Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Nobody killed the radio star…

Imagine if radio was a Web 2.0 startup.

Here’s this really amazing technology that is based on audio streaming that enables users to participate and leave audio commentary.

As much as Internet zealots talk about how revolutionary the Internet is in terms of letting the common man have their say via blogs and participatory media, the facts is the common man has been having their say on talk back radio for decades.

Community radio stations have been providing niche multimedia content for yonks and if your willing to channel surf the small, independent stations you can generally find some type of program that would pretty much suit any tastes.

But the fact is people like to listen to the big radio stations. And why? Because they have the best presenters who make their radio program a unique experience. Since when has radio been just about the music? I turn down the music, till my favourite presenters come on and then turn it up again. My favourite presenters are usually comedians, or provocateurs – i hate half the people i listen to, but i listen cause I like to get riled up by their standpoints or behaviour.

Now, of course radio is going to take a hit from the Internet. It took a hit from television but it didn’t die. Radio will soldier on and it will do so on the back of the talent it uses. Just like we all gravitate towards the best blogs or best podcasts, there will be people I want to listen to or watch and it won’t matter too much what medium they use as long as their accessible, I’ll do my best to listen or see them.

So many arguments about the media, get stuck down in the medium and the battle of different technologies but inevitably it is as it has always been – a talent war.

The demise of radio? Sorry Kent, but Pfft.

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4 Responses

  1. Caitlin says:

    Really? I have no interest in the presenters, I only care about the music.

  2. Caitlin says:

    I am not a big radio listener and since I’m in it for the music, my iPod has taken a huge chunk of whatever radio listening I might have previously done. I also don’t drive and while the radio is made for the car, an MP3 player is made for public transport.

    Having said that, I also don’t think that radio will die. Audiences are certainly going down and will continue to do so but when you consider the fact that radio is moving onto new platforms, the view looks a bit different. Digital radio is big in the UK already with the BBC and all the commercial groups launching a plethora of stations on digital – accessible both through a DAB radio and through multi-channel TV. It is set to get even bigger now that mobile phone manufacturers are making DAB phones. Internet radio and podcasting are further growth areas for radio.

    And don’t forget the fact that while it’s hard to surf the web and watch TV or surf the web and read a newspaper or magazine at the same time, it’s quite common to have the radio on in the background while you surf the web. So the web is less of a threat to radio than it is to other media. I think the MP3 player is a far bigger threat.

  3. Back when I did community radio (in the 80s!) the station I volunteered at (2XX) distinguished itself as offering “block programming” vs. “band programming.”

    The latter means you get the same style of content all the time, a la 2Day FM which offers pop music and inane chat 24×7.

    The former means you offer specific blocks of content and expect that people will tune in to it because they really want that content (and probably struggle to find anything like it elsewhere). So it’s Hungarians one hour, Argentinians the next, and the crossover audience is negligible.

    I reckon the Net has to be a HUGE threat to block programming. After all, why listen to some local amateur on your favorite topic when you could get a podcast from the world’s leading expert (or at least someone more entertaining than volunteers)on your topic of interest?

  4. cameronreilly says:

    yeah Phil I’m still a fan of the horse and buggy as well. They’ve been working fine for hundreds of years and I don’t see what all the fuss is over these new-fangled automobile things the kids keep hyping up.

    Cameron Reilly
    CEO, The Podcast Network
    MOBILE: +61400455334
    SKYPE: cameronreilly

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