Cumulus slowly rolling out its own deals product (audio)


One of the things discussed in RBR-TVBR’s recent interview of Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey was his company’s digital strategy. The topic came up in Friday’s (8/12) quarterly conference call as well when an analyst asked about progress on the company’s in-house competitor to Groupon and other such “daily deals” programs.

Lew Dickey:

So far the initiative isn’t producing enough revenue to be noticeable on the company’s quarterly financial report, since it is only in the beta-testing phase in Atlanta. Dickey said it is going well and it will be rolled out to about four more markets come September 1st and another 4-6 markets a month later.

RBR-TVBR found the program up and running for Atlanta. It is called Sweet Jack and uses a cute dog as its symbol. Jack, you see, will “fetch” a good deal for you each day if you sign up.

RBR-TVBR observation: Certainly the “daily deal” business is hot right now. Groupon has its IPO pending, Google just bought a competitor and Amazon is preparing to enter the market. But do broadcasters, who already have local sales forces in place, really need a third-party provider? The Cumulus product is certainly going to be a big player in the arena once it is rolled out to the 500+ stations it will have after it closes next month on Citadel Broadcasting.

Radio is already generation behind the ‘new media’ business model. There is no hiding from the real world of today’s consumer – they are connected – involved – and they are tuned into the world via digital / smartphones and tablets.

If radio is going to be a contender and competitor the radio medium will have to just look around and inhale what today’s consumer and business world is interacting with – a web portal that delivers content of value to the consumers needs.