am or 1pm or 10pm, go for it.
- Howard tapes his show from anywhere at any time. Want to stay out in the Hamptons? Tape when you’re in LA? Sure, set up a couple of microphones and go.
- Never have another boss.
- Provide your entire catalogue free or for subscribers on the internet (Howard got his archive back years ago).
- Allow fans to remix and make clips from the archives — and repost to your site.