Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Opinions, comments, critiques, and what you hear is going on – post it, share it!
kendallweaver
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:34 am

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Post by kendallweaver » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:16 am

Well, 4 YEARS have passed since I first wrote this post, which is hard to believe. Unfortunately I was not mistaken in my thinking... radio is tighter than ever, with Very few people running many stations at a time. The job market is tougher than ever. I see ad postings on All Access now with several THOUSAND views, whereas it was a few hundred in the past. Thank goodness I'm gainfully employed in a great tourist market, because it looks like the competition is outrageous for the few decent jobs. I'd love to hear from you if you've recently advertised a position; How many responses did you get, and what was the quality of applicant?
I'm assuming we MUST be near a leveling off; that is, some of the unemployed have to eventually move on to grocery, or insurance sales, or something, right? And a few years from now, hopefully those of us still dedicated to the business will be able to make a strong living doing what we love and are skilled at. It's still a great way to make a living, and I enjoy being a part of a great team of broadcasters. I might actually be able to say, for the first time since I wrote this original post, that it might not get any worse... it might just have to go up from here. Good luck, and let me know your thoughts. And find me on Facebook; I love connecting with other broadcasters. Search for Kendall Weaver in Juneau AK.

countryboy
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:07 pm

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Post by countryboy » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:46 pm

I think people are confusing radio as some form of music distribution system. That's not what radio is. Music is one of many types of content used by radio to attract audiences. They also use news, talk, sports, traffic information, and weather. Lots of ways to get those types of content too. That doesn't mean radio is going the way of the 8 track tape.
Pandora and streaming services are the ways people today get music. That replaces buying CDs and other hard copies of music. They simply stream them for free from their favorite streaming service. Radio isn't a streaming service. Music radio provides curated music lists chosen by professionals. Two different things. People use them differently. Most people who stream also use the radio, although not at the same time. The music industry is very concerned about Pandora and streaming radio, because it's eating into record sales and downloads. But it's not radio.

corneo
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:35 am

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Post by corneo » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:45 pm

Technology has advance to the point that if a station isn't streaming, they get heard maybe 30 minutes a day when a listener is in a car. When was the last time you saw a stereo system in a store for sell?

Rural area's were the last to get free wifi/streaming. Now country stations are feeling the burn. Car's are coming out with technology to help the driver get streaming for whatever they are using.

FCC is kicking the idea around to end AM radio. 20 years ago you listen to radio to hear the newest song. Now 30 year olds and younger go to Facebook and go to their friends to find the newsiest before a station even has it.

I feel sorry for music radio. They're dying off. Live remotes are a joke. What does a station have as a give-a-way? A shirt, bumper sticker?

Looking at rankings I notice the top groups seem to fall in groups like: 35 and older, poorest, ethnic or religious. Sports even does bad because who wants to hear a game when they can stream TV on their smart phone and see the action.

Music industry has made adjustments to this. When was the last time you heard of somebody dragged in to court for copy right violation?

I see radio dying more. The attitude of radio stations 10 years ago have to be thrown out the window. When they flush the old ways out and let people with new idea's try new things. That's when you'll see radio make a comeback.

arlington80
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Post by arlington80 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:27 am

I listen to Top 40 and Alternative music and switched to satellite radio for music 9 years ago. Why? The terrestrial radio stations in town had music directors who were either overworked or amazingly timid with regard to adding new music. In years past they would add maybe 5 new songs a week; in recent years maybe 2 new songs a week were added. And the tiresome commercials. On the other hand, I listen to the local terrestrial news station in the car. Why? Local content. The news / weather /traffic station on satellite radio is too generalized to be relevant. When I need information - local content rules!

mitchradio
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 1:50 pm

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better? Really?

Post by mitchradio » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:50 am

It is funny how those of us who say Radio will never die are the ones who are in RADIO!

It is like during the transition from the Horse and Carriage days of transportation, the nay Sayers in the Carriage industry talked about how Cars often got stuck in the Mud Roads (horses do not) how there were no gas stations on every road (horses eat grass anywhere) how cars would not start in cold (horses do). However the transition occurred. The Carriage makers who survived were the ones like Fisher Body from the 1800's ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisher_Body) they made the transition by making seats and other parts for what ? (automobiles).
What does this mean, WE Killed Radio (Owners, Consultants, National PD's Syndication) By creating a national product it means programming can come from anywhere and be relevant.. Plus there is no feeder group for the radio audience because kids do not have a relationship with radio like those of us who grew up in the 60's and 70's it WAS OUR source for entertainment and information. WE DO NOT relate to youth any more because they have so many options for info. We talk about Pandora but more kids use (you tube) for music discovery than we will admit to. Next family gathering ask your grand kids and nephews what RADIO station they listen to, if they have an answer ask them WHO is their favorite DJ, see what answers you get. You will discover that they do not use radio like we did as kids, so there is no loyalty. Most of us can name at least (4) Dj's from our youth on AM radio like John Landecker WLS Chicago, Hoss Alllen WLAC Nashville, Wolf man Jack Etc. And when we turned on the radio the conversation was about what was going on in OUR area, our music our heroes. There is no way that the Number one Song In New York should be the Number one Song In Miami and LA at the same time, Because each area carried it's own style of music. Music used to be regional in terms of what was popular. WE KILLED THAT with Corporate Radio and national PD's etc. So WE must accept the change that is coming from the outside in after we have damaged our goods from the inside out!..........(you will get that later)

Lew Dickey stated in a recent interview that 93% of all radio listening is done in the car! TRUE! but now that WILL go away because of technology giving listeners more choices from the dash. Cost is NOT an issue for technology users as most of you read this from your 400.00 tablet or smart phone or computer. Americans will pay for what they want. So radio will get worse before it gets Worse in reality. And we should stop using Pandora as the whipping boy, it is what will come in the future that will hurt the most. Most of us laughed at the Cellular Phone invention for the car. It was pricey, bulky under the seat unit, had to DRILL a hole in your window for antennae, and the call procedure in some cases where you dialed a special number to get access then you dialed the actual number you were calling. We all said cute but it will never catch on! Remember? Motorola was the first here in the US.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_phone so we have all seen these kind of scenarios played out but as it hits close to home we tend to be hyper optimistic (Radio Will Never Die) because we do not want to believe that something that we have built is going to die soon.

We should be welcoming the Pandoras to the world and find ways to join them in the evolution. If we played cut 6 on the CD regardless if it was a single or not maybe our audiences would have grown as well. Listeners do not care about chart position, BDS Spins, record company hype, they just want to hear music and be entertained. We made RADIO a science, and now it is a tasteless as astronaut food!

Pandora is not the only competitor we will face so get used to the defensive posture we have taken, but at some point to have to play offense to survive. There a lot of brilliant minds in radio that have been suppressed in order for us to continue to eat, but we must join the evolution in order to grow. Most of us are not executives who have to have the spin to convince stock holders to stay on board.

Before you judge this post just know that this is from a guy who has worked in Radio since 16 years old and still in it. Radio as we know it does not have a bright future at all! But the Alternative is blinding so bright we need .........Cheap Sunglasses..circa: ZZ Topp

countryboy
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:07 pm

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Post by countryboy » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:25 pm

My response to all the above posts is name one show on Pandora that gets any where near the audience of Elvis Duran or any other OTA radio show. Pandora is today's cassettes. People used to buy cassettes, and that didn't kill radio. Today they stream Pandora, and it also doesn't affect radio.

As I said, radio isn't in the music distribution business. Anyone who is hung up on that is missing the point.

corneo
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:35 am

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Post by corneo » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:56 am

Your comparing drive time to 24/7 programing. We're not disagreeing with you, drive time is all a station has to push numbers, we're saying overall radio is dying and will continue to die.

National syndicators that send out talk shows will tell you weekend shows make no money. My station sells weekend time slots to locals to make something.

Our streaming numbers show us when people quit listening to OTA and switch to stream. Most likely because they can't buy decent radio's anymore.

Do I think radio is going to go away? No, but the old days are gone. My station is making money, because we got rid of the old guard, we brought in new people with new ideas. People get in there "happy bubbles" and don't want to change. This action hurts radio overall.

From what I see if a station has to use a syndicated drive time show (like you mention) to help their numbers, the old guard is there and that means it's a dead station. It has nothing to offer it's listeners that their listeners can't get on streaming.

danno
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:42 pm

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Post by danno » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:50 am

Look Folks... there is New Technology, But there are No New Ideas about Radio, its All been done before, your "New" idea(whatever it is) is Not New, even IF you think it is. you can Juggle ways to use new tech, but in the end, You Better Have a PRODUCT worthy of attracting an audience, That has Never Changed and it hasn't changed in 2014. the problem with Radio is, they haven't found a way to Cut budgets & People to the the bone, and have a Good Product, i think everyone would agree, THAT isn't working.

countryboy
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:07 pm

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Post by countryboy » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:11 am

corneo wrote:Your comparing drive time to 24/7 programing.
No, I'm comparing radio shows to streams of music programmed by the listener. OTA radio has always been built around drive time, since the 60s. The rest of the day was a throwaway. Has been that way for 50 years. My point is there are no shows on Pandora or Spotify. It's more like comparing OTA radio to a Walkman 25 years ago. The Walkman was a programmable personal music device. People made their own cassettes or bought their own CDs. They don't do that any more. That's why music sales have fallen. People don't have to buy music any more.

The other thing we see is that people love radio, but don't buy radios any more. Not because they can't buy decent radios, but because radios come with other things. You buy a car, and it comes with a radio. You buy a phone, and it comes with a radio. You buy a laptop or iPad, and it comes with a radio. So why buy a radio-only device. If your point is that people are shifting from listening on transistors to other devices, I agree. But my station isn't in the device business. So if people stop buying radios, we don't care. We're in the content business and the audience acquisition business. We use content to attract and audience, which we sell to advertisers. Our goal is to have our content on all devices, so we go where they go. Pandora is basically a web site, like Yahoo or Sears. Compare a Pandora web site with the variety of content you find on a typical OTA radio site. Pandora is a blank empty page. The radio station is filled with video, photos, and scrolling Twitter stream. Which site is more active for users?

Yes, the "old days are gone." Have been for a long time. Don't compare radio today with radio 25 years ago, because the audience has changed, and the audience doesn't want what radio did 25 years ago. Sure you'll find lots of boomers complaining how it's not like the old days. But nothing is like the old days. Deal with it.

"they haven't found a way to Cut budgets & People to the the bone, and have a Good Product"

Depends on what you think "good product" is. Pandora and Spotify are nationalized, automated streams, and they're attracting lots of users. So clearly, the concept of what "good product" is has changed. Name all the local personalities on Pandora. Name one. They have none. So they've managed to cut their content creation budget to zero, and still attract users. It's not about the size of the budget or staff. It never has been. It's knowing what your audience wants, and giving it to them. You can't spend your way to #1.

danno
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:42 pm

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Post by danno » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:12 pm

So,the concept of a Good Product Has changed... so by what yardstick are we judging a Good Product by? Pandora and whatever else there is out there is Not Local Radio, so i wouldn't judge a Jukebox with Local Radio or an mp3 in a car or wherever it is, the Expectations for entertainment beyond just music is low. you're missing the most Important Element, and since you're a Human, or profess to be one, its People and Personality. you make a great case for the owners of the world who don't want to pay people to do what only people can do, Communicate and entertain other people on any medium, including Radio. i must say, i'm probably outnumbered, there are way too many who feel like you, and we have people asking questions on blogs like "Will Radio get Worse Before it gets Better"? judging by what you and too many others believe the answer is sadly Yes..

Post Reply