I Hear Radio In My Pants!
November 20, 2015
Was outside the house at the request of my dog Brownie. I heard someone giving a traffic report on a radio station but I wasn't playing the radio. There was a wreck screwing up traffic on the 134 … and we don't have a 134 in Nashville.
The sound was coming out of my pants and it was KFI radio Los Angeles.
I had not activated the iHeartradio app, but like when you butt-dial someone … I had somehow iPhone butt-dialed KFI on the iHeart app. Stop and think about that for a second. Think about where we are with radio in these later days of 2015.
I don't have a lot of radios around the house anymore. A Bose clock radio and one portable emergency radio that lives on a bookcase. Like a lot of folks, I listen to the radio in my Tahoe or on my computer. Sometimes with a bluetooth Bose speaker from the iPad or iPhone. This … the radio-in-the-pants solution. Do radio station bosses, corporate types, music people ever stop and think about where their radio comes from or goes?
CRS always has surveys and the like, but how do your neighbors listen to the radio in 2015? Your own survey. Your own home? Ask your friends. For the music creators ... where is your material played? On what?
The streaming competition for broadcast radio is not good. Music-intensive listeners especially are sat radio listeners and app listeners. Talk people have lots of choices on sat radio and the apps. It's like TV … Who is watching TV over the air? NO one I know but someone must be, right? It's cable or sat or not at all. Rabbit ears at my house get three stations … and only one of those a network station. AM radio can't get past the buzz from my electrical apparatus.
Technology has been moving so fast, everyone is thinking about software and not the hardware. Radio really screwed up on that front, or maybe there was nothing that could have been done. Never understood why my phone couldn't have that chip that let me listen to the radio … but with apps I guess the playing field has been leveled. I guess.
These are times like when the CD took over from vinyl and FM took over from AM. Color from just Black and White, and HD took over from standard definition. Betamax battling with VHS … now both gone. It will make you dizzy.
On Music Row, remember when sessions were cutting in surround sound? Twenty years ago! Quad sound? Listen to the new Beatles1 project on a good sound system. You might never be able to hear the Beatles music any other way again. Can some of the Country classics get this type of treatment? Elvis? Cash? The Beatles stuff on video was cleaned up and has never looked as good as it does today. Could some of the Country material get that kind of restoration? I don't know, but it sure is cool!
Technology and portability of that technology is breathtaking. That iPhone computer is so powerful compared to NASA computing ability during the Moon landings.
Radio survived and thrived during the change from big box radios to the handy transistor portable. The great music of the '60s played out on those little radios and cars with one speaker playing the AM radio. The music of today will survive and thrive, too.
Hopefully unlike the artists of the '60s who have still not been paid correctly for their performances and sales, the artists of today and their songwriters partners will be paid for their work. The streaming generation needs education on how little the songwriters are paid for the performances.
At this time of Thanksgiving in the U.S., we should all be thankful for the great technology and then make sure the creators of the equally amazing software get paid a fair rate. Songwriters need more voices and better public relations in the coming year. If you are not being paid fairly, speak up! The labels and artists don't seem to be squawking … too many songwriters are silent. Why?