Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hooray for us! as we lose the battle

Followers of this blog are aware that I firmly believe traditional over-the-air/tower-on-the-mountain radio broadcasters have long since given up in the battle against all the other newer-technology competitors for the ears of listeners.  Oh, they don't admit they have given up, but they most certainly have.

At a time when they should have been gearing up, innovating, creating vivid and dynamic content, and doing all they could to keep a share of the public's attention, traditional broadcasters did just the opposite.  They pulled in their horns, cut everything they could cut, streamed music and political or sports talk from syndicators, and, in effect, stuck their heads in the sand.

Example: one of the industry trade pubs consistently looks for tidbits of good news to make subscribers believe things are not so bad and all will turn out fine, just as it did when radio was threatened by TV in the early '50s.  Here is a blurb from today's email issue of that publication:

Radio still top pick for many Millennials.

The investment bank Piper Jaffray just released its semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” report. Survey takers asked 7,500 teenagers which platform they spend the most time listening to music on. One in five (21%) reported local broadcast radio captures the biggest segment of their music listening time.

Well, thank goodness!  All is fine!  Teens--the very demo radio feared was going to web streaming, satellite, smart phones and anything else but their grandparents' old FM radio--still pick that ancient technology and dull, boring programming over all the other choices.  The future of tower-on-the-mountain radio is secure!

Horse hockey!  How could radio be anything but scared to death when they see that only 21% of their future still listens to "local" radio for music?  (Don't get me started on "local.")

That means almost 80% of the very people radio needs to become loyal fans are getting their music somewhere else.  80%!  Even ten years ago, I suspect that number was less than ten percent...and they listened to tapes and CDs of songs they had originally heard on the radio.

Oh, and no minor point: what do advertisers think when they want to reach teens and see that 80% of them no longer spend most of their time with good old Superhits 107?

So, INSIDE RADIO, explain to me why this is good news.

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