Is the podcasting vs. radio’ showdown finally going to take center stage? It appears like podcasting as well as other alternative causes of entertainment have finally caused traditional corporate radio to react. In November of 2004, Bridge Ratings & Research released a study that revealed that the terrestrial radio audience was slowly slipping away. During the last couple of months of 2005, the reports show that typically, that ‘slippage’ has either stopped or slowed down. The youngest group – 12 – 24 years old – showed the most interest in alternative media as well as the least interest in traditional radio.
The older groups showed slight increases within their use of radio, even though most are still spending considerable time with what’s considered alternative media: TV, Internet, Recorded Music, Books and Magazines.
The report doesn’t break out your impact of podcasting, but it does mention iPods and MP3 listening as having an effect, especially on the younger demographics.
For me this makes sense. Younger audiences tend to be more drawn to new technologies. They’ll glom to MP3 players and podcasts and reject a lot of the tradition time-wasters with their parents like books and TV, in support of downloading songs online, browsing the web and sticking those earbuds into their head and tuning out any local radio station.
Provided by two-plus decades in radio, I know how hard it is to get and keep a crowd when you DON’T have all the competition of 2006. In 1976, you might have had the local paper and a few TV channels and a number of local competing radio stations.
So a radio programmer today now has to contest with 500 channels of cable TV, satellite radio, podcasting, not to mention the other traditional media sources, including local and national newspapers and magazines, etc.
Where does that leave radio and podcasting?
From a personal standpoint, I don’t have much interest in local radio. Sure it appears up on occasion inside my car, only because I’ve been through my CDs and prefer to possess a local station fill in the space as opposed to silence.
When I fall asleep, We have my clock radio playing the local classic rock station. Unfortunately, the station is owned by a huge media corporation that owns hundreds, otherwise 1000s of radio stations across America. So their announcers are sent to not say a lot and for that reason can have very little personality. And ‘after hours’ – should there be no live person behind the microphone – we receive automation, which suggests no live person, no voice tracking (which will at least sound sort of like a live person); just song – song – song – commercial – station promo liner – song – song, etc…
On the other hand, after i fire up a podcast, I am suddenly invited into the industry of a genuine person – somebody that talks, eats, breathes and is enthusiastic about their subject, whether its folk music, cult movies, hardcore alternative rock or wine-making.
Podcasting is Genuine. It may not hold the production price of a specialist radio station, but really, who the heck cares? You don’t pay attention to podcasting to get the highest quality. You tune in to a podcast to obtain a genuine individual.
And that’s what will still draw increasing numbers of people to podcasts, regardless of whether listening or getting while watching microphone and creating their very own podcast.
I think as humans we require the individual interaction, and in case it means hearing a man sit before a campfire, playing his ukulele and whispering about the stars above, then lots of us have been in; we’re there!
Stereo is not disappearing. The smart programmers will let their air staff become more genuine, specially when they view the inroads that podcasting continue to create within their audience. Oddly sufficient, local radio stations have an benefit. Within the city I live, there are a couple of nearby stations. One performs plenty of syndicated programming and incredibly little nearby coding. They make it through since they provide a good collection of nationwide speak programming.
One other station is totally nearby: anything you listen to is carried out off their recording studio, from playing the strange mix of songs that make you would like to laugh, weep, shout, cringe and turn the damn factor away – all in a 30 ymtwua period – towards the nearby announcers who definitely are at various stages skilled, untalented, polished, uncooked, goofy, tender, idiotic, enthusiastic and uncaring.
Most importantly, they’re Genuine. And that’s the ultimate attraction – and repellent.
It’s like the nearby owned radio stations happen to be performing what podcasters are performing – becoming human being.
It’s just that podcasters continue to have severe latitude, and the nearby radio people should remain inside certain boundaries.
Therefore if it’s the limitless boundaries you’re trying to find inside your world, locate a podcast that talks to you, tune in to them support them, and let them know you’re available!