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 study that established 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 old – showed by far the most interest in alternative media and also the least interest in traditional radio.
The older groups showed slight increases inside their utilization of radio, even though many are still spending considerable 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 owning an effect, especially on the younger demographics.
In my opinion this makes sense. Younger audiences are more drawn 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 web 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 buy and maintain a crowd once you DON’T have each of the competition of 2006. In 1976, you might have had the local paper and a few 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 the other traditional media sources, like 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 up on occasion within my car, but only because I’ve been through all of my CDs and prefer to have a local station fill out the space rather than silence.
Because I fall asleep, I actually have my clock radio playing the local classic rock station. Unfortunately, the station is owned by a huge media corporation that owns hundreds, or even 1000s of radio stations across America. So their announcers are forwarded to not say a lot and consequently are allowed to have almost no personality. And ‘after hours’ – if you have no live person behind the microphone – we obtain automation, which means no live person, no voice tracking (which will a minimum of 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 world of an actual person – someone who talks, eats, breathes and is also 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 value of a specialist stereo station, but truly, who the heck cares? You don’t tune in to podcasting to have the best quality. You pay attention to a podcast to obtain a real individual.
And that’s what will carry on and pull more and more people to podcasts, regardless of whether listening or getting in front of the mic and creating their own podcast.
In my opinion as people we require the personal interaction, and when it indicates hearing a guy sit down before a campfire, playing his ukulele and whispering regarding the stars previously mentioned, then a lot of us will be in; we’re there!
Stereo is not going away. The smart developers are going to let their air staff become more genuine, specially when they view the inroads that podcasting will continue to help make within their audience. Oddly enough, local radio stations provide an advantage. Within the city I live, you can find a couple of nearby stations. One plays a lot of syndicated programming and extremely little local programming. They make it through since they provide a good collection of nationwide talk programming.
The other station is completely local: whatever you listen to is performed from their recording studio, from playing the strange mix of tunes which will make you want to giggle, cry, shout, cringe and transform the damn factor off – all inside a 30 ymtwua period – for the local announcers who are at various phases skilled, untalented, polished, uncooked, goofy, tender, idiotic, enthusiastic and uncaring.
First and foremost, they’re Genuine. And that’s the greatest attraction – and resistant.
It’s like the nearby possessed stereo stations happen to be doing what podcasters are doing – becoming human being.
It’s just that podcasters still have extreme latitude, as well as the local stereo folks should stay inside certain boundaries.
In case it’s the limitless boundaries you’re trying to find inside your world, locate a podcast that speaks to you, listen to them support them, and let them know you’re out there!