Is the podcasting vs. radio’ showdown finally going to take center stage? It looks like podcasting as well as other alternative types of entertainment have finally triggered traditional corporate radio to react. In November of 2004, Bridge Ratings & Research released a written report that indicated that the terrestrial radio audience was slowly slipping away. During the last few months of 2005, the reports show that in most cases, that ‘slippage’ has either stopped or slowed down. The youngest group – 12 – 24 years of age – showed the most interest in alternative media as well as the least interest in traditional radio.
The older groups showed slight increases within their utilization of radio, even though most are still spending a lot 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, nevertheless it does mention iPods and MP3 listening as having an effect, especially on the younger demographics.
For me as a result sense. Younger audiences are more attracted 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 net 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 once 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 now has to compete with 500 channels of cable television, satellite radio, podcasting, not to mention one 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 within my car, but only because I’ve gone through all my CDs and would prefer to use a local station complete the space instead of silence.
As I get to sleep, I actually have my clock radio playing a neighborhood classic rock station. Unfortunately, the station is properties of a big media corporation that owns hundreds, or even 1000s of radio stations across America. So their announcers are sent to not say a whole lot and as a result are permitted 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 will at the very least sound kind 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 world of a genuine person – somebody who talks, eats, breathes and is also passionate about their subject, whether its folk music, cult movies, hardcore alternative rock or wine-making.
Podcasting is Genuine. It may not hold the development value of an expert radio station, but really, who the heck cares? You don’t listen to podcasting to have the highest quality. You listen to a podcast to obtain a genuine individual.
And that’s what is going to carry on and pull increasing numbers of people to podcasts, regardless of whether listening or getting before the microphone and producing their own podcast.
I think as people we must have the personal interaction, and in case it indicates listening to a man sit in front of 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 going away. The smart programmers are going to let their air staff become more genuine, especially when they view the inroads that podcasting continue to create to their viewers. Oddly sufficient, local stereo stations come with an advantage. Inside the city I live, you can find a couple of local stations. A single plays lots of syndicated programming and incredibly little local programming. They make it through since they give you a good collection of nationwide speak coding.
Another station is totally nearby: anything you hear is performed off their recording studio, from enjoying the weird combination of songs that make you need to giggle, cry, shout, cringe and turn the damn thing away – all inside a 30 ymtwua span – for the nearby announcers who are at different phases talented, untalented, polished, uncooked, goofy, tender, idiotic, passionate and uncaring.
Most importantly, they’re REAL. And that’s the best attraction – and repellent.
It’s like the nearby owned radio stations already are doing what podcasters are going to do – becoming human being.
It’s just that podcasters have extreme latitude, and the local stereo folks should stay inside certain limitations.
So if it’s the limitless boundaries you’re trying to find within your world, locate a podcast that speaks to you, tune in to them support them, and let them know you’re available!