Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says

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  • #21157
    ZLoth
    ZLoth
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    From Variety:

    Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says

    A new study published today by the head of New York University’s Steinhart Music Business Program casts a sobering outlook on the future of terrestrial radio. (Not surprisingly, the National Association of Broadcasters and Nielsen responded to the report; see their responses here.)

    In the 30-page report, Larry Miller argues that traditional radio has failed to engage with Generation Z — people born after 1995 — and that its influence and relevance will continue to be subsumed by digital services unless it upgrades.

    FULL ARTICLE HERE

    #21181
    Earl
    Earl
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    The most compelling “upgrade” that radio could get would be a return to local engagement – local news, local events, a local presence. That’s something the digital services, which are by their very nature decentralized, cannot match.

    But it’s hard to pull that off when everything is owned by Cumulus and Clear Channel and run from halfway across the country.

    Local radio is dead…it just hasn’t quite stopped twitching yet.

    #21185
    ZLoth
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    And guess which station groups are circulating the bankruptcy drain thanks to all the station acquisitions? Cumulus Media (currently trading at 40 cents a share) and iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel, currently trading at $1.40 per share). Anything below $3 per share is not considered investment grade. I know of one radio station (KGO San Francisco) which was decimated after being acquired by Cumulus in 2011.

    I’ve gave up on terrestrial radio a few years ago. The signal-to-noise ratio is bad with less than 40 minutes of actual content per hour, and a little more than 20 minutes of commercials and fluff. Plus there is a distinct lack-of-variety of stations in Sacramento. The sole classical station only broadcasts classical music during the daytime hours, and there is no local stations that plays 40s or 50s music. The “news reports” on one of the news/talk stations barely has any content. One of the games that the broadcasters play is (for lack of a term) a “Super Commercial” when the same commercial is broadcast at the exact same time on multiple stations, providing almost no escape from that goddamn ad.

    When I purchased a new car in 2014, one of the things that I required is a Bluetooth connection, and SiriusXM was a bonus. I only have three Sacramento stations programmed in, and almost never listen to them. Most of the time, I’m listening to XM, pre-recorded music (like movie and game soundtracks) that won’t even get airplay, and audiobooks. In other words, content that I control, not some selections that some marketing person thinks I should like.

    Traffic reports? Kinda irrelevant to me since there is hardly any alternatives to my route to work, especially since I have to cross over a river as part of my commute. Any alternative routes take too much time. I also rely on my GPS app.

    #21186
    Earl
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    My phone’s pretty good about letting me know of any major traffic situations nearby, as well as severe weather alerts and any other emergency notifications (amber alerts, etc.)…

    Local broadcast news has allowed itself to be dealt the death of a thousand apps.

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