Harker Highlights Radio's Bipolar Visions
August 27, 2012 at 2:40 PM (PT)
Radio seems to be at a "glass half-full or half-empty moment, according to RICHARD HARKER and GLENDA SHRADER Bos in their latest post on HARKER RESEARCH's Radio Insights column. They draw stark lines in "Radio’s Great Schism: Two Visions of Radio’s Future."
"Today radio’s leaders are deeply divided by dramatically different visions of radio’s future," they wrote. "One vision sees broadcast radio entering its sunset years. This mind-set believes that new media’s assault will prevent radio from ever recovering its former glory. Those who share this vision believe the best is behind radio.
"With a dark foreboding future facing the industry, they believe that radio’s past necessities are today’s luxuries. Local program directors, live announcers, marketing budgets, and the other tools that every station once used to drive ratings are expenses that this faltering business can no longer afford.
Every traditional medium making the transition to digital has seen significant declines in revenue, so why would radio be any different? This realization is perhaps why large public groups in particular have chosen to cut expenses by abandoning radio’s unique historical strength as a personal local medium. They believe radio’s economic survival depends on it."
On the other hand, he also asked, "But what if this pessimistic vision of radio’s future is wrong? There are those who see radio entering a new transformational phase. While radio has faced challenges from new media in the past (and predictions of its imminent demise), it has survived by creating new products that revolutionized radio. Believing that radio’s past is its prologue, broadcasters who hold this more upbeat view of radio’s future continue to invest in the broadcast product, with local talent, entitled local program directors, and respectable marketing budgets.
"It will be years before we know which vision of radio’s future is the right one," the conclude. "The tell-tale sign will be whether future rating winners are the homogenized products of central planning, or local radio stations that take the slogan live and local seriously."
Read the entire post here.