Is the podcasting vs. radio’ showdown finally about to take center stage? It appears like podcasting and other alternative sources of entertainment have finally triggered traditional corporate radio to react. In November of 2004, Bridge Ratings & Research released a written report that established that the terrestrial radio audience was slowly slipping away. During the last month or two of 2005, the reports show that for the most part, that ‘slippage’ has either stopped or slowed down. The youngest group – 12 – 24 years old – showed probably the most interest in alternative media and also the least interest in traditional radio.
The older groups showed slight increases within their use of radio, even though many are still spending lots of time with what’s considered alternative media: TV, Internet, Recorded Music, Books and Magazines.
The report doesn’t break the impact of podcasting, nevertheless it does mention iPods and MP3 listening as getting an effect, especially on the younger demographics.
In my opinion this makes sense. Younger audiences are definitely more interested in new technologies. They’ll glom to MP3 players and podcasts and reject many of the tradition time-wasters of the parents like books and television, in favour of downloading songs online, browsing the net and sticking those earbuds within their head and tuning out any local radio station.
Coming from two-plus decades in radio, I know how hard it is to get and sustain an audience when you DON’T have all of the competition of 2006. In 1976, you might have gotten the local paper and some TV channels and a number of local competing radio stations.
So a radio programmer today presently has to contend with 500 channels of cable TV, satellite radio, podcasting, in addition to another traditional media sources, including local and national newspapers and magazines, etc.
Where does that leave radio and podcasting?
From the personal standpoint, I don’t have much interest in local radio. Sure it appears on occasion within my car, only because I’ve gone through all my CDs and prefer to have a local station complete the space instead of silence.
As I fall asleep, I actually have my clock radio playing the local classic rock station. Unfortunately, the station is belonging to a big media corporation that owns hundreds, otherwise a large number of radio stations across America. So their announcers are directed to not say a lot and for that reason are allowed to have hardly any personality. And ‘after hours’ – when there is no live person behind the microphone – we receive automation, which suggests no live person, no voice tracking (which may at the very least sound sort of like a live person); just song – song – song – commercial – station promo liner – song – song, etc…
On the other hand, once i fire up a podcast, I am suddenly invited into the realm of a genuine person – somebody that talks, eats, breathes and is passionate about their subject, whether its folk music, cult movies, hardcore alternative rock or wine-making.
Podcasting is REAL. It may not hold the development worth of a specialist radio station, but truly, who the heck cares? You don’t tune in to podcasting to obtain the finest quality. You tune in to a podcast to acquire a genuine person.
And that’s what is going to continue to pull more and more people to podcasts, regardless of whether hearing or obtaining in front of the microphone and producing their very own podcast.
In my opinion as humans we need the individual connection, and when it indicates hearing a man sit before a campfire, playing his ukulele and whispering regarding the stars previously mentioned, then plenty of us will be in; we’re there!
Stereo will not be disappearing. The smart programmers will let their air staff become more real, especially when they begin to see the inroads that podcasting continue to create into their viewers. Oddly sufficient, local radio stations have an benefit. Inside the city I live, you can find a handful of local stations. A single performs lots of syndicated coding and very little local coding. They make it through since they offer a good lineup of nationwide talk coding.
Another station is totally local: whatever you hear is carried out off their recording studio, from enjoying the strange mixture of songs which make you need to giggle, cry, shout, cringe and transform the damn thing away – all in a 30 ymtwua period – to the local announcers that are at different phases skilled, untalented, polished, raw, goofy, tender, idiotic, passionate and uncaring.
Above all, they’re Genuine. And that’s the best attraction – and repellent.
It’s like the nearby owned radio stations happen to be doing what podcasters are performing – becoming human being.
It’s just that podcasters have severe latitude, and the nearby radio people should stay within certain limitations.
Therefore if it’s the limitless boundaries you’re trying to find within your world, find a podcast that talks to you, listen to them support them, and let them know you’re available!