Is the podcasting vs. radio’ showdown finally going to take center stage? It seems like podcasting along with other alternative types of entertainment have finally triggered traditional corporate radio to react. In November of 2004, Bridge Ratings & Research released a study that revealed 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 the most interest in alternative media as well as the least interest in traditional radio.
The older groups showed slight increases in their utilization of radio, even though most are still spending considerable time with what’s considered alternative media: TV, Internet, Recorded Music, Books and Magazines.
The report doesn’t break out your impact of podcasting, but it does mention iPods and MP3 listening as getting an effect, especially on the younger demographics.
For me this makes sense. Younger audiences are definitely more attracted to technologies. They’ll glom to MP3 players and podcasts and reject most of the tradition time-wasters with their parents like books and TV, in favor of downloading songs online, browsing the web and sticking those earbuds to their head and tuning out any local radio station.
Provided by two-plus decades in radio, I know how hard it is to obtain and keep viewers whenever you DON’T have all of the competition of 2006. In 1976, you might have had a neighborhood paper and some TV channels and a number of local competing radio stations.
So a radio programmer today has to contest with 500 channels of cable television, satellite radio, podcasting, not forgetting another 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 appears high on occasion in my car, only because I’ve been through all of my CDs and would prefer to possess a local station complete the space instead of silence.
Because I get to sleep, I actually have my clock radio playing a neighborhood classic rock station. Unfortunately, the station is belonging to a big media corporation that owns hundreds, if not thousands of radio stations across America. So their announcers are forwarded to not say a great deal and for that reason are allowed to have almost no personality. And ‘after hours’ – should there be no live person behind the microphone – we receive automation, which suggests no live person, no voice tracking (which may 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, after i fire up a podcast, I am just suddenly invited into the industry of a real person – someone 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 production worth of a professional radio station, but really, who the besides cares? You don’t listen to podcasting to have the best quality. You pay attention to a podcast to acquire a genuine person.
And that’s what will continue to draw more and more people to podcasts, regardless of whether listening or obtaining in front of the mic and creating their particular podcast.
I think as humans we need the individual connection, and if this means paying attention to a man sit before a campfire, enjoying his ukulele and whispering about the celebrities previously mentioned, then lots of us are in; we’re there!
Stereo is not going away. The smart developers are likely to let their air staff become a little more genuine, especially when they begin to see the inroads that podcasting continues to make within their viewers. Oddly enough, local stereo stations have an benefit. Inside the town I live, there are a number of local stations. One plays a lot of syndicated coding and incredibly small local coding. They make it through simply because they offer a good lineup of nationwide speak programming.
One other station is totally nearby: everything you hear is performed from their studio, from enjoying the strange mix of songs which make you want to giggle, weep, shout, cringe and turn the damn factor off – all in a 30 ymtwua period – towards the nearby announcers that are at various stages skilled, untalented, polished, raw, goofy, tender, idiotic, enthusiastic and uncaring.
Most importantly, they’re Genuine. And that’s the ultimate attraction – and resistant.
It’s like the nearby possessed radio stations are already doing what podcasters are doing – being human being.
It’s just that podcasters still have extreme latitude, as well as the nearby stereo folks must remain within certain limitations.
Therefore if it’s the limitless boundaries you’re searching for within your world, locate a podcast that talks to you, tune in to them support them, and let them know you’re on the market!