CHRIS: The future of radio looks reasonably good in comparison to other media such as magazine, newspapers and even regional television, if you were to believe recent statistics and headlines. Although does radio really have a place in the future? The switch over to digital radios is slowly happening, and this as well as the web and digital tv is helping to attract more people to all stations whether they are on AM of FM.
Oliver Thylmann is a former editor of BeNews (a leading news website between 1998 – 2000) and his blog expresses similar comments to my opinion, many of which overlap conventions that are already being seen on other media platforms. He wants the content, he wishes to hear, when he wants – on demand re-occurs multiple times during these blog entries!
Despite being slightly bias towards the NPR (National Public Radio in the USA), the principles of web based radio, podcasts and consumer choice on-demand are all features that will determine the success of the medium. I think this has been reflected by NPR, as they offer ten years of archived radio footage, podcasts and hourly newscasts, similar interactive tools are also available by the BBC, whereas commercial stations are struggling to keep up. Pirate FM for example only have the listen live feature, with no podcast, listen again or additional on demand features, except a news page. Could this be the end for some struggling stations which can’t keep up with the technological advances and in turn loose out of a share of the audience?
Broadcast Now, interviewed radio experts about the future, below I have collated the most useful findings.
Ben Cooper, Head of Radio One – The principles of radio haven’t changed, it’s just the tools we have to work with that have. The combining of all media is the future, hense gigs being placed on the website and aired on radio, although the material on the additional media platforms must be used to enhance the brand rather than damage it.
Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive, Radio Centre – Despite music being obtained in new ways, through MP3, i-tunes and podcasts listeners still rely on broadcasters to advice them on music choices. Radio is the keydriver for music sales and downloads (85% of people say they still find new music through the radio).
Grant Goddard, Radio Analyst – As our lives are increasingly busy, the medium of radio is most secure in a time of change. Radio has changed from “they do it for us” to a social network we share with each other.
Mark Friend, BBC Audio and Music – Since 2004 radio listening has fallen by 6%. Radio must invest in great content, interactivity, capture the younger audience who use the internet for as their first resource and embracing digital is key.