Even New Coke had a longer lifespan than CNN+.

Fewer than 10,000 people were watching CNN+ daily. I reckon’ that’s less than your station’s daily cume if you’re in a good sized market.

“What you have to do is offer some original content, unique value or have a significantly important archive of content and CNN+ didn’t offer any of those things. These were total retreads of the same shows you could get for free featuring most of the same people and to the extent that they even had other kinds of documentary content most of those things you could get on other platforms. Just not interesting.”

Michael Moynihan/Matt Welch on The Megan Kelly Show

Okay. Let’s talk about what we can learn from the demise of CNN+.

What does your station offer that has unique (and dare I say preferable) value?

Your radio station didn’t create the music; the artists, composers, and producers did.

Your radio station didn’t distribute the music; the record company, the music store, or iTunes did.

If you base your station’s success on things that aren’t yours to begin with, you’re in for a bumpy ride unless you have no competitor.

“There are countless factories vying to sell generic products to the companies that own the customer relationship. Perhaps 90% (sometimes 100%) of the profit goes to companies that make the sale, not the ones who actually made the product.”

Seth Godin

So, what does your station own?

You own the design; the way things are things are weaved together for a unique purpose. We call it “the brand.” Think Amazon.

You own the attitude, the point of view, the reflection of the lifestyle. Think Harley-Davidson.

You own the vision; the purpose, the desire to have an impact and help transform lives. Think Tom’s Shoes.

You own the relationship. Hopefully. (But CNN thought it did, too).

Each is a pillar for creating community; a group of people with shared values and experiences. Think the Green Bay Packers, the St. Louis Cardinals, Starbucks, and Bill Gaither.

Many Christian music stations count on their success coming from things they didn’t create; things available to every station. As a result, those stations are often nothing more than commodities, with only attributes that come inherently with the format. “That’s the station that plays Christian music.”

“There was no must-see show or feature (on CNN+) that would make anyone drop what they were doing and watch, live or otherwise. There just wasn’t much buzz.”

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

Good luck with that.

*Inspired by Seth Godin’s blog “The relationship with the customer”