Think about it – in this age where you completely control every aspect of your audio consumption experience, why do you still need music radio..?
I’ll be honest: before I started working in radio I had very little time for the medium.
There was a perfectly valid reason for that, too: these days we’ve potentially got all the music we’ll ever need on demand. And chances are we’re not getting the vast majority of that selection via the radio.
We’re spoilt for choice, with easy access to free and paid download services, and to media streaming via any number of platforms, most of which are (for the moment at least), also free.
The Personal Playlist is King
In the context of those services you’re in complete control of your own music listening experience, without the potential irritation of someone piping up to interrupt your enjoyment of your favourite bits of a song.
These days, the personal playlist truly is king, with options perfectly tailored to your individual, highly specialised taste.
That being the case, it all boils down to one crucial question: if there’s never been a better time to collect, curate and completely customise how you hear the music you hear, why in the world do you still need radio..?
It’s a complex puzzle that radio professionals are working to resolve. But in spite of what might seem a very bleak picture the business of radio broadcasting is still very attractive indeed.
In the face of these relatively new options, research and audience statistics show radio listening figures still aren’t vanishing at the doomsday rate originally feared.
In some sectors numbers are actually holding steady and even growing, thanks in part to lower barriers to entry which allow for setting up stations with the potential to service niche tastes profitably
The Case For Radio
When radio is done brilliantly there’s nothing like it: useful, practical features, fantastic audience engagement, a sense community, appealing content (including highly relevant news, localised travel and weather updates), all served up without you needing the extra effort to lift a finger to fire up an app or log on to a website.
The best stations have a great overall sound, designed to be precisely relevant to your taste, and fronted by engaging personalities.
Then there’s the randomised, ‘exciting discovery’ aspect: hearing that awesome classic from back in the day for the first time in forever, or finding great new music from a fresh or an already established artist.
Radio may never get back the phenomenal audience numbers from its days of old (the entire market is now too fragmented for that), but great radio will almost certainly be a strong complement to your existing options.
The reason for that is simple: people work very hard to make it that way. And by and large, they succeed.
No Better Way
Having said all that there’s probably no better way to make a case for radio than to hear from the people who are actually in the very thick of broadcast itself.
In this multi-part series you’ll hear directly from radio professionals: presenters, producers and station owners tell you why they think you still need radio in your life. I look forward to the cases they make.
This should be fun. Links to all the story sets are below
Set 1 – Presenters
- Presenter story 1: DJ Fireman, DJ Naadlox and Mel and Carmen Carrol
Set 2 – Station Owners
- Station Owner Story 1: Why You (Still) Need Radio in Your Life – By Vinejuice
Set 3 – Producers
- Producer story 1 (Live Soon)