When it come to a radio marketing hurricane, Howard Stern is, and has been the name that has weathered more storms in his career than anyone in the radio business.
Here we go again.
His five year contract with satellite radio’s Sirius/XM is up when the Times Square ball comes down to welcome 2011. He has kept listeners and the media guessing his future plans. Even today, in what some may feel is a negotiating plan, he hinted in the typical honest dialog that he usual has with listeners, that he would be leaving Sirius when his contract his up.
The Howard Stern marketing machine has been a winning formula for decades. In the regular radio days when he gave advertisers live commercials that went on and on, those companies felt they got more than their money’s worth. He built brands. He built corporate success stories. He helped to build the careers of many names in the business.
Many of his loyal listeners from the past-including those who purchased his books, saw his movie, subscribed to his Pay-Per-View specials-many weren’t willing or didn’t move with him to Sirius. For whatever reason, may listeners didn’t buy the radio software that was necessary to hear him and didn’t continue to pay the $12 per month to subscribe to the Sirius service.
He lost listeners and no doubt the five year contract that he signed which brought him to Sirius, while definitely putting Sirius on the radio map, may not have been the financial success that the company-and its stockholders-were hoping to have.
Will Howard Stern continue with Sirius? If he departs, will the Sirius/XM investment that customers, auto manufacturers, electronic retailers and others have all made suffer severely?
When Hurricane Howard speaks, the radio world listens. With Howard Stern, the storm winds of change in the radio and marketing world travel far and can be very damaging.
Let’s hope this hurricane causes no damage.
What do you think?