Thursday, April 10, 2008

Radio is far healthier than it is getting credit for

Check this excerpt from Tom Taylor's Radio-Info newsletter.

Radio’s far from being out of the race – but.

94% of Americans tune to AM/FM radio once a week, and three-quarters of those in the January Arbitron/Edison “Infinite Dial” research say they’ll continue to listen as much as they do now. 1 in 5 say AM/FM radio has a “big impact on their lives, second only to cellphones.”

But I’m afraid that radio’s traditional inferiority complex and the turnover in executives, PDs and marketers from the 1980s and 1990s have left a pervasive attitude that things are only going to get worse.

That could be 180 degrees off – or a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Arbitron/Edison pick on some specific issues, such as radio’s loss of the image as “the place to discover new music.” Radio “still leads the Internet, but its advantage has been cut in half.”

And judging from the psychology out there – just pick up a Rolling Stone or other music magazine – you’d think nobody was using radio for music.

The Infinite Dial study says “young people are unlikely to turn back to over-the-air radio itself for discovering new music, but they may try Internet options provided by radio brands.”

Simple stuff would work: Edison’s Tom Webster says stations could set up Wikis appealing to local bands (“post your mp3s, bio and schedule here”) and clubs.

That position’s still wide-open in most markets. Another important avenue to explore: connecting to existing social network sites, instead of trying to re-invent them. Check the fast-read 63-page “Infinite Dial” slide presentation at either the Arbitron or Edison sites.

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