How Radio Can Make Video Game Money By Andy Meadows

I’ve spent the past several days at NAB in Vegas, which is incredible by the way, they keep outdoing themselves every single year. In addition to gawking at all of the insane exhibits I’ve had a chance to sit and watch a few really good presentations and panels. On Monday I wandered into one about video games entitled ‘Play to Win: Unleashing the Power of Gaming in Entertainment’. To be honest a lot of the things they were discussing went right over my head because that’s not my world. But then one of the panelists, Bernie Su (Showrunner, Director and Producer) said something that made my ears perk up. He said ‘A die-hard fan can drop 10k a month playing Clash of Clans or Fortnite if they want to, but there’s no way to do that on traditional media.’ I think Bernie is on to something, so lets game this out a little (sorry for the pun).

Because of the connection we have with them, I believe it’s possible for radio stations to find a way for their most passionate listeners to spend video game type money on radio. Exactly how much money of course depends on a multitude of factors like market size, market share and, most importantly, how unique the format is and how much original content the station is putting out.

Let’s run a scenario and talk real world numbers.

To make the math easy, lets start with a major market station that has one million cume. If they were to empower all of their staff with tools to capture and produce audio and video content anywhere and everywhere they go. Plus, crowdsource content creation from artists, athletes, other celebrities they have a connection with as well as their own audience. In no time they would have a high enough volume of content to set up tiers to gate who has access to that content. Of course there would be free stuff everyone can see, but then as it builds the station could setup fan levels that broke down like this:

$1/month Fans

$5/month Super Fans

$10/month VIP Super Fans

If even 10% of the station’s audience signed up for the fan level that would be $100k a month. Add in 5% at the super fan level to bring in another $250k per month along with just 1% at the VIP super fan level for an additional $100k. All in that’s $450,000 per month, 5.4 million annually, in incremental non-traditional revenue. Plus, that’s not even accounting for the sponsored content revenue stream that would open up in this model and add significantly more. There’s also no initial option for the absolute mega fans to drop thousands at once but that could be added at any point by lining up a couple super-exclusive fan experiences per year for a big one-time upcharge.

Obviously, this would take time to put together and the right partners, we can help with that piece by the way. Plus, of course not many stations have one million cume but a LOT of stations have more than 100k cume. So, even at that level stations that put the work in could get 45k/mo or $540k annually just off the monthly subscription fees.

What do you think of applying this video game model to terrestrial radio? Comment below or email me at

Pic designed by YuriArcursPeopleImages for Envato Elements.