Is the podcasting vs. radio’ showdown finally going to take center stage? It looks like podcasting along with other alternative causes 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 few months of 2005, the reports show that for the most part, that ‘slippage’ has either stopped or slowed down. The youngest group – 12 – 24 years of age – showed by far the most interest in alternative media and also the least interest in traditional radio.
The older groups showed slight increases in their use of radio, even though most are still spending lots of time with what’s considered alternative media: TV, Internet, Recorded Music, Books and Magazines.
The report doesn’t break out the impact of podcasting, but 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 attracted to technologies. They’ll glom onto MP3 players and podcasts and reject many of the tradition time-wasters of the parents like books and television, in support of downloading songs online, browsing the net and sticking those earbuds within 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 once you DON’T have each of the competition of 2006. In 1976, you might have experienced the local paper plus 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 television, satellite radio, podcasting, not forgetting the other 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 comes on occasion within my car, only because I’ve gone through all my CDs and would prefer to possess a local station fill out the space as opposed to silence.
When I go to sleep, I actually have my clock radio playing the local classic rock station. Unfortunately, the station is owned by a large media corporation that owns hundreds, if not 1000s of radio stations across America. So their announcers are forwarded to not say a whole lot and as a result are allowed to have very little personality. And ‘after hours’ – if you have no live person behind the microphone – we receive automation, which suggests no live person, no voice tracking (which may at least sound sort of like a live person); just song – song – song – commercial – station promo liner – song – song, etc…
On the other hand, when I fire up a podcast, I am just suddenly invited into the realm of a real person – somebody who talks, eats, breathes and it is excited about their subject, whether its folk music, cult movies, hardcore alternative rock or wine-making.
Podcasting is Genuine. It may not hold the production worth of a specialist radio station, but really, who the heck cares? You don’t tune in to podcasting to get the highest quality. You tune in to a podcast to obtain a genuine person.
And that’s what is going to carry on and pull a lot more people to podcasts, regardless of whether listening or obtaining in front of the mic and producing their very own podcast.
I think as humans we must have the individual interaction, and in case it indicates hearing a man sit down before a campfire, enjoying his ukulele and whispering concerning the stars previously mentioned, then plenty of us are in; we’re there!
Stereo will not be going away. The smart developers are likely to let their air staff be a little more real, especially when they see the inroads that podcasting continue to make to their viewers. Oddly sufficient, local stereo stations come with an advantage. Within the city I live, you will find a number of nearby stations. One plays lots of syndicated coding and incredibly little nearby coding. They make it through simply because they offer a good collection of national speak coding.
The other station is totally local: whatever you hear is performed from their recording studio, from playing the weird mixture of tunes which will make you would like to laugh, cry, shout, cringe and transform the damn factor off – all in a 30 ymtwua period – for the nearby announcers who definitely are at various phases talented, untalented, polished, uncooked, goofy, tender, idiotic, passionate and uncaring.
Above all, they’re REAL. And that’s the greatest attraction – and repellent.
It’s like the nearby possessed radio stations already are performing what podcasters are doing – being human.
It’s just that podcasters still have severe latitude, and also the nearby stereo people should remain inside certain limitations.
So if it’s the limitless boundaries you’re searching for in your world, find a podcast that talks to you, listen to them support them, and let them know you’re on the market!