THE VIDEO BLOG
THE VIDEO BLOG
Back in the late 90's, XM was just an idea. We had a skeleton staff that was growing by the day, but we were not yet on the air. One of the challenges was to tell the story of the programming mission. There was no shortage of those who viewed XM as an "audio service", a generic array of white bread channels that would have all the soul of ......an audio service.
In reality, NOTHING was further from the truth. We envisioned XM to be an organic, living, breathing collection of channels, each with a different identity and culture. The XM "sound" was not something that you would hear on every channel, but the XM SOUND was the aggregate of each channel sounding different with the result being a rainbow of different approaches that as a whole had a unique, revolutionary and distinct "sound". The eccentric Fine Tuning being 180 degrees from the A.D.D. 20 on 20, and that when you put it all together, there was THE XM SOUND. Some channels were to have DJ interacting Nationally with an army of listeners...others DJ free, relying on heady production and non stop music. In previous blog entries I addressed the Bootcamps we had to liberate myself and everyone who touched the programming from clichés and assumptions. At first you'd tend to "assume" that all channels needed DJ's. Wrong. The appeal of some channels is that it's all music without interruptions. On other channels, the DJ is a critical partner to the music offering an intelligent narration....other channels a DJ adds to the authenticity as in the 50's or 60's where we work to re-live the way Top 40 sounded in those eras. The point is that the XM SOUND is based on every channel having it's own Point of View and playbook resulting in a diverse collection of styles, yet all tied together to the platform had a distinct feel and vibe.
Expressing this both internally and externally wasn't easy. There had never been anything like XM before, so we needed to illustrate the plan.
Several months ago, Bob Lefsetz the master of gonzo bloggerism, visited XM. While hanging out in my office he asked what this big chart with circles was all about and I explained it was a way to graphically illustrate the diversity of XM and how channels fit into different cultural zones. He then said "OK, lets hear the rap". So---I pulled out the chart and ran through it. If you read Bob's blogs you'll note that he thinks XM Programming is great but that no-one knows about it, and was adamant that I video the thing and get it out there. SO---I did.
Our staff will probably throw up if they have to see this again as it's become one of MY clichés, but if you would like to see a video of the famous "Circles" presentation, click XM DIVERSITY under Multimedia on this blog site. .
The interesting thing is that while the roots of this presentation are 7 years old, it's still the anchor of what we do on the air. Do we deliver? Not always. Do we try? Yes. Some channels are dead on it...others close...and others, not so, but we have over 160 channels and it's not easy to get ALL of them firing on all cylinders at once...but we will get there as long as we BALANCE XM as a business and XM as an electronic media art form.
We have the talent here...it's all about executing to the high standards we preach, evolving, but staying on plan.
Take a look at the video ..... (Click XM Diversity under Multimedia)