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September 21, 2005

Air America Radio pleading for donations

Air America Radio has introduced a new "Associates Program". Now, if you're thinking it's like Amazon's program of the same name, it's completely opposite that. Rather than earning money by sending listeners to AAR, they're trying to get their listeners to give them money:

There is no minimum amount required to become an Air America Associate. We are grateful for any gift no matter what the size. Enter amount below

For a $50 donation, you get three (3!) "I'm building Air America" bumperstickers.

For $100, you get the stickers, plus... a "stylish tote"!

But, wait, there's more you can give!

For the low introductory price of just $250, you get everything above... the bumperstickers... the stylish tote... plus... a mention on AAR.com itself! [See the UPDATE below --BA]

But, wait, there's even more!

With your donation, you get an Insider email newsletter, plus you get to turn out to their events and more free goodies!

Quick, call them and donate before it's too late!

UPDATE: 1. I deleted the Hannity link in the third comment since it was too long; if you need that for some reason, try a search. To avoid that in the future, please put all links in HTML format.

2. As pointed out by the third comment, many radio personalities have "premium programs". But, with those you actually get something. With AAR's program, for your $50 you get three bumper stickers. I'm sure they're fine bumper stickers and all, but somehow that doesn't seem like such a good deal.

3. I originally said that for $250 you got a mention on the radio. But, upon reading it more closely, it says you only get a mention on their website ("plus personal thanks on AirAmericaRadio.com"). In actual fact, a permanent link from their main page to your site would probably be worth a bit more than that, but I suspect the link is going to be a bit more transient; if it appears on their homepage for a while, it'll probably be shuttled to a lower PR, lower traffic page afterwards.

Posted in Meta at September 21, 2005 02:44 PM


Hey, they are turning into PBS!

Posted by: gregd at September 22, 2005 02:11 PM

Yes, I recieved one or these solicitations yesterday. I sited the ever eloquent Divine Ms M (Bette Midler) and responded as she did to a corresponcence from the RNC. With the same explitive.
Designer totes and bumberstickers as obscure in their significance as the 'Support a United Pangea: One Continent-One World'which graces my iron horse, just can't compensate for fanatical rantings. I've tried to listen but I see more credible evidence for the Nazi UFO connection than for the theories these people espouse.

Alas, the free market is a cruel mistress and AA will soon be left to walk home, alone, in the cold with that unchristened condom left to expire in it's otherwise empty wallet.

Posted by: Todd Michael Hoelmer at September 22, 2005 04:48 PM

So I guess O'Reilly is also pleading for donations:

and Rush Limbaugh:

and Sean Hannity:
[look it up]

A premium service for extra revenue is nothing new.

Posted by: Alec at September 22, 2005 05:17 PM


While $50 for three bumper stickers isn't a great deal, lets see what you get at the other places:

O'Reilly: $50 get you one year of, well, things that aren't terribly necessary, stuff that AAR has for free, or things that are available elsewhere, for free. The only worthwile thing he offers is "Exclusive Webcasts" and "Behind the Scenes Q & A". I'm not really sure how extensive those things are, but I'm guessing about equivalent to 3 bumper stickers. But if you wanna pay $50 to do Bill O'Reilly crosswords for a year, knock yourself out. I'd pay him $50 to cite the Paris Business Review as a source again.

Rush Limbaugh apparently lets you listen to him an look at him for $50/year. Oh, and a screensaver. What a deal.

And for $6/month, you can get the Hannity archive. What more could a guy want?!

Allow me to modify what I said earlier: An overpriced premium service for extra revenue is nothing new.

Posted by: Alex at September 22, 2005 09:38 PM

Alec or Alex....bumper stickers are PROMOTIONAL items....not a "premium" of any kind. Making people pay for 3 bumper stickers proves that, not only is Err Amerika scraping the bottom-of-the-barrel for cash...they also are charging for crap that is meant to PROMOTE them...

But...at least they aren't stealing more money from non-profits....at least not yet.

Posted by: Dave at September 23, 2005 09:11 AM

So I guess when Ralph Lauren sells a shirt with his name on it, he's also "scraping the bottom-of-the-barrel for cash"?

Posted by: Alex at September 23, 2005 10:35 AM

No Ralph Lauren does it for branding! Huge difference. The premium services are met to provide an additional value to the consumer. Air America donation are ment to keep it on the air. Rush and Hannity were successful prior to their premium service. I repeat again AA is a nasty NPR or PBS.

Posted by: Gregd at September 23, 2005 02:11 PM

The only difference is the one you're perceiving.

AAR is only in its second year, and needs more revenue to grow. Rush is succesful and need more revenue to buy more drugs and Hannity needs more revenue to buy more kneepads. Same thing, just for a different reason. It's not like they're begging for money. They're are offering something in return ('branded' products, meet-and-greets).

It's a good thing this site has 15 viewers, otherwise my posts would get lost in the shuffle.

Posted by: Alex at September 23, 2005 03:21 PM

If you wanted an AAR bumper sticker and/or tote bag, you could get them here for considerably less than $50/$100.

Posted by: SaveFarris at September 24, 2005 06:50 AM

No Alex they need the donations to stay on the air. Rush and Hannity are paid a salary and most likely bonuses. Is AAR even paying its staff? The premium service are mostly part of a fan loyality program not a business survival strategy. The AAR stations can't get anyone to buy commericals. Do you mean they need the money to buy airtime on other tiny stations powered by double AA batteries? Alex, face AAR business plan is right up there with Pets.com. Thank god, most people will remember Pets.com and forget AAR. Pure and simple they need the cash to stay a float. They can't generate a profit. They could always rip off more widows and orphans. Maybe, they sell a video of Al Franken making an ass out of himself like he does on most of his tv appearances (he will never have SNL video). I have it! They could branded AAR tin foil hats! Want one only $1,500?

Posted by: GregD at September 28, 2005 03:33 PM

I know this is old, but I couldn't help commmenting:

AAR is only in its second year, and needs more revenue to grow.

The key difference between someone like Rush and Air America, is that Rush became popular, and only based on his popularity, was he able to "grow", i.e., expand to new markets. Air America's seems to be trying it the opposite way around.

Rush Limbaugh apparently lets you listen to him an look at him for $50/year. Oh, and a screensaver. What a deal.

Actually Rush 24/7 began simply as a newsletter subscription which you still get. As the internet became more pervasive, more "perks" were added, such as the webcam, podcast, etc. Again, the key difference is that Rush is his own boss. He makes his living by selling his show and services. Unlike Air America, he seems to be rather successful at it.

Posted by: patrokov at April 9, 2006 08:32 PM

Monitoring Air America Radio [TM] so you don't have to.


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