@ Sunday Night Slow Jams

The creator of Sunday Night Slow Jams, known to his listeners as "R. Dub", was willing to part with 10% of his syndicated radio show for $75,000 of Shark money.

This article will answer three questions:

What is syndicated radio? Why is the syndicated radio business a "radioactive and very competitive business"? What was the best advice R. Dub received from the Sharks?

To start, most people belonging to Generations Y and Z are clueless about the syndicated radio business. The reason of course being that - for the most part- members of this particular demographic never listen to it. This is quite understandable given the fact that they are growing up with iPods, computers, and apps which pretty much fill all of their free time. Thankfully, Mark did a good job of briefly describing how syndicated radio works, and most Shark Tank fans were able to follow the pitch as a result. For those who missed it, syndicated radio works as follows: R. Dub is a radio DJ. He wants his show to be aired on popular radio stations across the country so that he and the artists he works with become more and more popular, and ultimately make more and more money. But the radio stations need an incentive to take on his show. So, in exchange for broadcasting his show, R. Dub will need to bring in a certain amount of advertisers who are interested in advertising with these stations, so that the radio station guys make more money as well.

Even though this sounds like a decent business to be in, as soon as R. Dub finished his pitch, Mark Cuban blurted out that the radio syndication business is a
horrible one and that there is no real opportunity there. He added that it's also a very competitive business, or as Kevin O'Leary called it, a radioactive one. The question is why? Every business seems to have at least one competitor and a multitude of hardships that come along with it. Why did the Sharks make this particular business sound more difficult and competitive than all the others? The answer is that whereas every business has some level of competition from others in the same market, this business has that and a whole lot more. Not only are there other DJ's and radio shows out there who are already more established in the syndicated radio markets, there is a whole world of technology that is sucking away listeners and customers. With music, movies, and games on demand with a swipe of a finger, people just don't have time or interest in becoming avid listeners. As proof, most people in the younger generations have never even heard of syndicated radio, let alone spend time listening to these shows! Radio is not going away anytime soon. But that doesn't mean it's an easy business to be in.

Most of the Sharks ended up dropping out after bashing the radio business and showing skepticism on how they would get their money back. Robert though offered some advice on his way out. R. Dub claimed he needed the money to be able to afford a full-time salesman who will work tirelessly to secure new advertising accounts. To which Robert remarked, if that was really all the business needed to succeed, why seek an investment from the Sharks if you can just pay the salesman with a percentage of sales or revenue that he brings in?! We may never know whether R. Dub really answered this question, but the director's cut certainly didn't include it. Either way, Robert's suggestion is seemingly the best way for R. Dub to succeed in motivating his salesman to sell ads, while retaining more equity for his business than he would have had he gotten a deal.

Overall Performance: Presentation: 38/50. Strategy: 15/25. Product: 10/25.
Jeff Hopkins2 Comments