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Friday, August 19, 2005


Audio Content is KING-whether digital or analog!

August 15, 2005
"Include Radio in iPods, Phones, Home Media"
That's the title of this Radio World article, in which Steve Church recognizes the degree to which new media has displaced radio as the centerpiece of audio entertainment. Unfortunately, he misdiagnoses the cause and possible solutions.
Like many other terrestrial broadcasters, Steve seems to think the attraction of iPods, etc., to consumers is that "they are digital. " As Steve writes, ". . . . the technology world is finding nothing much compelling in today's radio broadcasting. All these new digital machines need to eat digital food." And, of course, he feels IBOC/HD is the "digital food" that will magically save terrestrial radio.
I feel like I'm whipping a dead horse here, but I'll say it again: radio is a content business, not a technology business. People don't listen to iPods or satellite radio because "it's digital" but because iPods and satellite radio offer options and content they can't get from terrestrial radio. It's irrelevant that IBOC/HD is "digital" and"sounds great" if the content from terrestrial broadcasters is more cookie-cutter formats like "Jack FM" or syndicated talk shows like Rush, Dr. Laura, Jim Rome, etc., and listeners have to spend 15% or more each hour sitting through spots. Listeners are moving to new media to escape the same old same old on terrestrial radio, not because they want a "digital listening experience." They want an entertaining listening experience most of all.

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