The expression used to be “Time is money.” But lately it seems more like “Data is money.” Connections, feeds, subscriptions, services–there’s the cable bill and the broadband bill, the land line and the cell phone, Pandora and Netflix, premium channels and pay-per-view, satellite radio and tablet data plans. Staying connected to the wired world and the unwired world can cost a fortune. This leaves broadcast fm and non-subscription online service as nearly the last places where you can be connected to the world without paying through the nose for the privilege first.
The temptation, of course, is to just enjoy it. Haven’t you paid enough? Fortunately, enough people have resisted that temptation to keep North Country Public Radio strong and growing for 45 years–a fantastic longevity for a modern day media operation.
I read recently about a performer who adopted the public radio business model. He put his new collection of songs up online and allowed people to choose what they would pay to download it. Many took it for free, many took it for what they considered to be a standard price, and some paid more than one would expect to pay in the store. It all averaged out to enough revenue to cover the bills. Not a killing, but a living.
At NCPR, we make our living the same way, relying on you to place some value on the services we offer, just enough to sustain those services from one year to the next. And you have always come through. All next week, we will be encouraging you to support us again, to carry us through to the fall. The commercial media giants are all doing battle with each other, looking to gobble up the whole pie, if they can. We just ask you to save a little slice of the pie for public radio. We won’t wolf it down. And we always say please and thank-you.