Virtually everything comes with a price and a value. That’s what drives every transaction. In fact, it drives he entire economy. Yet since consumers don’t pay cash for radio, it’s easy for broadcasters to assume that radio is free. It’s not. Radio has a cost of listening.

Starbucks charges $4 for a cup of coffee. Their cost of materials is far less. There’s a lot of profit in that cup of Joe. But the value delivered to customers is worth more than the the ingredients. Otherwise, why would anyone keep paying for it? Yet customers line up in the morning, and many come back several times a day. Starbucks actually does a better job recycling their fans than radio.

The Starbucks brand is wrapped in their environment. That includes the stores in which they serve coffee. Part of it is the convenience of being on nearly every corner.  They have a commitment to serving the community. It includes the principles and values on which their brand is built. All of these things represent value that cause coffee drinkers to happily pay several times more than they would for coffee at 7-11. Why? Because they identify with the brand. Also, the coffee is better.

Similarly, an iPhone is valued by Apple’s customer, though competing brands offer smartphones with similar features at a much lower cost. Apple prospers because they deliver an experience to their customer. Their market share grows even though their products are relatively expensive devices with high margins. There’s brand value that goes with owning an Apple product. And, their phones and computers really are terrific.

These examples are easy to understand.

Commerce takes place when the perceived value of a product or service is equal to or greater than the cost.

But what does that have to do with radio? Plenty. And it’s a good thing, especially for true radio personalities.

Does a High Cost Of Listening Drive Away Audience?

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