Inside the Media Solutions Lab

By Jerry Del Colliano

Today is the FINAL DAY
to save $300 off the registration price for my January 28th Media Solutions Lab. Lock it in here.

Happy New Year to all of my readers with the wish and hope that you will be able to take advantage of the many major changes that are coming in the new year.

Many of you have asked me to say more about my upcoming Media Solutions Lab at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, January 28th -- where we will spend an entire day focusing on these challenges and opportunities.

You already know that my Media Lab is about the future -- we've talked about it from time to time. And there are 14 modules of content -- and yes, we'll cover all 14 in seven exhilarating hours. You can take a peek at the learning modules right here.

But the real magic of this format is built around you and me.

You are obviously not like other people in that you come here regularly to get the straight scoop on both the mistakes being made by traditional media companies and the promise of new media as it emerges in its early stages.

Sitting on the sidelines is not an option.

Record labels and radio groups are fighting to defend the status quo but they are fighting a losing battle. The Media Solutions Lab is for smarter radio people who are willing to take a fresh look at what's ahead and most specially for radio people, music execs, traditional media professionals of all types.

So let's see if I can take a moment to paint some vivid word pictures about an event the nature of which you probably have not seen before.

You will likely arrive in Scottsdale the night before the January 28th (Thursday) Lab. The WestinKierland is a great property and worthy of even a longer stay, but if you're on a budget I've found a list of other nearby hotels that may be better options -- compare hotel rates here. You'll be just around the corner but you'll love the meeting space, I promise.

The next morning, we'll have a continental breakfast waiting for attendees at the Westin so put your credit card away -- and if you've ever attended one of my old Inside Radio conferences you know this will be first class. In addition, we'll have lunch for you as well as breaks, refreshments and snacks -- it's all included.

I want to meet each one of you personally before the day is done -- and I know some of my friends will want to follow up with me after the event once you put together your own personal action plan.

We'll start no later than 9 am and work in an atmosphere of approval and acceptance. You'll tell me "you look better in person than in your pictures" and I'll probably give you an additional discount and you'll add, "your wife is so sweet, why did she marry you?" Okay, I'm lying about the discount part. My wife is sweet - that part is true.

I'll start with a look into the next 12 months -- what will happen, what is unexpected, what opportunities exist. We'll talk.

Remember, this event is not being recorded (you will not be permitted to record it as well) nor will it be available in any other form after the event. It's face to face, interactive. You've got to be there. You'll know why after just a few minutes.

Then, we'll hit on a number of topics that I've planned for you.

Here's a sample of a few topics (only a few) right here:

Reinventing Radio

I've got some surprises for you. There is a way to prolong the life of terrestrial radio but few operators are doing it. No consultant can tell you what you're going to learn here but you will see how to revitalize your fan base. You'll learn about the misinformation that is being put out about how to program to the People Meter by consultants and researchers who want your business, but the real answer will become apparent and you will learn how to put your best programming foot forward. You'll also learn if and under what circumstances a terrestrial brand can be ported to the digital world.

Think Like Apple

Why is the media business thinking like label execs and radio consolidators? They don't really understand what happened to their businesses. In fact, they are failures not worthy of following. Apple CEO Steve Jobs understands the changing media market. He's no kid and you don't have to be one either to acquire the skills he has and you'll need to operate in the digital future. We'll have some fun together learning how to let go of the less useful tools we've been accustomed to using and grasp a chance to acquire new age tools with people, ideas and marketing.

Earn Podcasting Revenue in 30 Days

I always wonder why some of my talented on-air friends are not running toward podcasting. They should be. It is the future for talent, personality and information. You can be your own Clear Channel -- I'm sorry, I just insulted you. I mean, you can be your own company. And don't think podcasting is radio on a mobile device. It isn't. And if you don't believe me -- why do you think so many podcasters have a fan following and no revenue stream. We'll fix that for you.

Avoid The Webcasting Trap

I know ... I know ... royalty fees are killing webcasts. No, actually radio groups are killing it. They dump terrestrial programming online -- pick up a mere 1-3% more at-work listeners and call it a success. No wonder WBEB, Philadelphia owner Jerry Lee pulled the plug on streaming B-101.1. But wait -- there is a better use for webcasting. I'll set up a few parameters and then you'll brainstorm with me. While we're at it, I'll show you the brainstorming format I developed when I was a professor at the University of Southern California. I'm sure you'll use it with your people once you get the hang of it. Oh yes, you'll come away with ideas -- so many -- that it will be hard to keep you in your seat.

A Growth Alert -- Advertisers Are Going Direct to Consumers

Advertisers have figured this out -- but somehow broadcasters have not. Of course advertisers aren't going to abandon traditional media all of a sudden but what you can expect them to do is spend increasing amounts of money building promotions, websites, podcasts, social networking outreaches and other mobile things without the middleman. And if you think this is just about the youth market, you would be wrong. This is about all ages, all markets. And I'm going to show you a way to be the one who creates the content for advertisers without traditional media. I'll bet I won't be able to get a word in edgewise once I light this fire.

New Media Businesses You Can Start

I can't think of any better red meat to throw in front of my attendees -- after all, they care about their future and want to be part of the media revolution ahead. I'll start with a few ideas and you'll build on them. Only the people in my meeting room will have the advantage of seeing a future for businesses that require little to no investment other than sweat equity -- and who works harder than media people?

How To Start a Business for the Apple Tablet

We're going to devote some time to this topic because I believe the Apple tablet is going to be the iPod/iPhone of the decade to come. A mobile commerce platform through the iTunes store that Apple is revamping right now. I'll give you the latest on what the device is, what it can be and how you can start businesses for it whether you are running a radio station, group or you are currently at liberty. Steve Jobs may make his announcement two days before the Media Lab -- you'll be at the right place at the right time to get a leg up on this important mobile platform.

The New Publishing

While newspapers fret over lost circulation, you'll use those skills you picked up in an earlier session thinking like Apple. Did you see where even newspaper websites are now losing readers? Publishers can't seem do anything right, but they could. And you can as well. Look, you're not going to go buy a distressed newspaper -- let Sam Zell do that. But I'll show you a zip-code inspired way to create your first, second, third (and so on) cash flow stream. Your expenses will be in content -- not delivery. Perfect for ex-radio execs who want to use their programming and marketing skills. Hint: the new publishing will be inhaled, heard, seen and read. That's it, more to come.

How to Get Paid for Being You

I'll tell you how I'm going to do it -- and I've been quite an innovative entrepreneur over the years. There is a debate that is relevant about free vs paid. Rupert Murdoch thinks he can get paid for the online content of his newspaper empire and I agree with him. Chris Anderson ("Long Tail" and "Free") says the best you can do is give it all away for free and then charge for paid additional content. I disagree (I never much liked his long tail theory of the music industry, either). So how does this affect you? Got an idea, a talent, a skill, a topic -- if it is good enough someone may pay a fair price to access it. It's happening now. This flies in the face of everything we know about young people and the Internet. Then again, buying Apple apps flies in the face of ... well, you get it. And so does the monthly TV package Apple is reportedly considering. This could be a business for you or your company.

Mobile Content

There is nothing bigger than the cell phone/smart phone business. It can't be about just texting and applications forever. Over the next ten years content will be integrated more and more into mobile devices but that doesn't mean radio or newspapers. I'll frame the discussion and we'll have at it. Hint: without understanding the sociology of mobile media, there is little chance to create thriving businesses based on it.

Social Networking Beyond Facebook

In fact, people are getting pissed off at the blatant commercial uses of Facebook and Twitter. Facebook has tightened its controls for users to keep out unwanted riff raff. Hey, social networking is being redefined and I'll show you some of the ways you can use it. In fact, this is one area you had better be skilled in for over the next ten years social networking will drive everything.

Reinventing You

Look, you can't believe that the media business is ready for monumental change without acknowledging that you need to change as well. Acquire new skill sets, discard less useful tools. I am writing a book about this topic so you will be getting an advanced look at some of the ways we can reinvent our careers -- even before the book is available for purchase on -- The Apple tablet!

Leave with an Action Plan

Once you decide what you want to take from this day, I want you to leave with a plan of action to make changes, explore new opportunities, acquire useful and additional skills. Leave with this and you'll want to pay double for admission -- okay, I lied again. But I think you'll agree you got more than your moneys worth.

If you want conventional industry meetings, you've got many choices.

Want to hear Lew Dickey again or another Wall Street banker imitate a funeral director -- well, we're not going there.

My abilities and yours together is what makes this day special and rewarding.

One more thing.

I know it isn't easy for the people who need this day the most to afford it. But please consider that sitting out the future even for another year is not an option.

If you register today before it expires in 2 days, you'll save $300 off the regular price and lock in the discounted early bird savings -- the lowest price the registration will ever be. Divide the "early bird" price of $495 by my seven hours of working with you and you're paying $70 an hour -- and that's before meeting space, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and breaks are considered. And you can pigeonhole me in the hallway and talk one-on-one about your ideas and plans.

I am so excited about this I hope you will accept my invitation and meet me in person January 28th at the Westin Kierland for my Media Solutions Lab.

Here's how to register.