All Access Commentary: It's Not The End Of Radio, It's The Call For Radio To Do More And Stay Relevant
What Will You Do Differently?
November 17, 2014 at 3:55 AM (PT)
This past week, FRIDAY (11/14), RAMSEY MEDIA President MARK RAMSEY posted on his blog "About SETH GODIN's 'End of Radio'" referring to the comments of SETH GODIN's "An End Of Radio" -- which drew quite a bit of comment from radio and other media.
ALL ACCESS Pres./Publisher JOEL DENVER shared perspective, and commented, "Both of these articles are really interesting and should be read as they challenge everyone to do better. To say that radio is fast approaching an end is like saying "FACEBOOK is over at the hands of TWITTER, SNAPCHAT, VINE, etc. This is all about fragmentation and how to fight it.
Keeping radio relevant is and should be the prime concern for the future ... And by all means, remember that the sky is not falling ... it's just changing.
"What's important to remember is that both GODIN and RAMSEY sited examples of radio listeners who, at the moment of observation, were listening to (gulp) traditional radio ... oh the horror of both of these futurists having to endure riding with members of the 'great unwashed' who had yet to discover the advantages of all the other programming available through PANDORA, SPOTIFY, RDIO, DEEZER, SLACKER, STITCHER and podcasts -- (jk)."
It's All About Your Perspective And Your Choices
"GODIN wrote: 'It was almost as if he was smoking a pipe or driving a buggy. With so many podcasts, free downloads and SPOTIFY stations to listen to, why? With traffic, weather and talking maps in your pocket, why wait for the announcer to get around to telling you what you need to know?'
"Fair enough! There are other choices," agreed DENVER. "And, there are a growing number of listeners, particularly those who are tech-savvy, who have migrated or now share their traditional radio listening time with other platforms.
"But to draw an example of radio being like newspapers heading for the cliff ... that's quite a stretch since the native delivery system of radio is electronic and immediate, and the delivery system of the newspaper is -- well, the paperboy-girl, and not natively electronic. Newspapers are cannibalizing themselves with apps just to stay alive and relevant as news sources.
"People listen to broadcast radio when they want to hear the best curated music or spoken word, localized information (when not being imported) that is fed to them based on the programming decisions of that particular station or company -- no more, no less. And, millions of Americans still use radio every day -- even with all of these many choices. And yes, TSL has slipped.
"They listen to their own playlists and music and spoken word on other curated platforms, not as local, when they simply are looking for a different listening experience. No more, no less -- and many return to radio daily as, despite its imperfections, they don't hate it -- or they wouldn't use it.
"Perhaps the best part of RAMSEY's blog is his conclusion, which I mostly agree with:
'The real question is this: When will the radio industry realize its competition for the attention of consumers is not simply the other stations in the NIELSEN ranker, it's also all the other ways I can entertain myself while in my car, thanks to the rapid march of mobile technology.
'Viewing your universe the way the NIELSEN ranker does may help you secure the buy, but it will also speed your long-term demise.'
What Radio Should Take Away From All Of This
"It's obviously time for fresh self-examination and potential adjustments, DENVER noted. "I've said this over and over -- it's time for radio to reinvest in itself and find new ways to strengthen the local brand. That way listeners will continue to seek out your brand on aggregated platforms like iHEARTRADIO, or in connected cars above all of the other choices.
"It's not radio that will go the way of the horse and buggy, but the tower that limits radio's reach -- that's what's going to matter less and less. Radio is available anywhere now via broadband over many platforms and devices ... including mobile. That's not going change. That's only going to expand.
"Keeping radio relevant is and should be the prime concern for the future. It's a matter of investing in local and national talent, investing in music and cutting-edge audience research -- not provide scores every four weeks, when it can be as much as 95% of your product.
"Oh, and how about investing some marketing dollars in your product! Afterall, it's what you ask of your advertising and marketing clients, right?
"And by all means, remember that the sky is not falling ... it's just changing.
"No one says that this is all easy and not without costs and a lot of careful planning.
"But it's necessary to become part of the change, and embrace the needs of your listeners. Don't become more like PANDORA, SPOTIFY, RDIO, etc ... be different, be creative, and be excellent. That is what will secure your future," concluded DENVER.
ALL ACCESS is happy to help in the exchange of ideas and suggestions on this important subject. We welcome your comments below.