Feinberg, Russo: CBS-Last.FM deal a good move


Matt Feinberg, SVP/National Radio, SVP/Director, Interactive Broadcast, Zenith Media Services and Rich Russo, JL Media's SVP/Director of Broadcast Services, tell us the CBS Corp. buy of Last.FM looks like a good opportunity for the company and will look into it for clients (see Radio News).

Said Russo: "Last.FM, as well as Pandora and other "create your own" radio sites, are a good acquisition for any company trying to pinpoint the music scene and the dynamics of it. We are well into an era where most record companies are irrelevant, despite the fact that the musical landscape is more fertile than it has ever been. So these sites and the ways they expose music, not just of established core artists but of unknown ones is the wave of the future. It's good to get on board now. These stations etc are also great potential HD channel opportunities as well. But in reality they will translate well to the eventual in-car streaming and cell phone radios. This sort of thing could have a bigger upside than Satellite did. I also see that with the decline of the record business and the more mixing in of new music that isn't tied to a label or a publishing company, that this music will get more spins due to the potential of less royalties paid out. It's going to be beyond big-they need to start inserting spots quickly."

We asked Feinberg what they would need to bring to the table when pitching a package deal for CBS Radio stations/websites and Last.FM: "At the end of the day, it's all about audience. Almost anything we do is about the audience/environment-in any particular order, depending on what the client and brand's objectives are. I can't speak to the site itself (I'm not that familiar with it) but at the end of the day anybody who gets involved in multimedia, it's about environments and audience numbers, so I applaud the move. Without knowing all of the details, it sounds like it's a step in the right direction."

Feinberg also notes that in bringing the pitch to the table, from the sales perspective, the ability of the vendor to understand how to how these venues work together and report on them (which most of them don't) is important. "Most people, we have found out, on the digital and terrestrial side, don't know how to combine the numbers-something we've been working on here for quite a while. Combine the metrics and look at the overall picture. Separate the pieces and then be able to aggregate them and understand how they are intertwined. So we often end up doing the analytics ourselves or guiding them through the analytics."